It’s the end of the school year, but apparently some of our readers who are teachers are already planning for next school year. One of the questions we have been asked was for some recommendations for classroom pets. AnimalPlex believes that a love for animals begins at a young age, so we’re excited that our teachers are helping to foster a love of animals in their students at such a young age. Not every family has the ability or desire to keep and care for pets, so having an animal in the classroom may be a great way to encourage your future zoologists, animal activists, and veterinarians.
We have a few recommendations for you, with the caveat to keep in mind the size and activity level of your classroom as well as the age of your students. All animals deserve to be treated and handled with the most respect and care, so if you can not supervise your students, then we would advise extra caution before adding an animal to your classroom.
With that, here are our suggestions for best classroom pets!
1. Bearded Dragon-
This little guy is not as terrifying as he sounds. In fact, this lizard is a great starter pet for people wanting to learn how to keep an maintain reptiles. A warm and dry environment is required for the bearded dragon, so you’ll need a heat lamp and a habitat large enough for him to move around freely. Bearded dragons can be easily handled, provided the are not over handled too much. They can be fragile, so extra caution is needed around younger children. Do not allow your students to pick up the dragon by its tail, as it can easily break off. Otherwise, a bearded dragon is a great low maintenance classroom pet!
Check out our bearded dragon breed page for more information regarding habitat, food, and care. Learn about this animal and give it plenty of time to adjust in its new home before allowing it to be handled by your students.
2. Guinea Pigs-
These cute critters are perfect for a classroom addition, because they are more easily handled than their smaller rodent counterparts. Guinea Pigs are also active and require a lot of love and attention, so it is a great addition for the kids who want to be hands on in their classroom pet care. Guinea Pigs are social creatures so they thrive best when they have plenty of space to run and play, plenty of activity toys in their environment, and are paired with another guinea pig of the same gender. (Extra bonus, multiple pets means less fighting over who gets to hold it!)
Check out our Guinea Pig breed page for more information regarding habitat, food, and care.
Rats are amazing classroom pets, whether you are a young kiddo learning to care for a pet, or a college student in a Behavioral Psych class. There is so much to be learned from rats, as they are intelligent creatures, respond well to training, and are less likely to bite than mice and some other rodents. Rats are affectionate creatures, so they will enjoy your students’ hands on care. Students can learn about rats, learn their food preferences, and learn how to care for a pet with the addition of a rat in the classroom.
Check out our Rat breed page for more information regarding habitat, food, and care.
There are plenty of other animals that may be more suited for your classroom, such as fish, insects, or rabbits, but each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
If you have an animal in your classroom, let us know what’s worked for you. Comment below and submit some pictures. We’d love to hear more about your choice for best classroom animals!