Pets in the Classroom

classroom pets
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If you're thinking about getting a classroom pet it's important to know a few things first. While research has shown that classroom pets can be stimulating and help to enrich a students' experience, you must know which animals are the best to get, and which are not. Classroom pets can be a lot of work, and if you would like to teach your students some responsibility, then they can be a great addition to your classroom. Here are a few quick tips to help you decide which pet is good for your classroom.


Frogs and salamanders make great classroom pets because students rarely (if ever) have allergies to them and can be left unattended for days at a time. Frogs have been a staple in many classrooms, a popular frog that most teachers like to get is the African Clawed frog. This frog only needs to be fed two to three times per week, so it is a very convenient pet to have. The only concern with amphibians is the risk of salmonella. You would need to encourage frequent hand washing before and after touching these types of animals.


Like Amphibians, fish can be a popular classroom pet because students are not allergic to them nor do they have any bad order to them. They can also be left unattended for days at a time. The maintenance is low, all you really have to do is clean the tank about once a week, and students can easily feed the fish with little supervision. Betta and Goldfish are the most popular in classrooms.

Hermit Crabs 

Hermit crabs have been popular in science classrooms for some time now. What people don’t realize is they can be a lot of work, die easily and not to mention they smell really bad. Other than that, students seem to really love them, and they can make a great addition to your science curriculum.


Turtles are another popular choice for a classroom pet. They are another good choice because they can be picked up easily and are pretty low maintenance. Snakes like the garter and corn are popular as well as ball pythons. Good hygiene is recommended in caring for reptiles because they may carry salmonella.

Other Animals 

Pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, gerbils, rabbits, and mice may harbor viruses and children may be allergic to them so make sure before choosing your pet that you find out what allergies your students have. If students do in fact have allergies then you may need to stay away from any “furry” pets because of this risk. Try and stick to the animals listed above if you want low maintenance and have allergies in your classroom.

Before you decide upon purchasing your classroom pet, take a moment to think about who will take care of this animal on the weekends or on the holidays when you are gone. You should also think about where you would put the pet in your classroom, that would not cause a distraction to your students. If you are still set on getting a classroom pet then please consider getting a grant from or Pet Smart allows teachers to submit one application per school year to receive a hamster, guinea pig or snake. These grants are used to support the teaching of children on how to bond and care about pets responsibility.

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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "Pets in the Classroom." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Cox, Janelle. (2023, April 5). Pets in the Classroom. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "Pets in the Classroom." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).