Connecting the educational world to your classroom

How Pets Can Better Your Classroom


Owning a pet has been proven to have health benefits by lowering blood pressure, lessening anxiety and boosting immunity. Because of time and financial restraints, not every family is capable of keeping a pet in their home. So why not invite animal friends into our classrooms?

According to a study conducted by Pet Care Trust and the American Humane Society, the three most common uses of pets in classrooms are:
• To encourage responsibility and leadership among students
• To provide calm and relaxation when children are stressed or when their behavior is unstable, especially for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other special needs
• To enhance lessons regarding science and nature

The most common pets adopted by teachers in the study were fish, followed by guinea pigs, hamsters, bearded dragons and geckos.

While teachers who participated in the study reported positive results, some challenges were noted. The most common challenges listed were additional costs for the pet, care for the pet outside of school hours and managing student interactions with the pets.

Pet Care Trust, a non-profit public foundation, helps teachers obtain pets for educational use by creating Pets in the Classroom, an educational grant program that provides financial support to teachers to purchase and maintain small animals in the classroom.

Do you have a pet in your classroom?