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Elementary Science

Classroom Pets

Author Post
Hayley Krogh Hayley Krogh 60 Points



My name is Hayley Krogh, and I am a pre-service teacher from Wartburg College in Iowa. I recently listened to a presentation about pets in the classroom, and I have been thinking about getting a pet for my classroom when I graduate. Does anyone have any suggestions of what type of animal(s) would be beneficial and useful in a K-4th grade classroom?


Thank you,

Hayley Krogh

Pre-Service Teacher

Wartburg College


Ashley Hopper Ashley Hopper 640 Points

Hi Hayley,

I think the most beneficial pets for a classroom would be pets that the students can take turns feeding and having responsibilities. I would recommend fish, rabbits and guinea pigs because those pets allows the students to have responsibilties to take care of them. 

Ciera Perez Ciera Perez 425 Points

Hello Hayley,

My name is Ciera Perez and I am a pre-service teacher as well. I think a classroom pet is a fun idea. I remember in first grade my teacher had a frog as a class pet and we got to take turns feeding/playing with him in small groups when we had indoor recess. My suggestions would be fish, guinea pigs, lizards/bearded dragons, rabbits, and frogs. They can be used as learning tools and fun engagement opportunities. 

Gina Mazzeffe Gina Mazzeffe 160 Points

Hello Hayley,

I think the idea of a classroom pet is very beneficial to young children. It can definitely help students with responsibility and forming a set routine. For K-4th grade I think the best pet would be something that is low mantaince, yet allows the students to interact. This can be a fish, a hamster, guinea pig, or bearded dragon. Hope this helps!

Derrick Lietz Derrick Lietz 438 Points

Hi Hayley,


I think it's great to have pets in the classroom. Having a pet in the classroom excites students, can be utilized as a 'classroom job,' and is also a neat way to inspire a conversation about life sciences.


I think a leopard gecko would be an awesome animal that requires about as much care as a guinea pig!


Let us know what animals you add to your room!


- Derrick Lietz

Katherine Gonzalez Katherine Gonzalez 145 Points

Hello Hayley!


I have been thinking about having a pet in my classroom as well. I have mostly thought about my students' behavior and if they will be able to handle the responsibility of taking care of a classroom pet. A colleague of mine had a lizard in the classroom. The students were intrigued and always looked forward to feeding their classroom pet. Another pet could be a turtle, caterpillar or hamster. 

Courtney Stokes Courtney Stokes 205 Points

Hi Hayley!

I am a preservice teacher as I well who has had questions about having a classroom pet!  As I have thought about this, the pet I am leaning closer towards would be a fish!  In my opinion, they seem to be a little less high-maintenance than other classroom pets may be.  Also, I believe it could be less of a distraction to students since they don't make noises vs. another animal that runs around in it's cage!  

I hope your future students love their classroom pet!

Courtney Stokes 

Pre-Service Teacher

Univ. of Ark

Sarah Hendley Sarah Hendley 235 Points

Hi Hayley,

I am a pre-service teacher as well and love the idea of having a class pet for my future classroom. I remember that I had one in elementary school and we loved them so much! We had two frogs and I even got to take care of them over winter break at my house. They are super low maintenance and arent noisy so I would suggest them!


Kira Starks Kira Starks 95 Points

Hi Hayley! 

I'm also a preservice teacher and I've been considering having a pet in my future classroom as well! I remember one of my favorite class pets I ever had in elementary school was a hamster, so I was thinking about choosing something like that for my future class! 

Baylee Kleitsch Baylee Kleitsch 2426 Points

Hello Hayley, 

I am a student from the University of Northern Iowa and I, too, am a pre-service teacher. I really liked your idea of having a class pet in your future classroom. I think it would be hard to select just one animal because there are so many to chose from. For example, if you wanted a simplier and less work type of pet, I would recommend fish because they are easy to take care of and cost efficiant. Fish would also teach your students to be responsible because they would be in charge of feeding them and making sure the water gets changed. However, I think a catapiller would also be an awesome class pet because the students can watch as it turns into a beautiful butterfly. I liked this idea because it is an educational class pet that students can continue to learn from. These are just two ideas that I really liked, but there are so many other awesome animals to pick from that I'm sure which ever you chose your students will love.  

Best of luck, Baylee!

Lorena Leal Lorena Leal 3025 Points

Hi Hayley!


For my classroom I would have a pet fish, and each week I would draw a stick, and the name I would pick would be the student who gets to feed the pet fish in our classroom. I would also have a student who would volunteer or I would draw a stick with their name on it to help clean out the fish tank each week or every other week. The next would be a turtle, I would again draw a stick and that student chosen would be the student who gets to feed the turtle. Another pet I would have would be a lizzard, I would do the stick drawing routine because it is simple and there would be no arguing or fighting amongst the students. 

Tara Timmermann Tara Timmermann 465 Points

Hello Hayley,


My name is Tara Timmermann and I attend Missouri Western State University. I have also considered having a classroom pet in my class. I think it teaches responsibility and helps the students engage in something fun at school. I have mostly considered a guinea pig or a rabbit because they are actice enough to have fun wit, but can also stay in a cage when needed.

James Johnson James Johnson 95308 Points

Hello Hayley,

My son is a teacher in northern Illinois and he did something I thought was ingenious.  Some of his students had pets that they got and then became tired of and didn't want to care for.  With permission, he allowed them to donate them to the class and all the kids take turns holding them, feeding them, and caring for them.  On my last visit, I was shown his classroom for the first time and was enthralled with the bearded dragons, fish and other critters he had.  It was my first time holding a bearded dragon and I was as engaged and excited as a teenager.  I guess the main thing is safety and ability to properly care for the pets and permission from the school administrators prior to bringing animals in the classroom.

Victoria Vaughn Victoria Vaughn 910 Points

Hi Hayley, 

I think a classroom pet is a great idea. It would be engaging for the students and would defintely make coming to school more exciting for them. My suggestion would be to find a creature that is low maintenence but one that the students can help take care of. It might be a good idea to give your students some options and then have them vote on what kind of pet they want! I would also recommend writing a letter to parents informing them completely on what having a classroom pet will look like and explaining how it will be beneficial for your students, and make sure all the parents are okay with it before getting the pet.


Julisa Diaz julisa diaz 375 Points

Hello Hayley

I think a classroom pet would be good for the students because it can teach them responsibility but with the students being so young I would recommend a pet that wouldn't be much to handle. A fish or a hamster would probably be best with the younger age students. When I was in elementary school we had a class hamster and everyone really enjoyed having it. 

Jacob Hernandez Jacob Hernandez 85 Points

Hello Hayley 

Never had a classroom pet in my school years, but i do think it would be fun for the students to have a pet in the classroom. It would give students a feel of responsibility. Maybe something easy to start off such as a goldfish, and work up to another type of pet such as lizards. 

Thelma Robles Thelma Robles 260 Points

Hello Hayley

I believe having a pet in the classroom would be a great idea, i would like to have a pet in my classrom too. Student's can learn about responsibilities with a pet in class. To start off I believe maybe a fish could be good to have as a pet. Students can't take turns feeding the fish.

Gisselle Martinez Michelle Hernandez 340 Points


I think that is  a great idea to have a classroom pet!

It is also a very important way to show your students about life skills and responsibility.

Depending on the grade level, but I think having one or two fishes will be a great start!

Alexis Swearingin Alexis Swearingin 4168 Points

Hi Hayley!

I am a Junior at Missouri Western State University! I have considered a class pet for my classroom! The best way to go about this is to understand what age group you are working with and choose a pet that will be least distracting to you and your students. Hamsters and fish are my personal favorite for a classroom! I had bad luck with geckos so my opinion of them are biased! I think class pets make for great responsibilities and fun in the classroom! It's something the kids get to feed, take care of, and watch grow all year! I will definitely have a class pet in my future classroom!

Molly Hoskins Molly Hoskins 2210 Points

How are classroom pets beneficial?


Hannah Raney Hannah Raney 210 Points

Hi Hayley,

I am also a pre-service teacher and I love animals! I think having a low-maintenance pet in the classroom is a great idea. Even a pet that the children can take home and take care of would be really fun for them. If you're not exactly content with having fish, maybe a hedgehog or hamster or mice would be a good idea!


Shayna Volk Shayna Volk 190 Points

Hi Hayley, 


I'm a pre-service teacher as well, and I've always loved the idea of having a class pet in my future classroom. I remember when I was in first grade my class had a pet hamster and my teacher allowed us to sign up to take him home on weekends, which I absolutely loved! In the first grade classroom I'm in currently in for practicum they have a pet iguana, and the students absolutely love having him in the class. They take turns getting to feed him, and even are allowed to take him out and interact with him at times. I also feel having a class pet is a great way for students to observe an animal and observe the way the animal acts throughout the day. When picking a class pet, I definitely think the best route to go for a class pet is one that is low-maintenance. 


Caylie Porter Caylie Porter 205 Points



I am a preservice teacher and absolutely love the idea of possibly having a pet in my future classroom! I have a dog who is registered as an emotional support animal and I hope to one day have him be part of my classroom as a way of teaching responsibility, but also to help students gain confidence in different subjects, like reading aloud. There is a group of people in my town that brings certified dogs to our local library and does this. Not only is it great for the students, but for the dogs as well! I think that having a classroom pet would not only teach responsibility to students but it would also teach them to be compassionate to other living beings. As other people have mentioned, I also suggest getting an animal that is lower maintenance, especially for the lower grades. Good luck!



Cynthia Ruiz Cynthia Ruiz 495 Points

Hello Hayley, 

I think having a pet in your classroom is awesome.  THe students will be able to observe how the animal eats and sleeps.  You can give students a job to help feed the pet.  The students can write about their classroom pet.  It makes the classroom feel like a their home.

Thank you.

Caroline Harger Caroline Harger 190 Points

Hi Hayley! 


I recently saw a 5th grade classroom with a pet hamster and thought it was an incredible idea. Each student was allowed to take the hamster home for the weekend, with parental permission, and write a report in a community journal on how their weekend went. All of the students took on responsibilities and loved having him around! Hope this helps! 



Hailey Ray Hailey Ray 200 Points

Hello Hayley,

The early elementary grades are my favorite students. I can recall a few different teachers having classroom pets in their room and having excellent experiences through them. I feel that they are a great idea and benefit students in a variety of ways. Some options I have seen and heard work well are any small animal contained in a cage or small space. This could range from a frog all the way to a guinea pig. Students love the opportunity to engage with animals and these are a few that would be safe within a young environment. 


Andy Tran Andy Tran 440 Points

Hi Hayley!


I think a classroom pet can be great to teach students responsibility and help them build a stronger community together! I would recommend a tarantula because they are relatively low-maintenance. For example, they can tolerate somewhat dry spaces and only need to be fed crickets once a week, which are cheap. You can also teach about some of their abilities such as molting during your science teaching. 


This blog post appears to have some information that you might find useful.

Good luck! 

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