Looking after a classroom pet properly
Things to think about include:
- Why do you want a classroom pet? Is having a resident animal in the classroom essential to achieving your educational outcome?
- Can you care for a guinea pig for 7 years or a green tree frog for 18 years?
- Are you prepared for the cost of a classroom pet? Expenses may include purchase price, food, housing, bedding, vaccination, worming, vet bills, toys, grooming, de-sexing.
- Do you have time to care for a classroom pet? eg: exercise, grooming, cleaning and play.
- Are you prepared to spend your own money on veterinary care?
- Can you provide care for your classroom pet during weekends and holidays?
- Do you have adequate space for the classroom pet you are considering?
- Can you provide a safe environment for your classroom pet that does not depend on you being present in the room?
- Will the classroom pet have any company out of school hours?
- Are all your students free of allergies to animals?
- Are you aware of any zoonoses (transmissible diseases) that may be carried by your classroom pet? Is your school prepared for this liability?
- Are you prepared to handle the death of your classroom pet and the impact on your students?
Answer these questions honestly. Becoming a pet owner is an exciting prospect. But don't rush into it if you're not ready. Thousands of pets are taken to Victorian animal shelters each year, because owners can't look after them anymore. While shelters do their best to find new homes for these animals, sadly, many healthy animals have to be euthanased (put to sleep). This is because not enough homes can be found for them – we have an 'oversupply' of pets.
If you can answer all these questions positively, you are now ready to decide what type of pet you would like.