Critter Culture
These 10 Pets Are a Bad Idea for Your Classroom

These 10 Pets Are a Bad Idea for Your Classroom

Critter Culture Staff



When you're a teacher and a pet lover, finding the perfect animal for your classroom is an exciting process. Unfortunately, not all critters are suitable for a classroom environment. Some are volatile or simply lack the ability to stimulate the children who want to admire and play with them. Skip these bad fits, and you're sure to score a classroom pet who's an instant hit.



closeup mouse (Mus musculus) sniffing the wire on the background of the outlet and the hole in the wall tenra / Getty Images

At first glance, mice are cute, playful, and charming. Sadly, they don't enjoy spending much time with humans. They're also masterful escape artists, and once they're free, they soon cause havoc.

Mice love to chew through drywall and cables, so letting one loose in your classroom could become expensive.



Child's hands hiding a green frog close up

Frogs may make bad classroom pets as they have specialized diet requirements. For example, they often need live insects, making them difficult to care for in a busy environment. Although commercial feeds are available, they may not meet a frog's full dietary needs and could make it difficult for them to thrive.

Frogs also require regular cleaning to reduce the risk of infection, making them labor-intensive classroom pets.



Domestic parrot ringing bell Lusyaya / Getty Images

Parrots are often pretty and engaging. They have a lot of comedy value, too, especially when you train them well. But the amount of love a parrot needs makes them a bad choice for a classroom pet. They're also vocal and will likely be disruptive when they want attention.

Depending on the parrot species, they can live for between 10 and 50 years. Parrots with a longer lifespan may not enjoy seeing new teachers and students every year; they thrive better when they have consistency.



Cute Hamster looking up at the camera, in his cage. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Hamsters often seem like a sensible choice as a classroom pet. They're small and cute, plus they require little upkeep. Sadly, a hamster's nocturnal nature means they're unlikely to interact with students during the day. They may also struggle to thrive in a loud and hectic environment, making them feel stressed, which can lead them to bite.



Close-up of a male mid adult animal handler holding a corn snake. A little school girl is sitting next to him while on a school trip and holding the end of the snake. SolStock / Getty Images

Whether you see snakes as graceful animals or gross creepy crawlies, there's no denying they make poor classroom pets. Many snakes aren't sociable, which means they're unlikely to interact with students. They also require an intricate environment, which may be unachievable in a classroom setting.

A snake's abode usually commands a heat gradient that's warmer at one end than the other. That gradient may become difficult to achieve in a classroom. Even snakes that aren't venomous might bite a child when they feel threatened, making them a slightly unsafe choice too.



Child holding a spider tiburonstudios / Getty Images

Tarantulas are fascinating and may seem like a quirky classroom pet choice. However, as many people find them large and intimidating, if not downright terrifying, instead. When you're trying to create a calm classroom environment, adding a phobia-triggering creature to the mix may not work well.

It's also worth remembering that even those tarantulas that aren't venomous could still cause an allergic reaction if they bite.



children looking at hedgehog lisegagne / Getty Images

Hedgehogs are cute creatures, but they're best left to their natural environments. As pets, they're incredibly shy and need to hide when something makes them feel stressed. Classrooms are typically noisy environments, which could result in a hedgehog feeling distressed. They also carry salmonella, which could pose a risk to youthful handlers.



A small, delicate gray chinchilla puppy looks at the camera, very embarrassed and afraid, he is afraid. The handler gets it in his hands, stroking his tail. Lelia Valduga / Getty Images

Chinchillas are lovely to look at, but they're incredibly fragile. Their delicate bones can break easily, so they're not the type of pet lots of excited children can handle. They're also skittish and become overwhelmed when their environment changes. As the nature of a classroom and the bodies within it changes regularly, it can quickly become a stressful place for a chinchilla to live.



Ferret for 5 months sits on the floor near its cage FaST_9 / Getty Images

Ferrets are highly active animals that flourish when they get the right amount of exercise, which usually means they need to spend a lot of time outside of their cage. Unfortunately, this isn't usually achievable in a classroom setting, resulting in them becoming distressed and aggressive. Ferrets are known for biting, which may harm or upset younger children. They're also incredibly wily and difficult to catch once they become loose.



Elementary School Children Playing with an Iguana Hutchings Stock Photography / Getty Images

While iguanas have an exotic charm that many people love, they don't make good classroom pets. They don't enjoy being handled, and they're unlikely to interact a lot with children. They have a tendency to lash their tails when they feel stressed, making them dangerous in a setting where they may become overstimulated.

Iguanas also have dangerous bites—they may leave teeth embedded in the skin, which increases the risk of infection.


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