Bringing Your New Pet into the Classroom
You’ve decided on a classroom pet, done the research, purchased the pet’s environment, and are ready to bring your pet into your busy classroom. When selecting a pet, whether it is a hamster or a turtle, buy or adopt from a source that keeps their pets in clean and spacious conditions. Look for a healthy, alert pet with no visible problems such as wounds, scratching, discharge or lethargy. You want to minimize the chance of any potential health problems cropping up later.
If you have existing classroom pets, your new pet should be kept in a separate enclosure for a week or two. Moving can be stressful! Your new pet will be under a little stress and will need to become accustomed to its new surroundings and environment. During this time period, watch the new pet carefully for any signs of trouble, and monitor its food and water intake.
You’ll also want to limit the activity and handling of your new pet during its initial weeks in the classroom. Starting off with gentle petting and gradually progressing to occasional handling is a good idea, especially with younger children. You may want to hold a classroom lesson on safe and gentle handling of your classroom pet. Since a scared pet may scratch or bite, teach children to move slowly and carefully.
By acclimating your new pet gradually to the classroom, you will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for students and the classroom pet.