"Pets and Humans – Where Did it Begin?" Asks Pets in the Classroom
If you’re a teacher thinking about a classroom pet, have you ever wondered about the history of pets and changes in the trends over the years? Wouldn’t that be a great research topic to assign your students? There’s no doubt that humans and animals can share an amazing bond. Pets bring a certain kind of love into our lives, and humans have been fascinated with animals for thousands of years.
Dogs lead the pack of domesticated animals, because they are social and could be trained to work. Cats were domesticated in early Egyptian times, and were also put to work hunting mice and rats. Speaking of rodents, mice were kept as pets as early as the 17thcentury in Japan, and in 1895 the National Mouse Club was formed in England. Rabbits were also popular pets in the 19th century, as city dwellers kept a little bit of the country with them in their pet rabbit. When central heating became more standard in the 1920s, reptiles could be kept as pets and pet stores at that time were well stocked with Anolis lizards.
A survey done by the American Pet Products Association in 2005-2006 found that Americans keep approximately 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, almost 150 million fish, 16 million birds, 18 million small animals and 11 million reptiles as pets. The numbers continue to grow as more and more people discover the joy of bonding with their pets.
The history of pets and people is a rich one, full of great learning opportunities for your students.