Once you’ve chosen your classroom pet and purchased all of the necessary supplies with your grant from Pets in the Classroom, you’ll need to plan for bringing your pet into its new home. Students will naturally be excited about having a pet in the classroom, but keep the following guidelines in mind to ensure that your students and pet will have a long and successful relationship.
If you are adding a pet to existing classroom pets, keep the new animal separated from the other animals for at least 7 to 10 days. Once you introduce the animals, watch them carefully for any signs of problems. A pet professional should be able to advise you on compatibility guidelines for your pet’s species.
Remember that any new pet will experience some stress moving to a new environment, so observe your pet carefully during this period. Make sure he is eating and drinking and seems alert. If you have any questions or concerns about your new pet, you can ask your pet retailer, local pet society or recommended veterinarian.
Limit handling of your new pet during the first week or two. Involve students by allowing them to record observations of the pet, and begin a gradual introduction process. Students can begin the handling process by petting the animal carefully while the pet is in his enclosure, feeding his usual diet or approved treats. Educate yourself on the proper handling techniques for your particular pet, and supervise your students as they begin to handle him. Remind students to move slowly and allow the animal to get used to handling and activity.
Through this careful acclimation process, your students will learn valuable information about the needs of their classroom pet, and how to build a lasting relationship with animals. Classroom pets provide learning opportunities, and enrich the classroom experience; and it depends on you for its health, happiness and well being.
To apply for your Pets in the Classroom grant visit www.petsintheclassroom.org!