Pets Enrich the Classroom
• Children with no exposure to animals or
nature in their home environment can see, feel, touch and make connections to
the wide world of animals.
• Observing and caring for an animal instills
a sense of responsibility and respect for life.
• A pet brings increased sensitivity and
awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and
• Children learn that all living things need
more than just food and water for survival.
• Students will see directly how their
behavior and actions affect others.
• Studies show that the presence of animals
tends to lessen tension in the classroom.
Even a small child can begin to learn to care for the needs of another living
being. Whether helping to empty a cup of dry food into a dog's bowl, or filling
the dog's water bowl, it’s never too early to start teaching kids proper animal
care. Of course, parents or teachers must monitor all pet care that the child
carries out. Children should be expected to fulfill their responsibilities, but
when the inevitable slip-ups occur, we shouldn’t make too much of a fuss; we
should just point out that the pet was counting on them.