Should Pets Be Allowed In School? (3 Pros, Cons and Laws)

A talk of the town is whether pets should be allowed in school or not. There are profound advocates of both sides with their arguments. Have a brief look at pets in the classroom-pros and cons.

No, the cons of having a pet in school outweigh their pros. Pets in a classroom can distract students to focus on their subject matters. It can also be a health concern for children like allergies and zoonosis. Keeping a pet in class hampers the provision of a natural environment and essential care to the pet too. So, pets should not be allowed in school.


Should pets be allowed in school?

Pets improve the behavior of children and provide them emotional support.

There will certainly be fewer chances for your child to have a bad day in the presence of a hamster or Mini Lop rabbit with him.

It can also help a teacher to make students more responsible while taking care of their pets. However, the cons of having a pet in school exceed that of their pros.

The classroom is not a suitable place for a pet. A noisy environment, sharp lights, and sudden stimulations put stress on a pet.

Some animals like rabbits hate to be held, while others like mice are nocturnal; they sleep in the day and activate at night. So, is it a wise trade to cost the health & condition of a pet for feeling the students more relaxed and happy?

Besides the pet welfare concerns, animals in a public place like a classroom are also a health risk for students. Some pets can scratch or bite a student, while others can transmit disease.

Pros of Having A Pet In School

A child having a pet in the school has several emotional and mental health benefits. Some are given here.

Enhance learning

Some teachers believe that pet stimulates the learning process of students in the class. To encourage the fascination of students during a math or science lesson is a big deal. Teachers use class pets to exemplify different activities, like calculating the weight of 20 hamsters or determining the quantity of hay needed by a rabbit as feed for one week.

Comparably, some students drift away from the boredom by looking at their class pets. So, it makes them feel relaxed and like at home.

Care & Responsibility

Students are responsible for cleaning pet cages and feeding them. In the form of a group, they have to care for and feed the pet animals. Teachers believe that it develops a sense of duty and commitment in students.

Mental health and Behavior

Getting up early in the morning and preparing for the day-long school put a lot of psychological burden on the students. Yes, we all know that! However, this fit of anger is replaced by cheerfulness when students accompany their pets in the class.

Researchers have revealed that pet owners feel relaxed, and their bodies secrete more stress-releasing hormones. Similarly, when children have pets around them, they feel moderate and tend to be in a better mental state comparatively.

Cons of Having A Pet In School

Coming with your pet to the school can be troublesome for fellow students and unsafe for your pets. Let’s see how.

Health risk for students

Most of the pets are prey animals and got frightened when approached suddenly. They can bite the finger or scratch the skin of students during feeding and playing.

Pets can also be carriers of certain diseases, which can be transmitted to students by direct contact or feces. At the same time, some students can get allergies from fur animals. So, having a pet in school is risky concerning the health of students.

Inconvenient environment for pet

Animals need a natural environment to live a normal life. They need room to roam. It is very important to keep them in good condition and encourage their normal behavior. In contrast, a pet at school has to spend most of its time in a confined environment. It is against animal welfare, and some people consider it inhumane.

As the classroom has a vibrant environment, lights, noise, and stimulating conditions become a continuous source of stress and inconvenience for pets.

Neglected for feed and health

A pet at the school can’t feel like a home. There are good chances for changes in the feed, missed meals, and lower intake due to stress. Who will ensure that the pet is getting adequate care and nutrition when students are on a school break? 

Providing veterinary care, neutering, and allowing them to enjoy the company of fellow animals are some challenges that have caused the authorities to think about whether pets should be allowed in school!

Why are pets not allowed in school?

Along with the student’s safety concerns, animals should not be allowed in school due to the risk of animal abuse and cruelty. Animals like rats, snakes, and rabbits can bite or nip the students when they are frustrated, uncomfortable, or hungry.

Several incidents of pets being mal-handled, hurt, or killed by young people in schools have also been reported.  

Different countries have laws for the use of pet animals in schools for a variety of learning activities.

Animals in the USA Schools – Laws

United States have elaborated laws for service animals throughout the country. These laws allowed a student with a disability to accompany their pet in their schools.  Laws vary with the states, and even some states have banned students from coming to school with their pets. However, basic health and care facilities for school pets have been demonstrated to be made sure.

Animals in the UK Schools – Laws

According to the United Kingdom pets and animal contact policy, pets and other animals can enhance the learning environment in school. However, contact with the pet can pose an animal to fungal, gastrointestinal, and parasitic contact.

Only mature and toilet-trained pets are allowed in the school. The headteacher will ensure that a knowledgeable person is responsible for the animal. Elaborated guidelines have also been given about

  • The types of animals allowed in the school
  • Defined premises where an animal can go and where can’t.
  • How will the pet animal be managed and taken care of?
  • Insurance liability of owners and handlers
  • A written agreement with the school details.

Animals in Australia Schools – Laws

In New South Wales, all native mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are protected by the National park and Wild Life Act. Schools are permitted to keep the animals if teachers take the responsibility and the following conditions are met.

  • Animals are obtained from the licensed breeders and animal keepers.
  • Have a license to keep the animals.
  • Have a proper understanding of the physical and behavioral needs of animals.


Some frequently asked questions.

Why should a pet be allowed in school?

Pets can stimulate learning and affect the personality of students. By keeping students’ interest in the class, pets help avoid a bad day for a student. They can also make them more liable. On the other hand, teachers can use pets to make their science or mathematics lessons more interesting by objectifying the pet.

How to bring your dog to school?

First of all, figure out whether the school authorities allow pets in school and ask your teacher for permission. Ensure that dog is well trained for obeying different commands and interacts with people in a crowded place. Manage the resources beforehand for the care and management while you are not available.

Are class pets distracting?

Yes, pet animals can be distracting for students. They are attention seekers. Some of them want the continuous company of fellow animals or human beings. However, pet animals’ witty demeanor and cuteness can also be distracting for students, and they can struggle to focus on their subject matters.

What is the best pet for a classroom?

You can choose one of the following species as your pet in school
Golden Fish
Bearded Dragon
Guinea Pig

How do I convince my teacher to get a class pet?

To persuade your teacher to get a class pet, make a detailed plan. Consider what pet you want to get and have basic knowledge about its management, care, temperament, and personality. Write an e-mail or letter to your teacher to convince her. Don’t forget to explain how that animal will help you in the class and how it will be taken care of.

Our Opinion

Pets provide good company to students in class and make them feel at home. It increases the interest of students in going to school and encourages their positive behavior.

Taking care of the animal also makes them more responsible and aware of the needs of the other. However, all the benefits of having a pet at school cost the animal. They have to go through rough handling and a stressful environment. Accompanying a pet in a classroom can be a health risk for your pet and class fellows.

So, it’s important to choose pets wisely and manage their physical and emotional needs. Teachers can also use plants for taking care and putting responsibility on students.

SmallPetsX.Com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim to help small pet owners understand their pets a little better so that they can provide their pets with the life they deserve. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.

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