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Classroom pets are on the decline

There are fewer pets in UK classroom compared to previous generations, new research shows.

More than half of the parents surveyed by Pets at Home (51 percent) had a class pet as a child, compared to 46 percent of children today – and nearly 1 in 5 (17 percent) of children currently do not have the opportunity to look after a pet either at home or at school.

Non-traditional animals such as chickens, tadpoles, caterpillars and stick insects are becoming increasingly popular alternatives as classroom pets. Fish are currently the most common class pet (24 percent), followed by hamsters (18 percent) and guinea pigs (13 percent).

88 percent of parents think a pet is important for a child’s development and 87 percent believe a pet can help a child’s social skills.

Mark Smith, pet operations manager at Pets at Home, said: “Whether it’s a hamster or a stick insect, it’s really important for children to learn the level of responsibility and time required to look after a pet.”

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