The REAL Top 10 Worst Classroom Pets

A recent article says ferrets, rabbits and frogs are among the worst classroom pets. Yawn. See my REAL top 10 picks for pets teachers should truly avoid. recently published a back-to-school article titled “The Top 10 Worst Classroom Pets.” Thinking the list might include animals like hippos and manatees, I clicked on it eagerly.

Much to my disappointment, the list focused on the “dangers” of traditional classroom pets like bunnies, birds, ferrets and hamsters.

Personally, I can think of quite a few animals that would make worse classroom pets than bunnies, whose main claim to danger is periodic kicking.

Here are my picks for the real top 10 worst classroom pets:


10. Scorpions

Although scorpions have been known to make good pets for adults, they’re a terrible idea for a classroom full of little kids. Certain species of scorpions will attack people without provocation, stinging them with venom intended to kill or paralyze their prey before they eat it. And what mom wants to take care of a scorpion over the winter break?


9. Monkeys

Curious George is so cute! His various adventures with The Man with the Yellow Hat are the delight of many a story hour. In real life, however, monkeys don’t have adventures in the Big City inasmuch as they sit around and throw feces at one another.


8. Piranhas

The only thing worse than a flesh-eating fish that can devour a cow in minutes is a whole school of them. Pun intended.


7. Bears

In addition to running fast, standing over 10 feet tall, eating anything they can get their hands on and mauling people who invade their territory, bears smell very fishy, which makes them a bad choice for small rooms with poor ventilation.


6. Sharks

The main problem with having a shark as a classroom pet is that the aquarium would have to be very large. It’s a shame, because having a great white in the room would be a nice way to engage the kids during Shark Week.

Blue Poison Dart Frog

5. Blue Poison Dart Frogs

This adorable little guy is only a couple of inches wide! He’s also one of the most poisonous creatures on the planet — the poison that forest tribes in central Brazil put on their deadly darts comes from this tiny little fellow. He’s also incredibly aggressive. But the real reason blue poison dart frogs make bad classroom pets is because they squish easily while being cuddled.

Miniature Giraffe

4. Miniature Giraffes

Who wouldn’t love a pet miniature giraffe for their 7-year-old’s classroom? Unfortunately, these exotic pets require a great deal of care and maintenance: a treadmill, soft cushions, regular spa treatments and, of course, their Direct TV subscription. (Oh, and they’re fictional.)


3. Wolverines

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is sexy and dangerous. Real wolverines are not sexy at all. They have nasty fur and yellow teeth, and even though their claws aren’t made of retractable steel, they could shred a kid just as fast as their comic-book counterparts.


2. Solenodons

Oh my, what a cute little beastie! Although the solenodon would be a great prop for a lesson on extinction (there aren’t many left), they’re a little too deadly for most classroom situations. They irritate easily and respond by injecting deadly venom through their teeth. Cute, but not so cuddly.


1. Velociraptors

As we saw in the Jurassic Park movies, velociraptors and kids just don’t go well together. If you’re looking for a dinosaur for the classroom, try a nice sauropodomorpha. They’re the largest mammals ever to walk the earth, but they make great babysitters.

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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