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Teacher’s pets – Mars Petcare gives local school children a lesson in caring for their furry friends


This is all part of Melton Borough Council’s work to make Melton Mowbray the UK’s most pet friendly town – as research has shown that pets in classrooms have a positive impact on children 

Mars Petcare staff spent the morning with twenty pupils at Birchwood School in Melton Mowbray last week, to teach them all about how to own happy, healthy pets. Learning Mentor Lucy Robinson even brought her Labrador Tula into class to help.

The paw-some lesson was part of Mars Petcare’s Pet Ambassador Programme – a local schools project which aims to inspire the next generation of responsible pet owners.

The programme has been running for two years and involves students rotating around four learning zones – ‘Pets and their Super Senses’; ‘Pets are Cool’, understanding how they can be superheroes; ‘Creature Comforts’, learning about what makes them happy or sad; and ‘Poo Corner’, learning why it’s important to pick up mess and how to do it safely. At the end of the day, they received a certificate confirming they are the ‘Pet Ambassadors’ of the future.

Dina Carby, Regional Customer Manager at Mars Petcare said: “We all had a great time showing the students around the zones – especially Poo Corner! We hope that through this education programme the children will take their passion for pets out of the classroom and help Melton Mowbray remain a responsible pet friendly town.”

Melton Mowbray was recently officially recognised by the Dog Friendly Awards as the UK’s best town for dogs. Mars Petcare expanded the Pet Ambassador Programme this year to reach all schools in Melton Mowbray as part of the town’s bid to be the UK’s number one pet friendly town, to ensure that the next generation of Melton pet owners know how to be responsible and keep their pets healthy and happy.  

There is increasing research that shows the benefits of pets to our lives, including through Mars Petcare’s own WALTHAM™ Centre for Pet Nutrition. A review of existing research - published in August in the American Educational Research Association Open (AERA Open) journal - includes details about how animals can reduce stress and anxiety, improve social interaction, and increase motivation and learning in schools.

Learning Mentor for the school, Lucy Robson said: “I’ve been bringing my dog Tula into the school with me since I started in May because she really helps with concentration and motivation. The programme from Mars Petcare goes a step further by showing the students how to care for pets as well as reminding us of how amazing owning a pet can be. Everyone had a really productive and enjoyable morning.” 

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