Whether you’re at home or work, chances are the tasks keep piling up. We live busy, fast-paced lives, and looking after a pet that needs lots of daily attention is near impossible, even for the biggest animal lovers out there. That’s why more and more people are looking into low maintenance pets as a potential solution.
Are you interested in sharing your life with an animal that’s independent and loving? If yes, then you’re in the right place. All of the pets below require little attention and will always be there to keep you company after a long workday.
Low Maintenance Pets
Let’s find the perfect pet that would suit your lifestyle. Whether you’re a fan of reptiles or marine animals, our list of low maintenance pets will guide you to your future animal friend.
1. Hermit Crabs
Possibly one of the tiniest easy pets to take care of, Hermit crabs can reach 6 inches (15.24cm) and live up to 10 years. They’re usually very curious and exciting animal companions. Hermit crabs need a five-gallon terrarium that’s lined with two to three inches of washed aquarium gravel or fine reptile bark bedding. As they grow, you’ll have to get them a larger shell. Their diet mainly consists of small pellets or powder food, which you can find at any local pet shop for the price of $23.75 a month.
2. Betta Fish
Fish are the perfect example for low maintenance aquarium pets. Betta fish even more so. They require little attention and need feeding only once a day. Plus, you can get an automatic feeder. What’s more, you have to change only 15% of their water to keep it clean enough, and their food costs max $40 a month. Vets recommend keeping these pets in a 5-gallon tank due to their small size. Betta fish should also have the option to breathe from the surface of the water. If you care for them properly, they can live up to 5 years.
Since they’re small and don’t require any walks, sails are very easy pets to keep. And they’ll be the happiest if you get them at least one more friend for company. All snails need a suitable terrarium with 1–2 inches (2.5–5cm) of soil. Don’t use garden earth as it can contain harmful chemicals for snails. They’ll be fine on a diet of small bits of apples, carrots, eggshells, and the occasional cuttlefish bone for shell strength. While most live 2–5 years in the wild, pet snails can keep you company up to 10 years.
4. Praying Mantises
These incredibly delicate creatures come in many colors and sizes. They’re also great small, low maintenance pets, and if you’re getting more than one, you should keep them separate. Also, some types are docile, while others can be louder and more hostile. They live only a year, preferably in a tank that’s at least twice as wide and three times as tall as them. Praying Mantises like to feed on small flies, moths, and you can add the occasional cricket if they’re bigger. They’re among the animals that are easy to take care of, but they won’t keep you company for a long time.
Slow but cute and lots of fun to be around, turtles are among the most excellent examples of low maintenance pets. You’ll need to feed them up to 4 times a week, and it doesn’t have to be every day. They like to eat insects, leafy greens, and fish, which is about $30 a month. Turtles need fresh 23.8–30⁰C (75–86⁰ F) water and can live up to 30 years. They can be very low care pets but don’t take a wild turtle as an animal companion. It won’t do well in captivity. Also, keep in mind that while some turtles remain small, others will spring up like mushrooms.
Frogs are easy-maintenance pets that don’t require much attention. They enjoy mostly bloodworms, brine shrimp, and frozen Mysis shrimp. Besides feeding them one to two times a day, you need to give them as much food as they can eat in three minutes. African Dwarf Frogs for example live around 15 years. They spend their time in a 10+ gallon aquarium, which you need to check once a week and clean every four to five weeks. Also, they get along with Betta Fish, so consider adding these low maintenance office pets to your workstation.
No bird is a low-maintenance bird, but Cockatiels and Budgies come pretty close. Their fun, colorful look makes them great pets for a bird-loving owner. Cockatiels like their space, so they’ll feel better in a larger cage with some toys to keep them entertained. They’re less demanding than other birds, but it’s still a good idea to play with them. Plus, the food will only cost you $30 a month, and you’ll have no trouble taking care of this intelligent yet surprisingly quiet bird. With a lifespan of up to 14 years, you’re looking at the perfect low maintenance exotic pets for your household. Cockatiels can even mimic human speech, but you’ll have a hard time understanding them.
8. Leopard Geckos
These small lizards come in white, yellow and spotted variants and are fascinating to watch. They move slowly and aren’t likely to bite you. Besides the turtles, Leopard Geckos are also among the low maintenance pets with the longest life spans. They live up to 20 years and eat mostly crickets, wax worms, and mealworms. Taking care of these pets will cost around $20 a month. Leopard Geckos will be more than content in a 15–20 gallon tank. Those usually fit a few of them so they can keep each other company.
When it comes to monthly costs, these tiny creatures beat even Guinea Pigs, and that’s why they’re popular among the cheapest pets. The monthly cost for a hamster’s well-being is merely $10, excluding water, a cage and a wheel to burn off some extra calories. Keep in mind that there are five common species of hamsters that have some different needs. That said, their tiny size and low food intake make them the perfect pets that require little care, and you can even let your younger children look after them. Sadly, they live up to just three years on average.
Here’s another idea that might scare people off. Scorpions are very low maintenance pets that don’t require any unique treatment. But they naturally live in hot places like deserts, so you have to keep their tank at a temperature of 80–90⁰ F (27–32⁰C). Scorpions like their diet full of crickets, small mealworms, and wax worms and you only have to feed them once every other day. They don’t grow too big and reach up to 8 inches (20.32 cm). Depending on their nature and how well you look after them, they can live anywhere between 2–6 years.
11. Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are incredibly fluffy and affectionate. They adore social interactions and are the perfect low maintenance pets that like to cuddle. These furballs don’t require a special diet, except for available hay 24/7 and the occasional vegetable thrown into the mix. Guinea Pigs usually live between 4–8 years, and the average monthly cost for them adds up to $14. They’re among the fluffiest, easiest pets to take care of. Plus, they’re a good option for families with children. But before you rush to the pet store, check if you can adopt them from a local shelter.
Bunnies are fluffy and naturally curious creatures, so they get pretty excited when something new happens. So, these medium-sized furballs are also fun, low maintenance pets. Feeding and playtime are a breeze and don’t require much of your attention. Some hay and stale bread with the occasional carrot or apple will keep them well-nourished. Still, you should put their housing area somewhere they can interact with you, as rabbits are very social animals. Overall, taking care of these furry pals will cost you around $40, including food and toys. Bunnies could keep you company for about nine years and are undoubtedly among the cheap, low maintenance pets.
They may hate sunlight, but tarantulas make great low maintenance pets for apartments. They’re quiet and won’t need much from you. If you’re thinking of getting a tarantula, do your research and pick a species that moves slowly, so it will be easier to handle them. You should keep them in the dark part of your room and get a large enough terrarium, so they can roam around and feed on their prey. Their menu is cheap and consists of crickets, mealworms, super worms, and roaches. Tarantulas have a lifespan of up to 7 years and don’t like to be touched much.
If you’re looking for a pet that will shock everyone but it’s easy to look after, a snake might be a perfect choice. The California Kingsnake is an excellent example of low maintenance reptile pets. Just like Leopard Geckos and turtles, it has an average lifespan of about 20–30 years. That said, their food income is a bit more complicated since they mostly eat rodents. The good news is you only have to feed them once every ten days. But we don’t recommend them for first-time pet owners. Snakes need to live in a particular environment, and even the best ones don’t come close to what they have in their natural habitat.
Chinchillas take a high place on the affordable pet list. Aside from being one of the cutest low maintenance pets with soft, dense fur, it’s also one of the shyest. Chinchillas prefer less physical contact and like to dwell in their cages quietly doing their own thing. But they’re also quite athletic, and some can jump over six feet. These furry buddies need specific food, but you can easily find it at any local pet shop for $10. Their lifespan reaches up to 10 years, making them the most independent and easy pets to own.
Remember that even if you get one of the easy pets to take care of, you make a commitment and should provide them with a proper environment.
For those with a taste for the wilderness, the California Kingsnake and its exotic colors might be a good fit that’s easy to keep. But if you have a young kiddo that keeps begging for a pet, a fluffy and cuddly Guinea Pig won’t be much trouble. Finally, if you’re a sea lover, Betta fish will dazzle you with colors.
We didn’t mention any dogs on this list but there are some incredibly easy breeds to look after.
So, which one of these low maintenance pets suits your lifestyle?