Sharing your life with a pet has so many mental and even physical health benefits. But if you're a busy person, it can be difficult to find a pet to fit your lifestyle. Dogs need daily walks, parrots need tons of interaction, and some small mammal pets have very intricate diets. Don't worry, because we found the 10 best pets that are incredibly low-maintenance. Bring home one of these cuties if you're looking for a pet that's both cool and easy to care for.
Axolotls, sometimes called "walking fish," are adorable aquatic salamanders that make incredibly entertaining and low-maintenance pets. Because they need to live in cooler water, keeping their water temperature within the correct parameters - 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit - can be a challenge in warm climates or during the summer months. However, with the right equipment, you won't have to do much to keep your smiley axolotl happy.
- Axolotls do not tolerate handling, so they're not cuddly pets.
- It can take some effort to maintain their ideal water temperature.
- They only need to eat every few days.
Parakeets are the most popular pet bird around, and one of the reasons is that they don't require a ton of effort. These petite birds are friendly, smart, and can learn a variety of tricks. Many can even learn to talk! Due to their social nature, you'll need to get at least two parakeets so they have company.
- Parakeets are affectionate birds who become bonded to their owners and cage mates.
- They require a large cage with plenty of vertical space.
- These birds can live 15 years or more.
8. Greek Tortoise
Tortoises are fairly easy to care for, unlike their messy cousins, turtles. Greek tortoises stay small at only 8 inches long, plus they're docile, mellow, and friendly little guys. Despite their small size, you will need to get a spacious enclosure for your Greek tortoise (at least 3 by 6 feet).
- These tortoises have a lifespan of 50+ years.
- Unlike many other tortoise species, Greek tortoises stay small.
- They need to be fed a diet of fresh vegetables daily.
7. Guinea Pig
Are you looking for a furry, cuddling pet that's also low maintenance? A Guinea pig is a great choice. Guinea pigs are hardy rodents that do well with children and families. However, they need to be handled regularly in order to keep them docile and tame. A solo Guinea pig will need more attention than those kept in pairs or groups, so you may want to consider multiple pigs so they always have a buddy.
- Guinea pigs need supervised time out of their enclosure to run around and play.
- If you keep a male and female Guinea pig together, you could become a grandparent!
- These pets need fresh food and their cage cleaned daily.
6. Corn Snake
Some snakes are high-maintenance, but not the corn snake. Corn snakes stay fairly small compared to many other snake species and make calm pets. They don't take up much room, though they need at least a 40-gallon tank in order to thrive. You will need a temperature-controlled terrarium with a heat bulb, thermometer, and lighting, but once you have the ideal environment set up, it's smooth sailing. As a bonus, you only need to feed these critters once every week or two.
- Corn snakes are small relative to make other snakes, but they can reach 3 to 5 feet long.
- These snakes must be fed mice, so they're not ideal if you're squeamish.
- If the enclosure isn't secure, your new pet could escape.
5. Crested Gecko
Crested geckos are another fascinating and low-maintenance pet. These small lizards can be found in plenty of attractive patterns and colors. Their most distinguishing feature is their "eyelashes," which are pronounced spines above their eyes. The crested gecko's solitary nature means they're best kept alone, and they can thrive in a smaller environment, like a 20-gallon tank. Just know they are nocturnal, so you won't see much activity in their enclosure during the day.
- Crested geckos need a temperature and humidity-controlled environment.
- They need calcium supplements sprinkled on their food.
- Cresteds are friendly and a great choice for beginners.
4. Betta Fish
Maintaining a large, complex fish tank can take a lot of work. If you're looking for a very low-maintenance fish, consider a betta. Bettas are gorgeous fish that don't need much to be happy. However, contrary to popular belief, these fish cannot be kept in a fishbowl or plant vase. A filtration system can keep their water clean, and they don't need a lot of equipment to be happy.
- Bettas are known as "Siamese fighting fish" because they will fight, so house male bettas separately.
- Keep a betta in a tank that's at least 5 gallons or larger.
- You can choose from dozens of gorgeous colors and tail patterns.
3. White’s Tree Frog
Frogs are great beginner pets, and the White's tree frog is a favorite for many reasons. This frog species is absolutely adorable and very low maintenance. White's tree frogs are pretty hardy animals, though they do have a few habitat requirements. They need to be housed in high humidity, so you'll need to regularly mist their enclosure and monitor the humidity level with a hygrometer. Your new friend won't mind if you handle them, but be careful because they do have delicate bodies and can carry Salmonella.
- The White's tree frog is a good choice as a classroom pet.
- These cute frogs can live to be over 16 years old.
- Tree frogs aren't necessarily quiet pets because they can make croaking sounds during mating season.
Who doesn't love hamsters? These pocket pets don't need much to thrive besides a clean cage, balanced diet, and entertaining toys. Of course, most are also friendly and will tolerate handling, although they typically aren't huge fans of being held. Hamsters do well when kept alone in their cage.
- Hamsters need their cage spot-cleaned daily and deep-cleaning every week.
- Most are docile and tolerate handling.
- Hamsters are fairly short-lived pets and typically live for 1 to 3 years.
Canaries are excellent pets for busy families or anyone who needs a pet that's easy to care for. You might be familiar with canaries because of their melodic songs, and that's one of the reasons many people love them. These small yellow birds are territorial and prefer to keep to themselves, so you'll need to house them alone.
- Canaries need horizontal space in their cage for flying.
- If you'd like more than one low-maintenance bird, consider getting a group of finches, which are the cousins of the canary.
- These birds don't like to be touched or handled.
All Pets Need Love and Attention
Even those these pets are easier to keep, they still need regular care. Make sure to read up on the husbandry requirements for any species you plan to keep. Your dedication and care mean your new pet will live a fulfilling life of love that you get to share together.