Office Pet Pros and Cons: Best Critters to Keep at Work

Choosing an office pet can be difficult and learning your co-workers' thoughts could make a huge impact on your choice.

Published May 18, 2023

Office pets can be a great way to bring some life and fun into your workspace. Having a pet around while you work can help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive. Cute critters around the office don't just entertain employees; they can make customers feel more welcome, too.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Office Pets

Keeping pets at work can be a great thing, but there's a lot to keep in mind before you decide to bring a critter to work. You need to make sure your workplace allows the type of pet you want, and that your coworkers don't mind. Make sure you tell them the details, too, because some pets smell or can make noise (though all the pets on this list are quiet, with minimal odor).

Pros: Office pets boost morale, improve company culture, encourage taking breaks, and can even become like mascots for your workplace.

Cons: Pets can be distracting, require upkeep, insight allergies, and can give off an odor. However, if you pick the right pet, you can reduce or even eliminate many of these negatives.

Leopard Gecko

Leopard Geckos are a popular pet for reptile enthusiasts, but they are also the perfect reptile for an office environment. They are relatively easy to care for and can be incredibly entertaining. The drawback is that they're mostly active at night, so unless you work a night shift, you may only see them for a few minutes during the day. Also, you may want to look into feeding small dubia roaches instead of crickets, because everyone knows crickets cause a racket.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Easy to maintain their habitat, beautiful coloration, entertaining when active
  • Cons: Noctural, not cuddly, eats live food

Syrian Hamster

Syrian hamsters are a popular pet choice for many people, so it is no surprise that they also make great office pets. With their low-key nature, hamsters are a good choice for those who want to bring an animal into the office without making too much of a fuss. They enjoy being handled by humans and playing with you, but they do not need excessive amounts of attention or interaction. Just be sure you can accommodate their care when you're out of the office over the weekends or on vacation.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Cute animal for the workplace, enjoy playing, docile hamster type
  • Cons: Need to clean habitat regularly, may bite

Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs are a popular choice for office pets because of their low-maintenance and hardy nature. They're quiet, non-disruptive, and small enough to fit in a common area. However, they do have special care requirements, like needing shells to switch into, and having two bowls in their setup, one filled with freshwater to drink and another filled with saltwater to bathe in.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Low-maintenance, entertaining to watch switch shells, quiet
  • Cons: Require up to a 10-year commitment, can pinch, require special care

Stick Insect

Stick insects are fascinating creatures that tend to blend into their environment. In fact, they blend in so well and are so quiet, you won't even know they're there unless you're searching for them. They're low-maintenance and also serve as an excellent conversation starter in the workplace.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Easy to care for, fascinating to share with others, quiet
  • Cons: Not overly active, can be difficult to find in their habitat, must be held delicately to avoid injury


You might be thinking, that's too scary for the office. But Tarantulas are actually pretty low-key and aren't likely to bother anyone. They're typically quiet and remain in their habitat, making them non-disruptive in a work environment. Observing their unique behaviors, such as web-spinning or molting, can provide an interesting diversion during the workday. However, it's crucial to note that tarantulas are not pets to be handled frequently, as they can become stressed and may bite or release irritating hairs as a defense mechanism.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Intriguing office pets, fun to watch, easy to care for once you know how
  • Cons: Coworkers may be afraid of spiders, require special care, shouldn't be handled


Anoles are active during the day, making them fascinating pets to keep in the office. These small lizards are relatively low-maintenance, requiring a diet primarily of live insects such as crickets and mealworms. However, it's important to learn about their care requirements prior to bringing them to the office.

Need to Know
  • Pros: Quiet, fascinating, change color similar to a chameleon
  • Cons: Eat live insects, require special lighting and humidity conditions, don't enjoy being held

Betta Fish

Betta fish are one of the most popular aquarium pets, and for good reason. They're super hardy and easy to care for. Plus, they make very beautiful additions to your office environment. However, contrary to popular belief, they should not be housed in a small bowl or vase. Instead, you need to provide a 5-gallon aquarium for them, at minimum. Fortunately, this is still small enough to fit on most office desks, and otherwise, their care is still very minimal (plus, they typically don't smell).

Need to Know
  • Pros: Captivating colors, easy to maintain once set up, can be enjoyed by all office staff
  • Cons: Can't be held, require special care, can have few tankmates

Should You Get an Office Pet?

The most important thing to remember is, an office pet is still a pet. You need to be ready for all the eventualities, including regular cleaning and upkeep. You also need to know how you'll transport your pet if you need to remove it from your workplace, and who can watch your pet for you if you need to be away for a while. Choosing the right pet - like one of the low-maintenance options on this list - is a good start. With a little planning and a conversation with your boss and coworkers about what they're comfortable with, you'll find a great pet that can liven up your office routine.

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Office Pet Pros and Cons: Best Critters to Keep at Work