Having a pet can be one of the most important things in a child’s life. But for a busy family, it’s important to find low maintenance pets that will fit into your lifestyle.
There are countless studies that prove just how beneficial pets can be to both kids and their mums. From teaching responsibility to learning empathy, pets can truly be a child’s best friend.
However, a dog or a cat might not be the right choice for your family right now. They’re a lot of responsibility, can be expensive, they are certainly not low maintenance pets and it’s hard to give them the life they deserve if you live in a small space.
Luckily, there are other options that your child should be able to care for (almost) all by themselves. And many of these pets provide similar benefits for children as dogs and cats do.
If you’re looking for fun, lower-cost, low maintenance pets for your child, here are our top five choices for you to consider.
1. Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pigs are cute and small. This means they can fit into a relatively cosy habitat, so he won’t take up too much space in your home. In fact, your child could probably keep the guinea pig right on their dresser.
Guinea Pigs typically live comfortably and play in their cage all day. All the child needs to do is feed their pet and clean the cage about once a week.
Just be careful if your child likes to take the guinea pig out of the cage to play with it. The guinea pig will likely try to run away, and you don’t want a loose guinea pig running around your house.
You should be able to find these low maintenance pets at most pet stores and they don’t cost that much either.
Frogs are cute and can be found just about anywhere. Your child may be able to find their own frog pet while playing around outside!
Once they catch a frog, they can create a habitat for the frog and care for them. You can create a good life for a frog in a small tank. Plus, you can feed your frog different insects you find outside.
You may choose to keep the frog outside in case they escape. Luckily, you’ll be able to find another frog quite easily if that happens. You can also find a frog and all the necessary food at your local pet store.
Fish are the perfect starter pet. They are also very low maintenance pets. All you need is a small fish tank with a couple of accessories, fish food, and a fish.
All the child has to remember to do is feed the fish every day and clean the tank from time to time. You can help your child clean the tank if they are too young or if you have a more complicated setup with filters and other considerations.
The fish won’t be able to escape easily (although it’s amazing what kids end up doing), and the pet is easily replaceable in the case of an accident. Your child will get to enjoy watching their water-dwelling friend live in their home with little responsibility for them.
If your child does well taking care of the fish, you may be able to move up to additional fish, a larger tank, exotic fish, or turtles. Just be aware that things like tank maintenance are much more important for fish than some of the other creatures on this list.
There’s something magical about watching birds. They are colourful, free, and vocal. It’s nice to bring that energy into your home.
The good news is that birds are particularly low maintenance pets and don’t require all that much care, either. They just need a cage, food, water, and some space.
Surprisingly, birds can also be quite affectionate. They may even bond with the child and become friendly.
The best bird breeds for children include:
The right breed of bird can make a big difference since some birds require a lot of space to fly and could get sad stuck in a cage.
Hear me out. Some kids like the creepy and crawly things in the world. Don’t deny them what they enjoy! Most pet snakes are harmless. Plus, they’re low maintenance pets and it’s easy to care for them. You keep them in a secure tank with a heat lamp. Every now and then, you feed them.
They are usually quite relaxed until feeling time. Watching your snake eat will become a fun family pastime after a while. The child will also learn what snakes are dangerous and which ones aren’t, which can help them when they encounter snakes in the wild. You may even grow to enjoy having the snake around as well!
If you aren’t so keen on snakes, consider getting a small lizard. A small lizard may be more energetic, but it will eat more manageable food and isn’t as intimidating.
There are a number of options available for the child who enjoys animals but isn’t ready to care for a cat or a dog. Some of the best options include small rodents, amphibians, birds, fish, and reptiles. You’re ideally looking for a pet that isn’t known for lasting too long, and you also want a pet that isn’t too large.
Your child will learn responsibility by caring for this animal. They will need to feed it and clean up after it. As they mature, they may grow more responsible. Soon, they may be able to care for a larger pet when the time comes.
What do you think are the most low maintenance pets? Tell us in the comments below.