Fact checked by Dr. Antoinette Martin, DVM
Whether you have a busy schedule that does not offer the flexibility to look after a demanding pet, or you simply prefer the company of a pet that is easy to take care of, there are plenty of low-maintenance pets to choose from.
To help you find the perfect companion for your lifestyle, we are counting down the top 10 easiest pets to take care of!
The Top 10 Low-maintenance Pets
Turtles have almost become the cliche for a slow-moving and calm animal. While certain breeds require more work than others, as long as you have an appropriate terrarium and feed your turtle a healthy diet, it will most likely live a happy and healthy life without requiring much effort on your end.
Just make sure you do your research on the different breeds, as some will grow much larger than others, which could mean you would have to have more space. Remember, you will also need to clean your turtle’s tanks; however, if you are cleaning and replacing the filter on time, you can usually get away with only cleaning the tank once per week.
Aside from occasionally replacing the water and keeping the terrarium clean, you only really need to feed your adult turtle about four-to-five times per week.
Just like a turtle, a tortoise is a low-maintenance pet that is more than happy to be left alone for long stretches of time. As long as you are feeding your tortoise a healthy diet and you give it space to roam, you do not have to do much to keep your shelled friend happy.
Many tortoise owners will bring their pet outside on warm days so it can explore a new environment. Luckily, tortoises are quite slow, so taking your tortoise outside is a fairly relaxed experience.
Just do your research and find a breed that is easy to look after, like a Greek or Russian Tortoise. It is also worth noting that tortoises have a long average lifespan, so even though they are fairly low maintenance, they are still a big commitment.
3. Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos are popular with first-time pet owners and those looking for a low-maintenance companion. They only require about a 15-to-20-gallon tank and have a fairly simple diet and relaxed eating schedule. As long as you provide your leopard gecko with a heated area, cool area, and a place to sleep, it will do well on its own or even with the company of another leopard gecko.
4. Betta Fish
Betta fish are known for being one of the most low-maintenance species of fish out there. They just need a bowl or tank, clean water, and food. These beautiful fish do well on their own and make excellent pets for those who do not have the time to commit to maintaining a full-sized saltwater or freshwater fish tank.
5. Bearded Dragons
Like the leopard gecko, a bearded dragon is a relatively small lizard that makes for an excellent low-maintenance pet. While its enclosure requirements are quite different, bearded dragons are well-tempered, easy pets.
As long as their tank has the appropriate heating and lighting requirements, a bearded dragon will be happy with occasional feedings of live insects, fruits, and vegetables. Some people will even take their pet bearded dragons outside on hot days.
6. Guinea Pigs
These small, fluffy, and friendly little creatures are a fantastic low-maintenance option for pet owners of all ages. As long as they are provided with fresh hay, a roomy cage, bedding, food, and water, guinea pigs can be left alone while you are at work. When you get home, these surprisingly social creatures are happy to scurry around the carpet or snuggle up.
Just like dogs, there are plenty of unique guinea pig breeds, so be sure to choose a short-haired breed, as it requires less work.
7. Hermit Crabs
Hermit crabs are a fun alternative to fish and turtles. They are also about as low maintenance as it gets. Aside from needing pellet foods two or three times per week, hermit crabs are happy to be left alone in their sandy tanks. Best of all, you only need to replace the sand a few times per year.
These interesting little creatures will even nibble on certain food scraps, like apple peels, carrot greens, kale stems, and more!
There is a reason why hamsters are such a popular choice for first-time pet owners and children. These cute little creatures can be left alone for long periods of time and do not require a significant amount of supervision. As long as they are provided with bedding, a food dish, a water bottle, and some tunnels and hutches to explore, they can live happy and healthy lives.
Guppies are an excellent choice for anyone that is looking for a low-maintenance aquarium fish. They are incredibly easy to keep alive and do well with tank-mates. Just keep their tank clean and provide them with the right amount of food and they can be left to their own devices.
These peaceful fish can be found in a wide range of colors, patterns, and tail shapes, so even if you only raise guppies, you can have an exciting-looking freshwater fish tank that requires very little work.
While it may seem like an obvious choice for a pet, adopting a cat can be a great way to add a low-maintenance companion into your life.
While they certainly require more attention than a hermit crab, cats are independent creatures that are usually quite happy if they are provided with the correct food and a clean litter box. Coming home from a long day at work and snuggling up to a furry feline might just turn into one of your favorite activities.
Just be sure to book an online vet appointment for your cat’s annual checkup and you are well on your way to having a happy and healthy cat.
With so many different types of pets to choose from, a busy schedule does not have to be the reason why you exclude yourself from the fun and companionship a pet can provide. If you have any questions about how to care for any type of low-maintenance pet, our virtual vets would be happy to help.
As always, our Hello Ralphie online vets are here to help you find the perfect pet!