Low-maintenance pets are becoming very popular because they don’t take up too much space or require a lot of your time. Small pets are a good option if you want something that is easy to care for and doesn’t require much human interaction. If you have a family, small children are usually intrigued by small creatures.
Although the thought of getting a pet can be very enticing, it can also prove to be an extremely daunting task for many people or families.
Be realistic with yourself. Are you truly able to provide the time and energy required to own a pet? Maybe a pet that is easy to take care of is the best route for you.
Let’s dig into determining what the best low-maintenance pets are.
17 Easiest Pets to Take Care Of
This list contains no dogs, birds, cats as their maintenance and needs can be extremely complicated and intense.
However, there are definitely some pets that prove easier to care for than others.
African Dwarf Frog
This is a water-based amphibian that is easy to care for and a very popular choice as a pet. While a frog may not be your first pet choice it is one of the best low-maintenance pets.
Yes, you do need a suitable water tank to put them in but they can go without food for a few days. Of course, we always recommend having someone check in on them every day if possible.
Remember, that just because they live in water full time they are not a fish.
Do ants make good pets? Depends on how you look at it I suppose but they can be fascinating to watch and they are easy to take care of.
There are many ways to keep ants as pets but most people purchase what is called a formicarium. This is just another word for an ant farm.
How could a snake be one of the easiest to take care of pets?
Well, in this case, it is true because Ball Pythons are calm, docile, and like to be handled while requiring minimal care.
Ok, Brine Shrimp may not be your typical pet but they are easy pets to take care of and young children love to watch them.
You will need a small size saltwater tank for these interesting delicate creatures although some people keep them in a simple water bottle.
Bearded Dragons are exotic pets for sure but it is not really that hard to take care of them.
If you really want a reptile and have a few minutes to take care of them on a daily basis they can be an excellent choice for a low-maintenance pet.
Much like Ball Pythons, the Corn snake is calm and easy to care for.
Corn snakes also don’t get very big so they don’t require a lot of space.
In addition to being fairly easy to take care of, Hamsters are fun to have as a pet! You will need an appropriate cage, correct bedding, and a few toys to make your hamster happy.
Plus, daily feeding and giving them fresh water is required.
I know what you are thinking! How can a rat be a good pet? Well, don’t you think the Fancy Rat has a name like this for a reason?
Fancy Rats are actually very clean animals contrary to what you may first think.
These rats like self-cleaning and all you need to do to help them out is clean their cage bedding every few days.
They are also pretty fun pets as they like to be brushed and can actually learn simple commands and tricks!
Ok, we are kind of tricking you by having Hermit Crabs on our list of easiest to take care of pets.
One, we don’t really recommend you choose one of these creatures as a pet for many reasons. Two, they do require some knowledge on how to care for them to keep them healthy.
So why did we add them to the list? Because there is a common misconception that since they are ‘just’ a crab they will be low maintenance pets. Really, they are not so much.
Unlike the Hermit Crab, Garden Snails can make great and fascinating pets for the right person.
They are small and don’t need a large container and they are actually pretty entertaining to watch! Some say they even like to be petted and will be right at home sitting on your hand.
We will go into more detail below but the Guinea Pig is our number one choice as the easiest pet to take care of.
They are actually very popular pets as these cute little animals require little space only needing a small cage. These small mammals are also very social creatures so they make excellent pets.
Mice actually make good pets! Who knew! They have lots of energy, like to play, and are entertaining to watch.
Feeding them by hand is perfectly fine and some Fancy Mice owners say they like to be carried around in their front shirt pocket! Just don’t forget they are there!
If you are looking for a pet that can be left alone for a few days the Leopard Geckos fits the bill.
They don’t make noise, are fairly calm, like to be held, and are one of the most popular reptile pets for beginners.
Did I scare you by even suggesting this sinister creature as a pet to have in your home? Hope not as the Praying Mantis can be a wonderful pet with certain caveats.
A Praying Mantis will require live food. Live bugs that is. They can also bite although it won’t hurt you if they do. Just wash it right away.
But if you can put up with that they are intriguing creatures that owners claim to be smart, entertaining and actually social!
A Praying Mantis will generally only live about a year so there is no long-term commitment on your part.
Syrian Hamsters are very popular pets for a variety of reasons. They are fun to watch, play with, and after they get to know you can be held.
Keep in mind that, although rare, a hamster can bite you. Also, hamsters are nocturnal and sleep most of the day. So expect their playtime to start at sundown!
Did you know that Sea Monkeys are a hybrid of Brine Shrimp? Hmmm, who knew!
Being that we already recommend Brine Shrimp as possible low maintenance, entertaining pets, guess what? Yes, Sea Monkeys fit the bill as well!
Actually, because of their amazing looks (no, I don’t think they look like monkeys though) they may be one of the most entertaining creatures on this list.
Since they live in water (hence the name ‘Sea’ Monkey) you will need to have a nice aquarium and keep it clean and oxygenated for them.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Ummm, who doesn’t want a hissing cockroach as a pet? Actually, lots of people who like insects as pets do!
It is not as bad as it may sound. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach owners swear they make great pets and are actually fun to watch and hold in your hand!
Yes, they say that! And don’t worry about hurting them as these suckers are tough and durable.
Just make sure to get a 10 to 20-gallon tank to keep them in. And a good screen cover so they don’t accidentally get loose in your house! And yes, they do make a hissing sound!
Now that we have completed this amazing list, what is our number one choice for the easiest to take care of pet? Read on for the answer!
Honorable Mention Easy to Take Care of Pets
- Certain Fish (Goldfish, Gupies)
The Easiest Pet to Take Care Of
The Guinea Pig has proven to be the easiest pet to take care of.
Guinea Pig Facts
The Guinea Pig is a very fun animal to keep as a pet. Its scientific name is Cavia porcellus.
Guinea Pig Size
It is a herbivore and the average size for an adult is between eight and eleven inches.
Guinea Pig Lifespan
Its average life span is about eight years provided it is given proper care.
Guinea Pig Diet
It is a herbivore so its diet consists of vegetables.
They do not consume a lot of food as they are only little rodents. Their food can be obtained easily from local pet stores.
Guinea Pig Costs
You can usually purchase a Guinea Pig for between $15 and $40.
The average monthly cost of caring for a Guinea Pig is roughly between 40 and 65 dollars. The majority of that would go to purchasing fresh bedding.
Guinea Pig Care
They are also very easy to care for. They only require a cage with a suitable habitat area along with adequate ventilation, clean food, and water.
Guinea Pigs do not require as much attention as other pets such as dogs.
Guinea Pig Temperament
Thanks to its very affectionate and gentle nature, the Guinea pig is a very popular pet.
They respond well to soft and careful handling and are wonderful pets for children and adults.
Reasons Guinea Pigs are Great Pets
Guinea Pigs, also called “cavies,” are South American rodents (belonging to the family Caviidae) with short tails and long hair.
They are one of the most highly recommended beginner pets, especially for families. This is because they’re affectionate and easy to take care of.
7 Reasons Guinea Pigs are Good Pets
1. Guinea Pigs are healthy and rugged.
Guinea Pigs are generally very healthy animals, especially when they’re adequately cared for and fed properly.
Just like other pets, they can be vulnerable to certain diseases such as bladder stones and dental disease.
However, these conditions may be prevented to a high degree by ensuring regular medical checkups and proper nutrition.
Spending most of their time indoors, Guinea Pigs are not exposed to as many health hazards.
2. Guinea Pigs are generally easy to care for.
The only things they need each day are freshwater, fresh vegetables, hay, and fed them some small pellets formulated for Guinea Pigs together with a vitamin C supplement.
They also require a relatively large cage lined with paper-based bedding. The cage needs to be spot-cleaned every day and completely cleaned every week.
Throw in some daily attention and exercise and your Guinea Pig will be good to go!
It should be noted though that unless you want to end up with several other Guinea Pigs, you’ll have to provide males and females with different cages, even before they are a month old.
3. Guinea Pigs make a great family pet as they are good with children of all ages.
They are not as fragile as rabbits and are less skittish compared to smaller rodents like gerbils or hamsters.
Guinea Pigs can be awesome pets for kids of all ages. Remember, younger children should always be supervised around any pet.
4. Guinea Pigs longer lifespan.
Unlike most gerbils, hamsters, or rats which live for only two or three years, on average, the majority of Guinea Pigs have an average life span of seven to eight years. Some have even lived on into their teens.
This longer lifespan is an important factor that individuals and families should consider if they are thinking about keeping a Guinea Pig.
It is possible you need to be willing and ready to care for your pig even after the kids have grown up and moved out!
5. Guinea Pigs are each unique.
Some people don’t seem to realize this but Guinea Pigs have a lot of personality! Some Guinea Pigs are dominant and bold while others are shy.
The fact that two Guinea Pigs look the same doesn’t mean that they’ll act the same.
Before selecting one or more Guinea Pigs, interact with them in order to make sure that their personality meets your expectations.
If you’re going for a cuddly pet, a friendly, little Guinea Pig is your best bet.
6. Guinea Pigs purr.
When they are happy, pleased, or excited, Guinea Pigs make a soft yet audible vibrating sound. The purr tends to be louder and more frequent when they are gently petted.
Many people do not know about this adorable sound they make.
Apart from their purring, Guinea Pigs make a couple of other sounds such as “rumbling”, (which is a sound a male Guinea Pig makes when he is courting a female) “wheeking” (squealing), and teeth chattering (this usually happens when they are aggressive or angry).
7. Guinea Pigs like to pop and are fun pets.
“Popcorning” is a very peculiar behavior commonly displayed by young Guinea Pigs when they are excited or happy.
They leap up straight into the air again and again. Some of them simply run forward and backward very quickly.
Other pigs alternately kick out their front and back legs. Many of them also squeal simultaneously.
Popcorning is extremely fun to watch and it is a behavior unique to Guinea Pigs.
How to Care for Your Guinea Pig
Guinea Pigs need commitment and regular attention to ensure that they stay as happy and healthy as possible.
Guinea Pig Care Tips
While Guinea Pigs are not hard to take care of here are some ideas that will help you!
Guinea Pig Companionship
Guinea Pigs are at their most elated when they’re kept with other Guinea Pigs. Remember though, that if you keep males and females together they’d reproduce faster than you can imagine.
The best thing to do if you don’t want baby Guinea Pigs is to ensure that both animals are the same sex or that at least one gender has been desexed.
Do not keep rabbits with your Guinea Pigs. They may fight for food too often and the rabbits might bully the Guinea Pig. Get separate cages for them.
Guinea Pig Food
Guinea Pigs live on a herbivorous diet. Therefore, in order to keep them happy and healthy, they need the following.
A. Leafy green vegetables on a daily basis.
Small amounts of cabbage, celery, broccoli, endives, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, other Asian greens, and varieties of dark-leafed lettuce are good.
They should also be fed fresh herbs every day. This includes coriander, basil, dill, mint, dandelion, and parsley. Make sure that you only give them carrot tops as an occasional treat.
B. A steady supply of good, fresh grass.
Grass hay, such as Pasture, Wheaten hays, Meadow, Ryegrass, Oaten, or Timothy. Among other things, this diet is important for wearing down their continuously growing teeth.
C. High-grade Guinea Pig pellets in small quantities.
They should have a fiber content of 16 percent at a minimum.
D. Small amounts of kiwi and citrus fruits to serve as a daily source of vitamin C.
E. Clean, fresh water, supplied constantly.
What NOT to Feed a Guinea Pig
Ensure that you do not feed your Guinea Pig the following:
- Clover or Lucerne (Alfalfa) Hay
- Garden shrubs
- Lily of the Valley
- Onion Grass
- Potato Tops
- Raw Beans
- Rhubarb Leaves
- Spinach Leaves
Guinea Pig Habitat
Guinea Pigs require a large space for their exercise. The bigger the space, the better. Ensure that your pig exercises every day in relatively large grassy areas.
Check to make sure that the area is free and safe from predators.
You could also provide your Guinea Pig with overturned boxes to hide in. Also, a chewing log made of untreated wood in order to wear down its teeth works well.
Guinea Pig Cage
Your Guinea Pig’s enclosure should be at least three feet (one meter) by two feet (0.7 meters). The height should also be at least two feet tall.
If you own two pigs, those dimensions will need to be doubled. In that case, they will need their own, separate sleeping areas, which must be covered.
You must ensure that you fly-proof the enclosure by using mosquito netting or a flyscreen wire. This will greatly help to reduce the risk of flystrike (dangers of flystrike are discussed below).
Line the hutch using soft grass hay and newspaper in order to provide proper cushioning for your pig and to prevent foot injuries.
Remember that your Guinea Pig needs a soft, clean, dry surface at all times. Otherwise, they can quickly develop serious foot problems.
Clean the enclosure on a regular basis. Clean the bedding when necessary but usually once a day.
guinea pig temperature
Make sure the hutch is kept in a sheltered, well-ventilated area. The temperature should be between 64 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (18-26°C).
The enclosure should be protected from strong winds and direct sunlight. Your Guinea Pig needs constant access to adequate shade since they prefer cooler temperatures.
Guinea Pig Grooming
Daily grooming is necessary especially for Guinea Pigs with long hair as it ensures that their coats are maintained and in good condition.
Regular gentle handling will also help to build confidence, and encourage it to become sociable and friendly with you.
Another important aspect of grooming is checking the length of your Guinea Pig’s toenails and teeth. Get your veterinarian to trim them if you notice that they’re too long.
Guinea Pig Health Issues
Practicing proper cleaning and feeding will help prevent a lot of common health problems in your guinea pig such as skin problems and respiratory infections.
Flystrike in Guinea Pigs
It is important to cover your Guinea Pig’s hutch with a flyscreen. Together with cleaning its hutch regularly, doing this will help prevent flystrike.
Long-haired Guinea Pigs are particularly at risk of this condition, and it can be fatal if not treated properly.
treating flystrike in guinea pigs
The best treatment for flystrike is preventing it in the first place. A little attention and care can accomplish this.
Once your Guinea Pig has flystrike, treatment will vary based on the severity of the case. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect flystrike.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?
Like most pets, Guinea Pigs are in danger of getting fleas. Discuss with your veterinarian about flea treatment if necessary.
Your pig may also suffer from mite infestations and which can cause itchiness, immense discomfort, and hair loss.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Ringworm?
Yes, Guinea Pigs can get ringworm! If you notice that your Guinea Pig has developed bald patches, this could be a sign of the fungal disease ringworm.
In such a situation, it is essential to seek help from a veterinarian immediately.
Related Guinea Pig Questions
Is It Illegal to Own a Guinea Pig?
Be sure to check the laws of your home state or country before buying a Guinea Pig for a pet.
In some countries, it is actually illegal to buy a single Guinea Pig. You have to buy them in pairs.
This is because Guinea Pigs do better physically and mentally when they are in the company of another Guinea Pig.
Best Guinea Pig Names
One of the first things people think about when they get a new pet is what to name them! Here is a short list of the most popular Guinea Pig names.
- Miss Piggy
Guinea Pigs are smart, sociable animals. Keep in mind that they can express depression-like symptoms.
This usually causes inactivity (or reduced activity) which leads to a loss of appetite if you fail to bond with them appropriately.
Guinea Pigs are maybe the easiest pets to take care of (my opinion). You just have to make sure you interact and bond with them several times a day.