An orange Betta Fish, which makes a great, low-maintenance pet.

The Perfect Low-Maintenance Pets

Cyd Ross is a founding member of an organization dedicated to rescuing livestock and pets from evacuation zones. Ranch life has given her experience with most animals, but her focus is on training horses and dogs. Cyd loves competing in endurance events of 50 – 100 miles with her Arabians.

There will come a day in your life when you will realize it’s time. Maybe you’ll see someone out in the street that makes your heart stop. Maybe a friend will take the plunge and you’ll see how much fun it can be. Maybe you’ll simply want someone to cuddle with on the couch. Whatever the reason, the answer is the same:

It’s time to get a pet.

Of course, getting a pet isn’t always as easy as it seems. Pets of any kind can be a lot of responsibility, and in today’s fast-paced, busy world, many of us simply can’t put extra responsibilities on our plates. If your life is extremely busy (or even if you just prefer things low-maintenance), it may seem like pet parenthood simply isn’t in the cards for you.

Well, don’t worry! While all pets represent a commitment, there are plenty of popular animals that even pet parents without an abundance of time, money, and know-how can care for with ease. Here are some of the best pet options for people who want something a little low-key.


Just a boy and his pet snake.

You might think a snake seems like a scary choice for a pet. Those who can face their fears, however, know snakes are some of the lowest maintenance pets around. If you have a tank, some foliage, and aren’t squeamish around mice, you’re already the perfect snake parent!

Snakes don’t need much to be content and healthy. They only eat every few weeks (though it is important to note that younger snakes can eat up to twice a week, so check with your vet), and their tanks only require a thorough cleaning once a month, with minor spot cleanings in between.

Snakes can even offer some of those same “cuddles” we all love getting from furrier pets. As cold-blooded creatures, snakes often crave something warm to lay on and rest — and we humans offer a perfect perch for them! If you want a pet that requires minimal care and its fair share of “cuddly” benefits, you’ve found the one right here!


We’ve all heard the phrase a million times (probably since we were children): a dog is a big responsibility. This can be true, but believe it or not, it is possible to find the right dog breed for your lifestyle. Even big dogs don’t always necessitate making a big commitment.

For example, if you are looking for a low-maintenance dog that suits your style, you might want to consider a gentle giant like a Mastiff, Wolfhound, or Greyhound. These dogs tend to be docile, sweet, and major couch potatoes — which is a huge benefit if you want a cuddle buddy for movie night! Lean Greyhounds are a particularly great choice for first-time pet parents trying to manage pet care without much square footage in their homes.

Remember, while these dogs might be low-maintenance to care for, they are NOT cheap. For example, Mastiffs require 6 to 8 cups of dry food per day! If you’re looking to make one of these sweet dogs a member of your household, make sure you’re aware of the costs involved with keeping them fed and healthy. Also, make sure to do some research for pet care tips to help you tend to your new companion with confidence!

Guinea Pigs

A pair of adorable guinea pigs.

Let’s say you want a pet that’s the best of three worlds: cuddly like a cat, excitable like a dog, and easy to care for like a snake. If that sounds like you, a guinea pig could make the ideal companion.

Guinea pigs don’t need much to stay healthy — just a clean cage, some shavings to play in, and enough food and water. Though they’re not a big investment, they do have big personalities; guinea pigs are even known for “popcorning” (an adorable phenomenon where they jump into the air from excitement)!

Guinea pig cages do need to be cleaned about once a week, but the process is so quick and easy that this one responsibility will feel like nothing at all. Best of all, playing with a guinea pig is so much fun! You’ll easily fall in love with your little guy’s unique personality.


Fish are considered the ultimate in low-maintenance pets and with good reason. These animals require very little care to be happy in your home. In fact, once you have a proper fish tank and the appropriate type of fish food, you’re basically ready to be the ultimate pet parent!

Admittedly, setting up your fish’s tank does require a little time and investment. Your tank should be decked out with live aquarium plants, a proper filter, a heater, and several other tools to create the ideal environment for your fish. Once you’ve got all that gear, however, you’ll be ready to enjoy these beautiful creatures with almost no maintenance (minus a good tank cleaning every six months)!

If you do decide that fish are the right pet for you, keep in mind that some fish are more high-maintenance than others. Make sure that you’re aware of the needs for your specific type of fish — and don’t start with a puffer if you don’t know what you’re doing! Look for common beginner fish (guppies, bettas, angelfish) and you’ll be able to start your aquarium much more easily.

Whether you want a pet that suits your busy lifestyle, an “easy” pet for young kids, or simply an animal as chill as you are, these pets are the perfect companions to fill your heart with love — without requiring too much effort.