10 Best Low Maintenance Pets For Apartments
If you are someone who loves their pets but live in an apartment, you probably know by now that most pets are not really suitable for such smaller spaces. You don’t have a yard or a lawn. Heck, you might not even have a proper balcony. Some pets are too large, some are too high-maintenance, some too active, and the list goes on and on. Which brings us nicely to our article. Today we talk about the best low maintenance pets for apartments that money can buy.
So what is it that makes an animal one of the best pets for apartments. There are a number of factors to consider, from their size to their dwelling habits. Low maintenance pets for apartments have to be exactly that, low maintenance. You probably have limited space and limited time. You want companionship but you can’t really go about spending all your money and time on it.
Then there is the matter of apartment rules to consider. Many apartment buildings do not allow pets. Most of these prohibitions pertain to dogs and larger pets, and you should be fine with small pets that are easy to take care of. In any case, it is always better to take a look at your lease or talk to your lessor before deciding.
Best Low Maintenance Pets For Apartments
Our list of the best low maintenance pets for apartments takes a number of things into consideration. Size, space needs, feeding habits are all very important. We’ve added some exotic choices in the mix for those who want to go down that route. At the end of the day, your choice of low maintenance pet depends on what suits your personality. You and your pet’s happiness matters – and that has to be at the forefront of your decision.
1. Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are great low maintenance pets for apartments. They don’t require much space and are more sociable than other lizards. On top of that their feeding habits make them ideal for you if you don’t have a lot of time or a huge budget.
Usually when you buy a dragon, you will either get a baby beardie between the ages of 3 months to 18 months or an adult which is over 18 months. A baby dragon requires a little more effort and time to nurture and feed. They eat 3-4 times a day and require regular checkups to see if they are growing properly. Additionally, there is the chance of them getting attacked by the insects you feed them, or even by other baby dragons if kept in a group.
Adult bearded dragons, on the other hand, are lower maintenance. They make for good house pets that are easy to take care of.
- Lifespan – Bearded dragons can live up to 14-15 years if properly cared for. With basic care, they can be expected to live up to 5-8 years.
- Food – Dragons eat a mix of greens, fruits and insects. Their preferred choice being crickets or dubia roaches. Furthermore, adult dragons need to be fed only once a day or once in two days. You can catch your own insects or feed them dragon food available commercially (which is pretty economical in any case).
- Living Space – Bearded dragons like moving about so their tanks should be above average size. It doesn’t matter what material you choose – glass and rubber enclosures are both very popular. Being animals of the desert, they require a 50-60 watt UV light and a basking rock. Give them a suitable substrate, something like sand, and they’ll really have fun.
The best thing about fishes is that you have a huge variety to choose from. Taking care of each specie might be slightly different compared to the other, but it really isn’t all that different. So while our preferred choice is goldfish, you could actually pick a betta, barb, rainbow fish or any other of the various types of fish available as pets.
We prefer goldfishes since they really are easily one of best pets for apartments. They can brighten up a room with their amazing colors and vibrancy. On top of that, you have a plethora of choices – red, orange, golden and, white and black.
While there are many different subspecies of goldfish available, all of them pretty much require the same care and can coexist peacefully. So you don’t have to stick to one type of goldfish for your fish bowl and apartment either. Mix and match.
- Lifespan – A goldfish has a lifespan of up to 25-30 years in the wild. In captivity, this goes down to about 5-10 years. If you’re lucky it will live much longer than that.
- Food – Goldfish food is easily available in the market and is quite inexpensive. You need to feed it 3-4 times a day for 1-2 minutes per session.
- Living Space – Goldfishes require no special tanks or aquariums. They require no fancy conditions to thrive. A simple fish bowl is good enough. Just make sure you clean its water every few days. If the water is turning yellow, that is a good sign that it requires changing.
As far as small low maintenance pets are concerned, critters especially tarantulas fit the bill quite well. Tarantulas are available in some extraordinary colored patterns which makes owning them all the more attractive. On top of that, they require little space and have easily manageable feeding habits.
While you can handle your pet tarantula if you want, it is not something that is recommended. Not because they pose a risk to you, but because too much handling is potentially dangerous for them. Most of them are docile and unsociable by nature, but personalities do tend to vary.
There are a couple of things that you need to consider before you get a tarantula as a pet though. Firstly, they eat live food. So you will have to maintain a store of live insects for them. Another thing is that most people are afraid of spiders. If the tarantula manages to escape, which it will try to do at every opportunity, you might have a bit of a situation on your hands.
- Lifespan – A male tarantula has a much shorter lifespan than a female and will live for 8-12 years. A female tarantula can live well into her 30s.
- Food – Tarantulas eat live insects. Their favorites being crickets while they will also eat moths, hoppers and mealworms. What really makes them easy pets to take care of is the fact that they can go days without food. A pet tarantula will only eat 2-3 crickets in a week. Sometimes even less. Some larger species may eat 6-7 crickets in a week. What else do you need in your small low maintenance pets for apartments?
- Living Space – Since tarantulas measure around 3-5 inches in length on average across all sub-species, they will live well in small cages. The cages just need to be big enough to give them some space to move about and hunt.
4. Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs have to be hands down one of the most popular and best pets for apartments. They are certainly one of the more social pets on this list. They require a large cage and like to be played with but other than that they are pretty low maintenance. In fact, they are often considered as one of the best starter pets for kids as well.
There are plenty of varieties of guinea pigs to choose from. From a range of different colored coats to large or short hair – you can take your pick. Guinea pigs do make slightly annoying eeking noises, but you can get used to it.
- Lifespan – The average lifespan of a guinea pig is around 5-7 years depending on how well you take care of it.
- Food – Since they are vegetarians, they will eat most vegetables and fruits. Prepacked food is commercially available as well.
- Living Space – Guinea pigs like to move about, so need a large cage. It would be best that you take them out of their cage every couple of days to play with them. They needs toys and exercise equipment. Guinea pigs are curious, active animals and you need to give them something to do.
5. Small Dogs
Most people prefer dogs – after all dogs are a man’s best friend.
Unfortunately, not all dogs make great apartment pets. They will stand by you, but that doesn’t mean that they should. You can keep a dog in your apartment if you really want to, but sometimes it is good to consider what is best for your pet.
Most of the larger dogs need larger spaces. There are some smaller dog breeds that are low maintenance pets for apartments, so you can consider those. Some of the most popular breeds that do well in smaller spaces include the Chihuahua, King Charles Spaniel, Dachshund, Terriers, Poodles, Pugs and Shih Tzu, among others.
Even some of the larger dog breeds like the Great Danes do well in small spaces. But dogs need their exercise, so make sure you take them out to the park every once in a while.
- Lifespan – Varies from breed to breed.
- Food – Dog food is easily available in the market. They must be fed two times a day. Dogs do have the tendency of overeating so make sure you only feed them the right amount. If you have a puppy, feed it three times a day.
- Living Space – Dogs are not to be confined to a cage. Let them roam around freely in whatever space you have. What really makes dogs the best pets for apartments though is the fact that they are incredibly sociable and will provide you with extraordinary companionship.
The African Pygmy Hedgehog has grown in popularity recently as one of the most sought after pocket pets. They can grow as up to 9 inches in length and are perfect small pets that are easy to take care of.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and therefore most active during the night. They are pretty friendly and will play around with you, once they get used to you. Because of their quills, they need to be handled carefully. But you should be fine as long as you don’t scare the little creatures.
The reason we’ve included hedgehogs in our list of the best low maintenance pets for apartments is that they are not fussy at all. They require some space to move about in. But they are quite clean, free of any annoying smell or noises and quite fun to watch. For people who work during the day and come home at night, these nocturnals make for a great choice.
- Lifespan – Hedgehogs live anywhere between 3-6 years.
- Food – Primarily insect eaters, hedgehogs will eat almost anything. Hedgehog food is easily available commercially and quite inexpensive. They will also eat cat food. You can also feed them self-caught insects like crickets or mealworms.
- Living Space – Although quite small, hedgehogs are quite active animals and need a bigger cage. A 4 ft x 2 ft wired cage should be enough. Line it with suitable substrate. Give it a place to hide, during the day. A bed made from shredded paper or other soft material, and a litter box should be enough.
Note: Hedgehogs are illegal to own in some states in the US and some countries. Check their legal status in your area before deciding to get a hedgehog.
Gentle, playful and little aloof at times, felines are one of the most popular pet choices in the world. Maybe it’s their cuteness or maybe its the fact that they are such a joy to be around. Whatever the reason, cats certainly make good house pets that are easy to take care of.
As far as being low maintenance pets for apartments, cats are pretty versatile. You spoil them and they will enjoy it. Even if you don’t they’ll get by and be pretty happy with it. The thing with cats is that they are generally quite lazy. And as long as they are being fed and their bellies are being rubbed, they will do just fine.
There is a reason that cats are known to be one of the best pets for apartments. They can be trained to use the litter box, trained to come to you when called and are just overall quite lovable.
- Lifespan – Depends on the breed, but cats generally live anywhere around 10-15 years.
- Food – Cat food is easily available and quite economical. Even feeding them scraps of your leftover food can work, if you want to save money. Feeding them 2-3 times a day is enough, though you can spoil them if you want.
- Living Space – Will happily live in whatever space you occupy. Likes hiding in cupboards and boxes. Will play with anything that it wants to play with. Needs a litter box and some training.
Hamsters are one of the most popular breed of pocket pets today. These furry little bundles of fun are a treat to own. They really are good house pets that are easy to take care of.
The most popular breeds of hamsters are the Syrian, Dwarf, Siberian and Chinese hamsters. Most of them are pretty small, with the bigger breeds like the Syrian growing up to 6-7 inches in length. On the other end of the scale, Dwarf hamsters are as little as 3-4 inches.
What this means is that they require little space. They need a few toys, like the ever-popular hamster wheel, to keep them occupied. But other than that, they are pretty low maintenance. They also tend to do best on their own, so you don’t have to worry about providing them other hamsters to play with.
- Lifespan – 2-3 years
- Food – Hamsters need to be fed at least once or twice every day. They will eat commercially available hamster food. Helpings of fruits and vegetables every now and again are most welcome.
- Living Space – Small cages that give them room to move about and remain active. Cages made from wire are a good choice. Make sure that the bottoms are solid. Prepare a sleeping area for them using soft material like tissues or shredded paper. Hamsters can get fat and lazy, so give them some toys or exercise equipment to keep them busy.
As far as small low maintenance pets go, geckos are probably as low maintenance as they come. Being reptiles, they may not be as social as the other choices on this list. But once they get used to you, they will enjoy their time playing around in your hand.
You have a huge range of choices to choose from. Leopard Geckos or the Crested Gecko are two of the more handsome breeds. They don’t require much in terms of time or money and really are easy pets to take care of. Geckos, like bearded dragons, eat live insects, so you will have to maintain a store.
- Lifespan – 15-20 years in captivity
- Food – Geckos eat live insects like crickets, mealworms, waxworms or hoppers. You can catch your own insects are buy them from your nearest pet supply store. Geckos only need to eat 2-3 times a week. Feed them within a 10-15 minute window and then remove any insects that are left uneaten.
- Living Space – Geckos don’t need large spaces, making them great low maintenance pets for apartments. A small to medium size enclosure will do. Give them a few spaces to hide under during the day, like a rock or some foliage. It is during the night that they become more active anyway.
10. Hermit Crabs
If your looking for low maintenance pets for apartments, you don’t need to look any further than hermit crabs. Hermit Crabs don’t like company or being handled, but they are quite fun to observe and very easy pets to take care of. They will live their life in their cage, while you can live yours in your cage.
These active little crustaceans are perfect for you if you aren’t home most of the time. They require little care, just the right living conditions to thrive. Hermit crabs are social and will do best with other crabs. So it is best to keep 3 or 4 together.
- Lifespan – They can live anywhere from 25-30 years
- Food – Commercial food is easily available and very cheap. Since crabs don’t really eat that much, you’ll find that any food you buy will last some time.
- Living Space – Hermit crabs need some space to move about in. An aquarium or glass tank work well as a crabitat. 10-15 gallon tank is what you should aim for if you are keeping 3-4 crabs. They like digging around, so give them substrate like sand and watch them go crazy. This is more than enough to keep them occupied and happy. Humidity levels are important, so make sure your crabs are sprayed with water every once in a while.
It is important to remember that while selecting a pet, you need to make sure that you and him are the perfect match in every way. Low maintenance pets for apartments may be low maintenance but they still need to be cared for. There are more than enough choices for you out there (this list isn’t exhaustive by any means). We hope you find the right one!