low maintenance pets

So your children want a pet but you know they’re too small to walk a dog or look after a horse and there’s simply no way to deliver that monkey they’ve always dreamed about.  If you’re looking for a pet that’s easy to care for, cheap and the kids can still have fun with then consider these pets for your young children.

Guinea Pigs


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Guinea Pigs are easy to maintain and will provide enjoyment for your children because they should be handled every day to ensure they are tamed.  You need to provide water for your Guinea Pigs as well as fresh grass or hay every day to ensure they get their daily dose of vitamin C.  They can also eat a range of vegetables including cabbage, carrots, beans, cucumber, sweet corn as well as rolled oats or hard-dried wholemeal bread.  They will need a large hutch to live in which will need to be cleaned out weekly and the bedding within replaced.  If you’re getting two guinea pigs make sure they are both females so you don’t have a population explosion on your hands, and because males tend to fight with each other.


If you have the room for a chicken coop then chickens as family pets can be not only fun but productive.  The start-up costs can be high after you’ve purchased a coop, or the materials to build one, the feed and the chickens themselves but they require very little maintenance.  They need fresh food and water daily and their coops will need to be cleaned out at least once every month, if not more.  They do need plenty of room to roam around though and you’ll need to collect the eggs daily.


After the initial set up costs, most types of fish are easy and cheap to maintain.  Perhaps start off with ordinary, durable goldfish before you look into tropical fish though because they can be harder to maintain.  Most pet stores sell fish tank kits that come equipped with everything you’ll need to create the perfect home for fish.  Each week you’ll need to change part of the tank water and give the tank a light clean.  Ensure you feed your fish every day (taking care not to overfeed them) and then watch them flourish.


Budgies make great family pets that can become great talkers and mimic certain sounds but they are generally suited to children aged six years and over (because younger children can be too rough when handling them).  Aside from the set up costs of a birdcage, food and change mat (which should all be replenished daily), they are extremely cheap to care for and are very low maintenance.  Because female budgies are susceptible to hernias and fat tumours, male budgies are recommended as better family pets.  Choose the liveliest and most inquisitive budgie in the cage to ensure you’re getting the most intelligent one that will respond well to training.


Despite what you might think, cats are very low maintenance but before you rush out and buy one, remember that cats can live to a ripe age, normally between 12-20 years in fact so prepare yourself for many years ahead with your cat.  Buying a short haired breed will involve less maintenance than a long haired breed and if you have a cat door installed in your house then there’s no need for a litter tray.  If you have little children, consider buying a cat that is already 1-2 years old as they should be able to withstand their rough little hands.

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