• TaliaGrace

Low Maintenance Pets

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

As a follow up to my post regarding pet care and a list of high maintenance pets, here are my opinions (based on experience) regarding some options for anyone thinking about getting a pet; especially those hoping that new four-legged friend will boost their mood.

#1. Cat

A HUGE advantage to cats over the other pets listed is that they don't live in a cage! Any pet that lives primarily in an enclosure will require more time. Even when you clean them once a week (which is always required), they can get smelly and dirt will inevitably build up throughout the week. Cats will happily do their business in their designated litter box, and eat and drink from the bowls you set out for them. All they need is for that food to be topped up, and a daily water change, and last, a few minutes a day to clean out their litter. Hack: Get litter liners!! The litter should be switched out completely every two weeks (assuming you clean the box daily). If you use litter liners, this switch becomes a task that takes less then 5 minutes.

#2. Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are adorable and quite easy to care for. I should note, they're loving but not (usually) especially cuddly. Once their used to your scent and trust you they don't mind being handled a little but but be sure to pay attention to their behaviour. If they ball up or growl then you're best to let them down to do their own thing. Their diet consists of cat food (yes, high protein cat food e.g. Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance), a few shreds of veggies or fruit per week, and mealworms! They are nocturnal, so if you can't close the door to a seperate room, make sure you get a silent wheel and feed them an hour or so before bed so they chewing and drinking doesn't wake you.

#3. Hamster

Very similar to hedgehogs, don't usually love cuddles but they're entertaining and will grow to like you over time. Again, fresh food and water daily, weekly cage clean, nocturnal.

#4. Betta Fish

Whoever said fish aren't interactive?! I had a betta and Pickles (my Betta) was very well aware and swam right up to the glass when he saw me coming. Was this just for food? possibly but it was quite adorable. Betta fish do NOT like company; they're very happy in their own small tank of solitude. They're beautiful fish and actually enjoy some toys. If you get one, grab a betta log (available at most pet stores) and a ping pong ball, some of them like to bounce it around on their nose. Be sure to put at least 2 good hiding places in the tank and test your water once every week or two (PetSmart will do this for free). Do research on how to set up your tank it is NOT just a matter of putting water in a tank and then putting the fish in; they will not survive in untreated city/town water. As the pet parent, you need to recreate the ecosystem that the pet would live in when they're in the wild. Betta tanks are super easy to set up and you can easily do everything in one afternoon. You'll need the tank DO NOT USE CLEANING PRODUCTS on the tank, a rinse will do just fine; water conditioner (essential), food, decor, and that's it!

#5. Rat(s)

Rats are extremely smart and very social. If you're not a cat person, and want something to snuggle with (and maybe teach some tricks) get a pair of rats! A single rat is also fine as long as you're going to spend enough time with it. If you're out most of the time though, get a pair as they're super social so they're healthiest and happiest in company. As usual, weekly cage clean, daily food and water, and lots of play/snuggle time!

Always remember to research your pet options before deciding on one. Their life and well being is in your hands, make sure you get the pet that will suit your lifestyle, needs, and budget best!

CATS: http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/

SMALL PETS (Rat, Hamster) : https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/small-pet-care/

HEDGEHOGS: https://pethelpful.com/exotic-pets/raising-hedgehogs

BETTA FISH: https://www.petmd.com/fish/care/evr_fi_how-to-take-care-of-betta-fish

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