12 Best Low Maintenance Pets for Kids

Taking care of a pet can be hard work, especially for kids as it involves giving them constant attention, care and maintenance, and not everyone has the time for that. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a pet. There are many low maintenance pets for kids that don’t require much work, can teach your kids responsibility and offer them a companion.

Here’s a list of some low maintenance pets for kids that you can consider having at home:

1. Gold Fish

Fish, Aquarium, Freshwater, Fishy

Lifespan: Avg. 10-15 years 

Goldfish are one of the most popular fish for aquarium owners and are one of the best low maintenance pets for kids to have. You can get them from any local pet shop for an inexpensive price. All you need is a small tank or fishbowl to get started, keep their water clean by changing it frequently or adding a water filter, and feed them fish food flakes. Watch them grow over time and have fun.

2. Rabbits

Bunny, Rabbit, Spring, Baby Bunny

Lifespan: Avg. 8-12 years 

Rabbits are a great alternative if you’re not yet ready to commit to a pup, and are a very popular starter pet for families. They are fairly low maintenance pets, most you’ll have to do is feed them, clean and groom them, give them some roaming space to play and love them, and they’ll be content. The perfect pet to own if you want to introduce some responsibilities of taking care of a pet. 

3. Guppies

Guppy, Fish, Aquarium, Freshwater

Lifespan: Avg. 2 years 

Guppies are another popular fish for aquarium owners. They are also popular with children as they are brightly colored and have long flowy tails, making them mesmerizing to look at. Guppies are easy to take care of and can be raised in a fishbowl or small tank. They also get along well with many other fish so having multiple fish in one tank wouldn’t cause any problems. They eat general fish food that you can get from your local pet store.

4. Turtles

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Lifespan: Avg. 25-30 years (depending on species) 

Turtles can make great pets. Consider getting one that doesn’t grow too big so you can put it in a medium-sized terrarium that won’t take up too much space. Turtles also don’t need to eat every single day, so you would only need to feed your turtle 4-5 times a week. Their diet consists mainly of insects, fish and dark leafy greens. The only other thing you need to worry about is keeping their water clean. They do live for quite some time though, so if you do get a pet turtle, plan to take care of it for the long term.

5. Hamster

Hamster, Pet, Animal, Small, Cute, Fur

Lifespan: Avg. 2-3 years 

These small and adorable rodents make a great childhood pet for most due to them being quite low maintenance. All they require is a decent sized cage, water, food, something soft to sleep on and a hamster wheel for them to play on and get some exercise. Hamsters are also nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day, making them a perfect pet if your child is out during the day. Kids can also take them out of their cages from time to time and gently play with them.

6. Snails

Snail, Nature Conservation

Lifespan: Avg. 2-5 years (Longer in captivity) 

There’s really no easier pet to care for than a snail, making them one of the best low maintenance pets for kids. Having a snail for a pet mainly means just observing it. They should be kept in a clear terrarium with soil and rocks which should be cleaned once a week to clear the snails’ mucus trails. For food, they like eating fruits and vegetables, so anything such as cucumbers, apples, carrots, strawberries and lettuce is great and they also don’t require water since they get it from their food.

7. Budgie Bird

Budgie, Bird, Parakeet, Animals

Lifespan: Avg. 5-10 years 

Birds, such as the Budgie, can make wonderful pets for kids. Budgie birds are quite small in size and do well in captivity. They make a variety of noises and can even mimic certain household noises that they hear often. All they require is a decent sized cage, fresh clean water and some bird food. You can add in some bird toys or bells in the cage to keep them entertained. The bottom of their cage does require daily cleaning though, but you can get cage floor linings that can be removed for easy cleaning.

8. Mice

Mouse, Rodent, Cute, Mammal, Nager

Lifespan: Avg. 2 years 

Mice are quite easy to look after and can be great low maintenance pets for kids. They are quite tame, intelligent and fond of social interaction. They can also be easily trained and are independent. All they require is a good-sized cage, somewhere to sleep, food and toys. While you can feed them mouse food, they will also happily eat fruits and vegetables as well. Keep their cages cleaned and kept in a ventilated area, and your pet mouse is sure to be content.

9. Tarantula

Tarantula, Spider, Animal, Hairy, Nature

Lifespan: Avg. 10-20 years  

If your family members aren’t scared of spiders and are open to keeping spiders as pets, then a tarantula can be a great pet to have. They are pretty low maintenance when it comes to taking care of them. They require a terrarium to live and roam around in and eat things such as crickets, mealworms, superworms or silkworms. Do keep them in a dark area away from direct sunlight though.

10. Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab, Cancer, Shell, Crab

Lifespan: Avg. 2-20 years (depending on care) 

Hermit crabs can be cool pets to have, especially for kids. They require a 5-10 gallon terrarium lined with sand so that they can dig, a bowl of saltwater for bathing, and a bowl of freshwater for drinking. You can add pieces of wood, rocks or other objects in the tank so that they can climb them. Hermit crabs can be given pelleted crab food or you can give them bits of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are a bit social so having more than 1 would be ideal. Based on how well you take care of them, they can live for a few years, or much longer with great care.

11. Guinea Pigs

Autumn, Guinea Pig, Pig, Pet, Fall

Lifespan: Avg. 4-8 years 

If you’re looking for a cute and cuddly pet, then guinea pigs may be the option for you. Guinea pigs are quite low maintenance pets and a favourite among children. They are social animals that need only the basics such as a cage to live in, bedding, hay to chew on, food and water. They enjoy human interaction and may even purr like a cat when petted.

12. Lizard

Lizard, Reptile, Forest Dragon, Nature

Lifespan: Avg. 3-15 years (depending on size)

Lizards can be interesting and unique pets for kids to have, especially at their age. If you’re getting a lizard for the first time, consider getting a leopard gecko since they don’t require UV lighting and are nocturnal. Other popular lizard options include iguanas, bearded dragons and chameleons. While each may have varying needs, they all mainly require a tank to live and sleep in, warmth and food such as insects.

Also Read: 12 Calm Dog Breeds for New Owners


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