What Is The Easiest Pet To Take Care Of?
For potential new pet owners, choosing the type of pet that they want to adopt can be anxiety-inducing. There is a lot of stress surrounding the decision - am I ready? Can I take care of a pet? What do I need to know? Often, the ultimate decision is made based around whether or not that type of pet is “easy” to take care of.
To help, we came up with a list of pet options, as well as how “easy” that pet is to care for. Keep in mind that this is a subjective list, so these answers are based on a few expert options as well as our own personal thoughts. The best pet for you is the one you can take care of, and that care leads to an unbreakable bond you will have with your pet for life (and even after). Let’s dig in!
Dogs and Puppies
Let’s start with one of the most popular pets, even for new pet owners. From their adorable faces to the ability to bring them with you nearly everywhere, it’s really no surprise. But, as a first pet, choosing a dog or a puppy comes with both pros and cons.
Puppies are generally much more difficult to take care of for a first-time pet owner. The sleepless nights, the potty training, the chewing of every single thing in your home--puppies require a lot of physical and emotional energy. It’s important to go into dog ownership knowing that, so you can make an educated decision about if you’re truly ready.
There are a few tips for first-time dog owners that can help make the process smoother. Making sure you have the right food and a plan for sleeping, walking, and other necessary care can make the early stages feel much easier. The bond between a dog and their owner is one of the strongest pet bonds there is, even if they’re not necessarily easy to care for in the beginning.
And don’t forget to commemorate your new pet by having a custom pet painting commissioned to capture your pet’s unique spirit, like the Sapphire Queen. They’re a part of your family now, and should be treated like royalty!
Cats and Kittens
Another popular choice for new pet owners is to adopt a cat or kitten. These friendly, loveable balls of fluff are often seen as an easier choice since they don’t require walking or bathing the same way dogs and puppies do.
And that is definitely true, at least for the most part. When adopting a new pet, especially if you don’t have any in the household already, cats and kittens are a fairly easy choice.
However, there are some tricky parts that are important to mention. Don’t adopt a cat unless you are 100% confident you are comfortable cleaning the litterbox at least once every few days. This is kind of a “gross” job, but not doing it regularly can lead to behavioral issues (like cats urinating in inappropriate areas) and just generally having your home smell like one big litterbox. While they do make litterboxes that clean themselves automatically, the bag still needs to be regularly taken out.
Another of the trickier parts of cat ownership is their claws. While some places will still perform declawing surgeries, it is being outlawed in many states as it’s seen as being cruel and unusual. Trimming the cat’s claws routinely (or having your vet do it, if your cat is feisty), or even purchasing soft caps that you can put over the ends of their nails can help tremendously.
Overall, though, cats are generally seen as one of the easiest pets to take care of. Although they may be aloof and not as outwardly excited to see you when you get home, they are great snuggle buddies and will become a cherished part of your household. Just check out this custom cat painting--cats are definitely a personality plus and they’ll show it!
There isn’t much easier of a pet than a fish, right?
Not always. While betta fish and goldfish are definitely much lower on the maintenance scale, setting up a whole new fish tank (especially a saltwater tank) can be very costly and require a significant amount of maintenance.
Pets do make great starter pets, though. If you’re looking to see if you’re ready to take care of a pet, or if you want to see if your child will live up to the responsibilities they’ve promised prior to getting a dog or a cat, fish are an excellent option. All you need is food and water!
Hamsters, Chinchillas, and Guinea Pigs
Some people just aren’t ready for a companion animal that needs more time and attention, like a cat or a dog. However, they’re still seeking an easy pet that they can have an emotional bond with.
That’s where smaller animals like hamsters, chinchillas, and guinea pigs come in. Although they spend most of their time in their habitat (which should be filled with intellectually stimulating materials), they are also incredibly friendly and loving. These animals enjoy spending time out of their cages with their owners, and many of them require that attention as much as they require food and water.
While they may be an easier pet, they definitely have their own, special personalities. This pet painting of a chinchilla showcases that well!
Snakes and Lizards
For people not wanting a furry friend, snakes and lizards are often an obvious choice. For the most part, especially for the non-squeamish (many require live animals as part of their diet), snakes and lizards do make a fairly easy pet. They don’t need to be walked, and they don’t thrive on social interaction like a dog or a cat does.
However, the initial set up can be costly and complicated. Lizards especially need very specific habitats to do well, including heating rocks and water. They often need to be kept at specific temperatures as well, as too low temps can lead to hypothermia and even death fairly quickly.
Birds are definitely one of the most difficult pets to take care of. They are much more delicate than they appear and make a much bigger mess than many people expect!
While there are bird species that are considered lower maintenance than some of the others (finches, canaries, and budgies, specifically), they all require similar things to thrive - an appropriate cage, mental stimulation, food and water that is catered to their specific needs, and regular veterinary care.
While the day to day care of a bird isn’t as physically obvious as a dog or a cat, birds can get very sick very quickly. Monitoring birds' health regularly, including routine trimming of their nails and sometimes beaks (by an experienced professional - not to be attempted at home), is essential to keeping them happy and healthy.
No pets are truly “easy” to take care of, as they all have their own special needs and requirements that must be met to give them a good quality of life. While fish do tend to be on the easier side and dogs considered more “difficult” for first-time pet owners, no pet should ever be adopted without doing your research first. However, once you form a bond with your new pet, life with them becomes a breeze and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Pet ownership is both one of the most challenging and most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Good luck!