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4 Budget-Friendly And Low Maintenance Small Pets

4 Budget-Friendly And Low Maintenance Pets

If you don’t have the space for larger animals or can’t afford the expenses that come with them, there are some smaller options out there. Sometimes living in an apartment or a small space can become very lonely. Furthermore, most apartment complexes don’t allow larger animals like dogs and cats making it harder to find a companion. When owning a pet, you want to ensure you’re more than capable of caring for it and giving it all it needs and requires. This can get quite expensive with some animals, but not all! Here are some small pets that are low maintenance, cost-effective, and are more than capable of keeping you company. 


These birds are quite needy, so if you work remotely a cockatiel will be ideal for you! They usually do not require companionship from another bird but they will demand attention and let you know it! They are very social creatures and can become great entertainment. They have lifespans up to twenty years or more meaning they can become quite the companion. Requiring their daily bird food (cockatiel mix) fruits and veggies and millet, these feathery bundles of joy will not cost you a lot. Ensure your cage is spacious enough for them to maneuver and play around in. It is also worth noting males are the only ones capable of speaking, so you can have a small pet that can literally talk back to you.

cockatiel small pets

Fancy Rat 

These tiny pets are great for anyone who may work all day. Rats are nocturnal, meaning they will sleep for most of the day but become more active in the evening and during the night. They are very smart and are even capable of learning tricks! Rats have a varied diet between grains and veggies. Dry dog food is a great source of protein as well instead of the branded rat food, which in some cases can get a bit expensive. It’s recommended you should at least keep two since they are more used to living in social groups. If you are able to maintain good contact with them however, this should not be a problem. If you do decide to get more than one, they don’t take up a lot of food. For advice from the PDSA on how to create the perfect enclosure for your rat, click here.

fancy rat

Guinea Pigs 

These furry bundles of joy have so much personality and tend to jump and let out high pitch squeals when they’re happy. They are known for being herd animals therefore it is recommended you get at least two to three, neutered of course. They are diurnal so they are awake when you are throughout the day, excluding some short fifteen‐minute naps. Their diet consists of hay, pellets, fruits, and veggies. While some pellet brands can be a bit pricey, a four‐pound bag could last you up to two or three months if you only give your guineas the recommended ¼ cup a day. They do require a large cage to allow them to jump around and play freely. Find out more here from the RSPCA about why this is important. 

guinea pig


While you may not be able to pick them up and cuddle them, they can still bring you entertainment. There is quite a wide range of choices to choose from. Having more than one is no problem at all either! They can be very mesmerizing with the vibrant colors illuminating from their scales accompanied by the graceful movements of their fins and tails. If you want a pet but may not have a lot of time to spend with them, fish can be great company. Requiring only fish food they are also very budget-friendly, as tank decorations are optional. Fish are by far the best when it comes to low maintenance, only requiring a water change every so often with only a partial cleaning for the tank. 

fish small pets

All these pets are low maintenance and for the most part budget-friendly as well. They don’t require much space and will not be a nuisance to your neighbours. When it comes to companionship, none of these pets will disappoint. Any creature you pick is bound to bring you tons of entertainment and joy! 

Melani Erb

Melani Erb

Community User

A recent High School graduate I am working on a career in writing. I am extremely passionate when it comes to animals and I am working as a Freelance Pet and Animal writer. In addition to writing I am also an artist when it comes to my free time and consider myself to be quite imaginative.