Having pets provides a lot of benefits. However, as we get older it can be hard to take care of larger or more demanding animals so a low maintenance pet is a must. Here are some examples of easy to care for pets that can be equally rewarding.
Most types of freshwater fish are inexpensive to buy and maintain after the initial investment of a tank and aquarium supplies. However, some fish are hardier than others. To begin with, buy an inexpensive, durable fish, such as goldfish. If that's manageable and you want to move it up a notch, try an aquarium. Maintenance generally involves simply feeding once or twice a day, and cleaning the fishbowl regularly (dependent on if you have a filtering system). However, some fish can require more attention so make sure you ask before you buy.
2. Guinea pigs
The guinea pig is a popular pet due to its minimal care requirements and social nature. They are happy to interact with their owners or to relax alone in their habitats. In return for providing a clean environment, a healthy diet, and some love and attention, they will be a joy to have in your home. Unlike other rodents, guinea pigs are not nocturnal, preferring to nap regularly so they are usually available to play when you are. Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs don’t require an exercise wheel that will squeak through the night so it may be a better option for a light sleeper!
3. Small Rodents
Small rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, and mice are a classic pet choice and are placed within the easy to look after spectrum. Their small size means that they can fit into the most compact of homes, and they don’t need to be walked or trained which can suit those with lower mobility. Their diets are relatively simple, and they are capable of exercising themselves– just make sure they have plenty of tubes and wheels in their cage.
4. Small Birds
Small birds can be low-maintenance depending on the type you choose and how much human interaction they require. Birds such as finches and canaries, generally do not require or even enjoy contact with humans, so they simply require the correct diet and an appropriately sized cage. Other small birds, such as cockatiels and parakeets, need time outside the cage to play and socialise. Those considering getting a bird should also factor in time to clean cages.
While these pets are relatively low maintenance, remember that you’re making a commitment to care for a living creature. Ensure that the needs of your new pet fit in with your lifestyle and that you take some time to research its full care needs and requirements. For information on care requirements, take a look at the pet care leaflets provided by the Blue Cross. Take a look at our previous blog on the benefits of keeping a pet in your retirement for some insight into why having a pet in your life is worthwhile. In our apartments, we are happy for you to have pets; we simply ask that prior permission is obtained in writing from the Lodge Manager. Read more about pets that we allow on our FAQs page.