Highly underrated animals that make for great pets

Art by Shy Cabajar

There are two truths in life: 1) dogs and cats are great and 2) not everyone can have them as pets. As much as we like cuddling big Labradors and fat cats, not everyone has the physical capacity to do that. If a family member or you are allergic to furry friends or if you’re living in a space that doesn’t allow you to bring in big pets (come on, it’s 2017), maybe it’s time to consider a pet friend that’s low-maintenance. After all, a minute of cuddling with your pet shouldn’t turn into an hour-long sneezing session.

Here are some pets to consider if you’re looking for a new buddy at home.


They say that goldfish have short attention spans (or practically none). And that might be a good fit if you’re a busybody who really can’t give all your love and attention to a pet. Just get a large tank (114 liters at least), a water filter, pebbles (slightly bigger than your goldfish to avoid them getting stuck in their fishy throats), and you’re pretty much set. If you want to go the extra mile, maybe add some sea plants and a cute little house for them to hang out in.

You can feed them one to two times a day. Cleaning the tank should also be done once a week even if it’s not dirty. We all know what happened in Finding Nemo.

Hermit Crab

Just like goldfish, hermit crabs like living in tanks. You have to fill theirs with sand so they can scuttle around easily. It’s also recommended that you add plants and rocks they can take shelter in because, like you and me, they also like hiding when they feel unsafe or threatened. (There’s a reason they’re called hermits.)

Hermit crabs can also get stressed from time to time, and go through a molting process (losing their old shells). If that happens, make sure you have extra shells on hand so they can change up. Just provide ample food (raw meat, worms, shrimps) and water, and your little hermit will take care of itself.

Guinea Pig

If want a pet that’s easier to take care of than a dog or a cat but still want a furry cuddle buddy, a guinea pig might be ideal. The essentials: a cage with a solid floor, plenty (and accessible) water, and a partner in the form of another guinea pig so they won’t be lonely. They’re quite charming and cute to stare at when they’re eating. But make sure you don’t feed them over two cups of vegetables a day.

Guinea pigs are sociable pets, so make sure you interact with them on the daily and give them time to roam around outside the cage. Since they’re not as active as dogs and cats, you don’t have to give them a bath every week. In fact, it’s recommended that you only give them baths a few times a year. The only thing you need to maintain regularly are their cages and their nails to avoid hurting them.

Leopard Geckos

ways look happy. Let’s be real: we all need that positivity in life. Leopard geckos also live in aquariums or terrariums. You can use Eco Earth to line the bottom of the tank to create a nice environment for your pets. They’re pretty sensitive to temperature so make sure that it’s between 23 to 32 degrees Celsius (ideal for daytime) and 18 to 23 degrees Celsius at night. A water dish as big as your gecko, a bit of moist moss, and a cute little shelter are the basic things you need to hunt up. You can feed your baby gecko with worms or crickets every day or three to four times a week once it’s fully grown.

Setting up the tank might seem quite tedious at first but after that, your gecko should be happy and quite independent after.

Neopets and online pet adoption

If none of the above pets appeal to you or if you think you’re still not ready to take care of an actual living being, maybe you can take it digital. A childhood favorite from the early oughties, neopets.com is still alive and kicking on the interwebs. You can adopt a pet and take care of it in the world of Neopia.

There’s also the option of supporting different pet shelters and animal sanctuaries around the globe through donations. Loving an animal doesn’t have to pertain to keeping them in your home. Some things you just have to learn to love from afar.

#animals #friendship

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