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Should I get a Low Maintenance Pet?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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There are some advantages to having a pet, but even a low maintenance pet is not for everyone. If you live in an apartment, condominium, or other type of housing that might have strict pet rules, find out what pets are allowed. Fish that require a big aquarium, rodents, and some or all dogs and cats are frequently prohibited in shared or controlled housing situations. If money is a concern, remember that a low maintenance pet is not synonymous with an inexpensive one. You might also want to consider how long the pet will ideally live, because an animal’s lifespan can be anywhere from several weeks to more than 100 years.

Determining whether or not your housing authority prohibits some types of pets is important. Often, failing to abide by apartment or condo rules results in heavy fines, eviction, or both. Even if you find the perfect pet and can easily sneak it into the building, this is usually not a good idea without money on hand for fines, another home for the pet, and a backup living arrangement for yourself in case the worst happens. Most places, however, do not care if tenants keep small fish, gerbils, or lizards. Exotic animals and large dogs are commonly banned, but these pets are generally not low maintenance anyway.

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The start up expenses for a low maintenance pet might not be low at all. If the initial costs are not a problem, think about how much the pet will cost long-term, including monthly costs for food and bedding. A low maintenance pet presumably does not have frequent medical issues, but you should determine the cost of veterinarian help if the pet does become ill. When low maintenance pets do have health issues, treatment can be expensive and potentially time-consuming. As with all pets, their health is the owner’s responsibility, and at the very least you might have to pay to humanely euthanize the animal.

A frequently overlooked aspect of owning a pet is the animal’s average lifespan. Even some fish, gerbils, and hamsters can live for several years, or longer with good health care. In fact, some types of birds and turtles live much longer than the average human, and must be given a new home in the owner’s last will and testament. If you are planning to move or otherwise do not want a pet in two or more years, some low maintenance pets are not for you.

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burcinc
Post 3

I noticed that maintenance doesn't just have to do with the kind of pet you have, but also the breed. I have had several different breeds of cats and they all had different characteristics and personalities. My Siamese cat was definitely less maintenance than my British Shorthair. Yes, they both require the same amount of care- food, clean water and clean sand, but my British Shorthair is very attention needy. She wakes me up at very early hours every morning and requires that I hand feed her cat food. She will just keep licking my face until I do. She is always asking to be let out to the other rooms or she wants to go outside, play or she wants food.

My Siamese, on the other hand, was very easy going, rarely asked for anything and slept quietly most of the time. So breed makes a difference, definitely keep that in mind when getting a pet.

ysmina
Post 2

Sometimes I think that there are no low maintenance pets. They all require attention and care no matter what. You might need to spend less time with some than others. Cats are a little bit less maintenance than dogs for example, because you don't have to take cats out for their bathroom needs. But cats need just as much attention as dogs, they also require the same amount of vaccinations and might have the same health problems. All pets need to be cleaned up after too.

I have friends who are not ready to take care of pets but still adopt them just out of curiosity or because they think kittens or puppies are cute. Having a pet requires responsibility, so I would suggest that one wait until they are ready to devote time, attention and money to a pet, regardless of how much maintenance that pet seems to require.

turquoise
Post 1

Parakeets are the best low maintenance pets and they are generally allowed in most housing. I love pets but I obviously couldn't keep any pets when I lived in University housing. My final year in college though, I moved out into an apartment and bought a parakeet immediately after.

The only cost of a parakeet is the bird itself, a cage, bird seeds and any toys you want to get for the parakeet. It really doesn't cost much at all and all you have to do is make sure that there is enough food and fresh water in their cage. You do need to clean their cage once a week or so, but it's not like looking after a cat or dog.

After I graduated, I left my parakeet with my brother who lived in the same town and he stayed with my brother for the remainder of his life.

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