13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of

Olu Ojo
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Pet ownership can provide immense joy, but it often comes with hefty price tags. Fortunately, there are affordable and delightful alternatives for those who seek the companionship of a pet without straining their budget. The following list will introduce you to 13 cost-effective pets that offer affection, entertainment, and camaraderie. These charming and low-maintenance pets are perfect for those who desire a loving companion without breaking the bank.

While most people think of cats and dogs when considering pets, there are other cute and lovable animals out there that could make perfect additions to a household. These pets range from small rodents like hamsters to aquatic life forms such as betta fish. As you explore these affordable options, you’ll discover that there is a diverse range of pets that cater to every need and preference.

Key Takeaways

  • Affordable pet options can offer affection, entertainment, and camaraderie without a hefty price tag
  • The list of 13 low-maintenance pets includes animals such as hamsters, rabbits, and betta fish
  • There is a diverse range of affordable pets to accommodate various needs and preferences.

Goldfish: An Aquatic Marvel

Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
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Goldfish, a classic beginner-friendly pet, offer a stunning visual appeal to homes. Being low-maintenance, they require minimal care and attention. These fascinating creatures may live over 20 years, becoming beloved family members. Their impressive memory span of at least three months enables them to recognize owners and even perform tricks.

To ensure a thriving goldfish, it’s essential to invest in a proper tank and filtration system, which may cost around $100. This provides adequate oxygen levels for healthy living, unlike traditional fishbowls. Daily feeding expenses are negligible, further solidifying goldfish as an affordable and delightful choice for both new and experienced fish enthusiasts.

Cost Range: $1 to $40

Leopard Geckos: Captivating Reptilian Companions

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Leopard geckos are intriguing pets, known for their distinctive spots and charming personalities. As nocturnal animals, they display low activity levels during the day, making them perfect for busy individuals. Unlike some other reptiles, they don’t need UV light bulbs—just an incandescent bulb and possibly a heat pad.

Initial costs involve purchasing a leopard gecko, which ranges from $20 to $70, and setting up a terrarium (approximately $100 to $200). Their diet primarily includes:

  • Live crickets
  • Worms

Weekly food expenses can vary between $5 and $10, depending on the appetite of the leopard gecko.

Hermit Crabs: Small, Social, and Economical

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Hermit crabs, despite their name, enjoy the company of their fellow crabs. These small and affordable creatures are fascinating to observe as they grow and change shells. Providing them with various shell options is crucial, as they regularly switch homes.

An initial investment in a proper hermit crab tank and decorations ranges from $50 to $175. Monthly expenses for food and water are minimal, as these creatures thrive on a simple diet. It is essential to avoid painted shells to ensure your hermit crab’s safety.

Betta Fish: Graceful Aquatic Elegance

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Betta fish, also called Siamese fighting fish, bring aquatic beauty to any space, making them an excellent option for those who appreciate low-maintenance pets. It’s important to note that these fish are solitary creatures and thrive best when kept alone. Their vibrant colors become more apparent when they are either feeling playful or threatened.

To house a Betta fish, you’ll typically need a 5-10 gallon tank, which can cost around $20 to $35, and some basic decorations. The fish itself usually ranges from $5 to $25, with more colorful varieties coming in at higher prices. Betta fish have minimal annual food expenses, further solidifying their status as an easy-to-care-for pet choice.

Guinea Pig: Furry Companions for Preteens

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Guinea pigs make small, furry, and adventurous pets, especially well-suited for preteens and older children. However, they can get injured easily during rough play, so caretakers need to be cautious in homes with younger kids.

The initial expense involves buying a guinea pig ($25 to $50) and setting up their living space (approximately $75). Monthly provisions for food, bedding, and hay can reach up to $35. However, you can reduce this cost by supplementing their diet with leftover vegetables from your meals.

Canary: A Symphony of Song

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Canaries, cherished as pets for over five centuries, are adored for their enchanting singing. These delightful birds are relatively affordable, especially when compared to larger pet birds like parrots. An individual canary typically costs around $100 to $150, with some breeders offering lower prices.

To ensure a healthy and joyful canary, one needs to budget for their cage, toys, and ongoing food and supply costs. Approximately $120 per year can be spent on food and miscellaneous supplies. The pleasure of waking up to their captivating melodies makes it a worthy investment.

Degu: Social and Low-Maintenance

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Degus are rodents native to Chile that share similarities with guinea pigs. They are known to be sociable and low-maintenance pets when socialized from an early age. For their well-being, they typically live in pairs and thrive in spacious, multilevel cages.

Purchasing a degu can cost from $25 to $100, depending on if you adopt from a shelter or purchase from a breeder. A suitable cage for these creatures may cost between $50 and $150. In terms of food expenses, expect to spend around $65 to $125 annually for each degu.

Butterflies: Delightful and Inexpensive

Butterflies Taste with Their Feet
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Raising butterflies captivates with its charm and demands minimal resources, needing only a small space and limited time. Ordering caterpillars online simplifies the process, enhancing the convenience of this low-maintenance pet option. Most butterfly species thrive on an easy-to-prepare mix of sugar and water.

With a cost of less than $30, keeping butterflies introduces children to pet care while teaching them about metamorphosis and the wonders of nature. Utilizing tables, bullet points, and bold text can aid in conveying this information effectively.

Sea Monkeys: The Fascination of Instant Pets

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Sea Monkeys, also known as brine shrimp, provide an engaging and budget-friendly experience for both children and adults. Prices range from $8 to $150, depending on the kit’s complexity. To start, simply mix the eggs with water, and they will hatch effortlessly.

To maintain their habitat, change the water periodically and feed them the provided “growth food.” Sea Monkeys introduce young children to pet ownership responsibilities without the extensive commitment that other pets may need.

Venus Fly Trap: Nature’s Carnivorous Marvel

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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A Venus fly trap captivates the interest of many as it skillfully hunts and consumes insects. As a pet, it needs minimal space and sunlight, making it relatively easy to care for. The cost of acquiring a Venus fly trap ranges from $5 to $45, depending on its size and age. Adding this unique plant to your home brings an element of intrigue to your assortment of pets.

Praying Mantis: The Alien-Like Observer

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Praying mantises are exceptional insects that serve as unique, low-maintenance pets. While they don’t provide emotional companionship, their behavior is fascinating to watch. Their diet consists of live insects, leading to an estimated yearly feeding cost of about $100.

These alien-like creatures usually sell for around $25 each, with the option to buy eggs and nymphs at a lower price. Their minimal care requirements make them an interesting choice for those who enjoy observing the insect world closely.

Scorpion: A Look-But-Don’t-Touch Companion

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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Scorpions captivate pet-enthusiasts who prefer little physical interaction, thanks to their formidable pincers and venomous stinger. They flourish in a terrarium environment, requiring a heating pad for optimal comfort. The initial investment encompasses a terrarium and heating pad, amounting to around $75. As their diet consists of live insects, feeding a scorpion incurs an annual expense of around $100. Embracing their low-maintenance nature and exotic appearance, scorpions stand out as a one-of-a-kind pet selection.

Rat: Intelligent and Affectionate

13 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Take Care Of
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When considering a pet, rats offer a unique and affordable option with their intelligence and capacity for affection. It is important to handle them from a young age, as their social nature requires bonding to thrive. Rats also need a same-sex companion to avoid loneliness and depression.

A well-equipped habitat for rats should include a spacious wire cage, toys, bedding, food, and necessary supplies. While the initial setup costs could amount to over $100, the cost of a rat typically ranges from $10 to $20. Despite the initial investment, the exceptional bond and intelligence of your pet rat make them a rewarding choice without stretching your budget.

Key considerations for rat ownership:

  • Rats are social animals with a need for companionship.
  • They require a spacious wire cage, toys, bedding, and food.
  • Costs for a rat range from $10 to $20, with additional setup expenses.
  • They are intelligent and affectionate pets when properly socialized.

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The 13 Best Calming Dog Beds of 2023
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The Top 5 Coldwater Fish Species for Aquarium Enthusiasts

Tanichthys albonubes
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Coldwater aquariums, an accessible and rewarding branch of this fascinating hobby, are teeming with lively and attractive species, making them a captivating choice for both novice and veteran aquarium enthusiasts. From the unmistakable allure of the Goldfish to the shimmering beauty of the White Cloud Mountain Minnows, coldwater species offer the chance to create a dynamic aquatic ecosystem within your own living space.


  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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