Looking for furry (or feathery, or scaly!) pets to add some joy to your life, but short on time? Don’t worry! There’s a whole menagerie of amazing, low-maintenance animals waiting to be your best friend.

These are our top 10 unique creatures that bring joy and entertainment without using up all your free time.

1. Axolotls: The Smiley Salamanders That Never Grow Up

Picture a permanently grinning, aquatic salamander—that’s the axolotl! These cuties love a clean tank and just a couple of meals a day. Plus, how cool is it to have a pet that stays young forever? You can read more about caring for these super sweet creatures in this factsheet.


2. Hermit Crabs: The Trendy Homebodies with a Twist

These tiny fashionistas are always on the lookout for the latest digs (shells, that is!). A small tank with sand, hiding spots, and fresh water is all they need to live their best crabby life. With the right care, your hermit crab can live up to approximately 15 years. Hermit crabs love company, so have multiple crabs living together. They’ll become more active with the company. Bear in mind that Hermit crabs are nocturnal and will sleep throughout most of the day.


3. Bearded Dragons: The Laid-Back Lizards with Big Personalities

Bearded dragons, or ‘beardies’, are one of the most popular lizards in captivity in the UK. Perfect for families, bearded dragons are easy to hold and love basking in the warmth (from a heat lamp, of course!). They’re not picky eaters – mostly veggies and insects. Their lifespan is usually 10 to 15 years or more, so they’re quite a commitment. It’s important to replicate their natural habitat as best you can.

Learn more about how to care for your bearded dragon and how to keep them healthy and happy.


4. Betta Fish: The Dazzling Stars of Their Own Underwater Show

Betta fish are the undisputed champions (or should we say champions?) of low-maintenance aquariums. These vibrant show-offs just need a small tank with some plants and a sprinkle of food to thrive.


5. Leopard Geckos: The Beginner-Friendly Reptiles

Leopard geckos are friendly and perfect for new pet owners. A clean tank, a hiding spot, and a few bug snacks a week are their simple requests. Find out more from the Reptile Centre.


6. Guinea Pigs: The Super Social Sidekicks

These cuddly companions are perfect for people who want a social pet. They just require a clean cage, comfy bedding, and a steady supply of hay and veggies to keep them happy and healthy. Plus, they’re always up for some playtime!


7. Cockatiels: The Chatty Charmers of the Bird World

Cockatiels are chill birds that can even learn to talk! Give them a clean cage, fresh food and water, and some toys to keep them busy.  Quiet, non-destructive, and easy to care for. They’re also known to be gentle, making them great pets for children.

8. Hedgehogs: The Spiky Sweethearts with a Nighttime Zoom

Hedgehogs are undeniably adorable, with their soft bellies and prickly exteriors, but serious consideration is needed before you think about having one as a pet. They need a clean cage, bedding, and a variety of insects and fruits to fuel their nighttime adventures (they’re most active after dark!). It’s currently legal to own an African pygmy hedgehog as a pet, but you would need to be sure you could look after it and understand its needs – The RSPCA have useful information. It’s far better to ‘adopt’ a wild hedgehog if you are fortunate enough to have one visit your garden. Leave out foods like tinned dog or cat food and crushed cat or dog biscuits. And provide a cosy hedgehog home, a fun project. Hibernation usually takes place between November and mid-March.

9. Tortoises: The Slow and Steady Winners

Tortoises are living proof that good things come in slow packages. These shelled wonders can live for decades with just a clean enclosure, some substrate to burrow in, and a diet of veggies. Here is a link to a useful tortoise guide.

10. Tarantulas:

Forget everything you think you know about tarantulas! They’re pretty low-key, with needs similar to leopard geckos. They’re a good choice for people who want a quiet animal that doesn’t require much attention. Expect to spend a few hours each week on feedings and cleaning. The British Tarantula Society has all the information you’ll need.


Research and Plan

Remember: No matter how easy-going a pet seems, always do your research before bringing them home. Understanding their specific needs is key to a happy life together for both you and your new friend.

So there you have it! From funky fashionistas to chatty charmers, there’s a low-maintenance pet out there waiting to be your perfect companion. Who knows, you might just discover your inner axolotl whisperer!

For nature loving kids who care about animals, our audiobook Lost on Infinity is now FREE! Our animated apps can be downloaded on Apple Store and Google Play

Perfect holiday entertainment.