Affordable Companions: 14 Cheap Pets That Are Easy to Care For on a Budget


Are you interested in owning a pet but worried about the cost and time required to take care of it? Look no further than these cheap pets that are easy to care for! These low-cost and low-maintenance options are perfect for pet lovers on a budget or busy schedules. 

The Best Cheap Pets for Animal Lovers on a Budget

By choosing a cheap pet, you can enjoy the benefits of pet ownership without breaking the bank or sacrificing too much time and energy. These pets can bring joy and happiness to your life in their unique ways. So why not consider adding an affordable pet to your family today?

1. Hermit Crab

People often consider hermit crabs as cheap pets that are easy to take care of because they require less space, need less food, and are relatively low maintenance. They’re also fairly inexpensive, and their equipment and supplies cost nothing. These tiny creatures are fascinating and can be a great way to introduce children to pet ownership. 

However, it’s important to note that even though hermit crabs are easy to care for, they still require proper care and attention to ensure they live a healthy and happy life. 

2. Goldfish

Goldfish can live for 10-15 years and remember things for at least three months. You can even teach them tricks, making them excellent pets for children. 

They can deal with temperature fluctuations, changes in pH, cloudy water, and even low dissolved oxygen levels, unlike other fish that may require more specialized care and equipment. Goldfish usually eat pellet or flake food, and for less than $5 you can purchase at least an entire month’s supply.

Goldfish require proper care to ensure they live a healthy and happy life. They have sharp vision and can distinguish between people, eventually recognizing their owners and sometimes even demanding food when they are nearby. It’s important to remember that their long-term care costs can add up over time.

3. Guinea Pig

In the U.S., people often consider guinea pigs cheap pets because they require relatively low maintenance and don’t need expensive equipment or food. Additionally, they are small and can be kept in small spaces, making them a good option for apartment living or homes with limited outdoor space.

However, it’s important to note that while they may be affordable to purchase and care for, they still require proper attention and care to ensure they live happy and healthy lives.

4. Butterflies

Raising butterflies is a beautiful and exciting experience. Butterfly kits make raising butterflies easy and fascinating. They’re low maintenance, require little space and time, and are inexpensive.

You can adopt or purchase already-matured butterflies or experience the joy of raising them from a caterpillar.

Keep in mind that not all caterpillars may reach maturity. Most butterfly species feed on sugar and water, making feeding easy. Create a beautiful butterfly habitat in your home and take in the beauty of these fascinating creatures.

The best enclosures for a butterfly are usually made of mesh or netting. Some people let their butterflies fly around in a room of their house, and if the room is safe for the butterflies, this is a great way to enjoy them.

5. Venus Fly Trap

While Venus Fly Traps may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering a pet, they can be a very entertaining and low-maintenance option nonetheless. While they’re technically plants, they can also be considered pets because they hunt and eat insects. These unique plants have a special mechanism that allows them to close rapidly on insects that land on their lobes. They are easy to raise and require minimal space, consistent sunlight, and a type of soil costing less than $10 for a gallon.

Keep your plant in bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours daily in well-draining soil. While these plants like a decent amount of humidity, they still want fresh oxygen and airflow. 

They are also relatively inexpensive when bought young. Children of all ages enjoy them; they do not require much of your time and do not need a pet or plant sitter when you leave town. 

6. Praying Mantis

Praying mantises are ideal for those who prefer a pet that doesn’t require an emotional bond. These insects are not known for making connections, as the females kill and eat their male partners after or during mating. Watching praying mantises during feeding time can be a fascinating experience, and they are considered one of the most accessible pets to take care of.

Praying mantises are fun and easy to own as they require little maintenance and space. But for cons, praying mantises only live up to a year, max, and most live only four to eight weeks past their final molt into adulthood. They require live insects as food, which can cost around $100 annually. 

7. Leopard Gecko

If you love reptiles and want an affordable, easy-to-take-care, and adorable pet, consider getting a leopard gecko. Leopard geckos are one of the cheapest pets because they have low maintenance costs. These little creatures are nocturnal, so they don’t require expensive equipment like UV light bulbs, and their food expenses are relatively low.

To house this leopard gecko, you will need an aquarium or terrarium with a screen top to prevent your gecko from escaping and help prevent other pets from getting to your gecko. These can be purchased at any pet store.

They are also relatively small, which means you don’t need a large enclosure, and they don’t need to be taken on walks like dogs, saving you money on pet care services. Overall, leopard geckos make great pets for individuals looking for an affordable and low-maintenance option.

8. Betta Fish 

Betta fish are an excellent choice for a low-cost and low-maintenance pet. These fish are known for their unique personalities and stunning colors, providing endless entertainment and companionship. They require minimal space and little veterinary care, making them an excellent option for those on a budget.

As pets, they can live for 3-5 years, and if you want this pet to be happy always, it’s better to provide a 10- or 20-liter tank to give a lot of space to move. 

While they are relatively easy to care for, it’s essential to ensure their water is clean and that they have a healthy diet. With proper care, Betta fish can live for several years and continue to bring joy to their owners.

9. Canary

Canaries are considered cheap pets due to their low cost of purchase and maintenance. They require minimal supplies and equipment, such as a cage, food, and water, which are all relatively inexpensive.

Canaries do not require regular veterinary check-ups like dogs or cats, which can be costly. They have a long lifespan, so the cost of ownership is spread out over many years, making them an affordable pet option for many people.

10. Degu 

Did you know that Degus are a type of rodent that shares similarities with guinea pigs? These cute critters originated from Chile and can make surprisingly cheap pets requiring little space.

Their ongoing expenses for food and care are minimal, as degus primarily feed on hay and require straightforward maintenance, making them a budget-friendly choice for pet enthusiasts.

You’ll notice that a Degu pet is a great napper. Once they get used to your schedule, they become very social and love to play or get belly rubs. These little creatures crave social interaction and exercise, so make sure that you set aside some time to play with them.

But it’s crucial to remember that they are highly social animals and do best when kept in pairs. Proper socialization from a young age is also vital to their well-being.

11. Sea Monkeys

Sea monkeys are cheap pets because they require minimal maintenance. In addition, they are relatively easy to care for and do not require a lot of space. Despite their low cost and ease of care, sea monkeys can be fascinating and entertaining pets that provide hours of enjoyment for their owners.

12. Hamster

Hamsters don’t require a lot of space, making them one of the cheapest pets in the market. Their food is inexpensive, and their initial cost is usually lower than other pets like cats or dogs. However, it’s important to note that while hamsters may be cheap to purchase and care for, they still require proper care and attention to ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

13. Rat

If you’re considering a pet rat, know they can be wonderful cuddly companions if handled often from a young age. Their ongoing expenses are typically budget-friendly, as they primarily require a simple diet, basic housing, and minimal grooming, making them an economical choice for pet owners.

One common thing that rats are known for is they are very social. While there may be some initial expenses, rat ownership can be a rewarding experience for those willing to invest time and resources into their care.

14. Chicken

While you may not typically think of chickens as pets unless you live on a farm, they might be worth considering if you have even a small amount of outdoor space to accommodate them. Owning chickens can be cheaper than owning other types of animals in that they are relatively small and require less space or attention than other pets.

Additionally, their diet is inexpensive as they primarily eat grains and seeds. That, combined with the fact that chickens are generally hardy animals that don’t require expensive veterinary care, makes them a choice worth considering.

Chickens may be one pet that provides some bang for your buck, as they can give you fresh eggs daily! And, well, we all know how expensive eggs have been lately!

It is important to note that while the ongoing maintenance for chickens is affordable, you must ensure that you have a suitable habitat for them. However, you can easily purchase a chicken coop online or even build your own!

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of cheap pets that are easy to take care of. If you’re a first-time pet owner looking to expand your family, the above options provide great companionship without breaking the bank. Before deciding, research each pet’s needs and requirements, and always provide love, care, and attention.

No matter which pet you choose, remember that they require love, care, and attention. Spending time with your pet, providing adequate food and water, and taking them to the vet for regular check-ups are all essential aspects of pet ownership. With a little effort, you can find the perfect affordable pet that will bring you joy and companionship for years.


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