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The best inexpensive, low-maintenance pets that won’t break the bank

Young girl in a pink shirt playing with a guinea pig

Have you ever wanted to purchase a pet, but felt overwhelmed by the idea of expensive pet gear and time-consuming grooming and vet appointments? Or maybe your child has been begging for a pet for years, and you just can’t bring yourself to add on that extra responsibility?

If this sounds like you, it might be worth looking beyond traditional pets, and thinking outside the box. Believe it or not, there are pets that don’t require huge expenses or regular maintenance–you just might not know enough about them. And, for the pet gear you do have to buy, you can subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited to protect your purchases in case they are damaged or break down in any way.

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What are the best inexpensive, low-maintenance pets?

Here are some of the most inexpensive and low-maintenance pets that can make a great addition to your home:

Oranda goldfish

If you’re looking for a pet that’s quiet, easy to maintain, and requires very little food, the Oranda goldfish might be the perfect fit for you. Related to the classic goldfish, but with a much more unique appearance, it's a bright little creature known for the signature puffy cap on its head.

The Oranda goldfish can live for up to 15 years, comes in many color varieties, and has a peaceful demeanor, making it the perfect pet. Like many types of goldfish, the Oranda requires a 20-gallon tank, but is otherwise simple to maintain and care for. You can expect it to grow up to 9 inches in length.

Hermit crab

For a pet that crawls rather than swims, check out the classic hermit crab. Often overlooked, the hermit crab is an ideal low-cost and easy to care for pet.

The materials you need for hermit crab care include a 2.5 gallon hermit crab tank, several extra crab shells, a container of fresh water, and a small supply of salt water to keep the hermit crab moisturized. Hermit crabs can live up to 10 years in an ideal hermit crab habitat, and are excellent company because they are quiet and laid back.

American guinea pig

American guinea pigs are the most popular guinea pig breeds that are adopted as household pets. First domesticated over 10,000 years ago, these furry friends quickly burrowed their way into many pet-lovers’ hearts. They come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, black, gold, and cream, and have straight, short fur.

Caring for an American guinea pig requires more effort than a fish or hermit crab, but they’re still quite easy to look after. Beyond a large cage (7.5 square feet is recommended), they generally only need fruit, pellets, hay, and occasional pedicures to maintain their nails. There are also guinea pig toys you can get to keep them entertained, like exercise wheels and tunnels.

Sea monkey kits

For a unique, short-term pet experience, a sea monkeys is available to purchase in kits, or colonies, and require almost no maintenance. Sea monkeys are a tiny species of brine shrimp.

While they only live for a year, some colonies can survive for up to 5 years. They are fun to watch and extremely easy to care for, making them one of the best low-maintenance pets you can find.

Teddy bear hamster

Teddy bear hamsters, also known as long-haired Syrian hamsters, are adorable, furry, and low maintenance. With an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years, they don't require much commitment, and only need simple foods such as fruit, vegetables, and grains. You can also get hamster toys like a hamster wheel or hamster ball so they're able to play and exercise.

They are typically around 6 inches long and weight as much as a baseball, making them easy to transport. Something to keep in mind, however, is that they are nocturnal, meaning they may not be as responsive or interested in interacting during the daytime as you’d like them to be.

Final thoughts

If you’ve ever wanted a pet but felt like there wasn’t a creature that could fit your budget or lifestyle, think again. There are many pets that don’t require regular maintenance or large expenses—you simply have to know about them. Whether you choose a cuddly teddy bear hamster or a bright little Oranda goldfish, these low-maintenance, inexpensive pets are sure to fit the bill.

When shopping for your new pet and its gear, don’t forget to look into an extended warranty plan. Although these pets are inexpensive, it’s easy for costs to add up, so it’s always smart to insure your purchases.

Subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited for coverage on all your online purchases under the same product protection plan, so you never have to worry about leaving your pet without its favorite toys and products.

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Justin Smith

About the author

Justin Smith has written about everything from stock market investing to electric vehicles, most recently for SuperMoney, Mulberry and EverLaw. Apart from optimizing the latest blog content and hunting for the perfect keywords, he also enjoys going on long runs.

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