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Top low maintenance pets for children or adults

by Yellow

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While we would like to stress the point that no pet is low maintenance, there are still some which make ideal companions for both kids and adults. In this article, we are going to mention some of the most rewarding pets, however, before we do so, there are a few pointers which we would like to make.  

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Pet 

Time

Having a pet is not just about you. When getting a pet, you instantly become responsible for another living being's life, comfort, happiness, needs and wellbeing.

Care 

If you are choosing a pet for your child, it is best to think well and hard about whether or not they can handle delicate creatures and whether or not they will consider and respect the pet's needs. Before getting a pet, it is best to consult a veterinarian about any care requirements, financial costs, healthcare needs and other must-haves. 

Space 

From dogs to goldfish, all animals need adequate space to be healthy and happy – you need to keep in mind the animal's full-grown size and make sure that you can accommodate them in your home forever. Most pets also need both outdoor and indoor space, a factor which you also need to consider. 

Lifespan 

It is ideal to keep in mind the pet's lifespan – especially if you have children. They get extremely attached to their pets, more so than adults at times. You need to consider your child's emotional attachment – if you choose a pet with a lifespan of just two years, you can add a lot of stress to your child when the time comes for the pet to pass. 

However, when choosing a pet with a longer lifespan, you need to keep in mind that pets are forever, and there might come a time when you will be the sole provider for your family pet if your children move out when they grow older. 

1. Cats 

Cats are a cute addition to the family. There are several basic requirements which you need to provide for your cat to have a healthy and fulfilled life. We suggest adopting from a licensed cat shelter instead – not only is this more fulfilling, but you can ask the shelter volunteers about a particular cat's temperament when visiting. 

Basic Cat Care

  • Cats need regular social interactions. While some cats prefer to interact with humans, some of these furry beauties need the company of fellow felines. 
  • Invest in toys and other stimulants for your cat, such as laser pointers, balls or toys.
  • Keep in mind that cats need to get suitable and regular meals, along with a steady supply of fresh water. 
  • You need to change their litter tray at least once a day. If you have more than one cat, provide each with its own litter tray.
  • Avoid collar bells – they can be detrimental to your cat's hearing acuity.
  • Groom your cat regularly. Longhaired cats need to be groomed once daily. 
  • Neuter your cat and provide it with flea treatment. 
  • Provide your cat with veterinary check-ups at least once a year.  

2. Dogs 

Dogs are known as man's best friend for a very good reason. They're loyal and extremely lovable companions. Consider visiting a shelter if you are looking to adopt a dog, or a breeder if you are adamant about getting a purebred. Either way, if you are going to get a dog, make sure that you can provide it with the care, love and living conditions it needs to be healthy and happy. 

Even though dogs are extremely rewarding pets, you need to keep in mind that they need heaps of social interaction and time. Leaving a dog alone for long hours might lead to anxiety. Dogs are extremely reliant and as a general rule of thumb, they should not be left alone for more than four to six hours a day. 

Basic Dog Care

  • Take your dog out for a walk at least once a day (depending on the breed) 
  • Provide regular meals, along with a steady supply of fresh water. 
  • Provide your dog with veterinary check-ups at least once a year.  
  • Make sure that your dog gets regular exercise.
  • Interact, socialise and spend as much quality time with your dog as possible. 
  • Train your dog and teach him basic commands.
  • Spay or neuter your dog.
  • Long-haired dogs need regular grooming. Learn how to provide your dog with basic grooming such as nail trimming, coat brushing and washing. You can also contact a reputable grooming company that you trust for regular grooming appointments. 

3. Rabbits

Rabbits are anything but easy. 

But they're also very rewarding – provided that you have space and time for them. Rabbits can be quite expensive to keep, and most of them can wreak havoc on your home.

Rabbits are cute, but they're also serial chewers. They can chew on stray electrical wires, furniture, clothes and even shoes. 

Contrary to popular beliefs you need more than just a small cage to provide your rabbit with adequate housing. They need constant movement and loads of exercise, so make sure that your rabbit has access to both outdoor and indoor environments. Keeping your rabbit in a hutch or cage for long periods is extremely stressful, it can also cause health problems.

An important thing to keep in mind is that rabbits shed a lot of hair a couple of times a year, so make sure that you are prepared to deal with that.

Basic Rabbit Care

  • Rabbitproof your home. Rabbits are very sneaky and can easily get away from their designated areas. Cover and hide all wires, books, houseplants and other stuff you do not want your rabbit to chew.
  • Do not leave your rabbit in isolated areas, as they still need heaps of social interaction. 
  • Rabbits need a constant supply of fresh hay, water and vegetables. Certain vegetables as some should be given sparingly, consult your vet prior to feeding.
  • Take your rabbit for checkups at least once a year, twice when it's over five years of age. 
  • Provide loads of entertainment. Anything from cardboard boxes to baby keys, toilet paper tube to grass woven accessories should be fine. Never give your rabbit access to ink-stained items like newspapers.
  • Grooming is extremely important for rabbits. You can ask your vet for help when it comes to nail clipping and coat maintenance. 

4. Fish 

Fish are an ideal pet for people who have loads of time on their hands and heaps of space for a large aquarium. Contrary to popular belief, a fishbowl is not enough – not even for one single betta fish. When purchasing fish, you need to keep in mind that they're a huge commitment. You need to clean their tank very regularly and also be prepared to check water temperature and alkaline levels frequently. You also need to keep an extremely stable ecosystem in your aquarium.

Basic Fish Care

  • Invest in a good filtration system. You need to keep in mind that one fish needs a minimum of 2.5 gallons of water. The more space they have, the healthier and happier they will be.
  • Fish need water heaters for constant water temperature – sudden temperature change can kill your fish.
  • Check water pH levels weekly.
  • Make sure you provide your fish with adequate food and keep a regular feeding schedule.
  • Set up plants, rocks and hiding places in your aquarium.
  • Change aquarium water regularly. Most fish are happy with a water change every two weeks, other species might need more or fewer water changes.
  • Clean the aquarium glass and accessories regularly.
  • Do not overfeed your fish.

5. Budgies

These pretty birds make lovely companions for most bird lovers. However, they're also extremely high maintenance pets to keep. Budgies are super social birds, so you need to keep in mind that it is best to keep them in pairs. While compared to other bird breeds they are a bit less difficult to keep, they still need ample time and attention. 

Basic Budgie Care

  • Budgies need loads of exercise, some people even choose to let their budgies out of their cage occasionally. It is recommended to close all doors and windows before letting your bird out of its cage.
  • The minimum recommended cage size for one budgie is that of 18" x 18" x 24". 
  • Budgies need fresh water and food daily, along with fresh vegetables and seeds. 
  • Your bird's cage needs to be cleaned at least once a week.
  • Invest in perches, food dishes, twirly ropes, bells and other toys which you can find at local pet stores. Avoid overstuffing your cage with toys and accessories.
  • Interact with your bird regularly.
  • Find a good avian vet and have them check your budgie at least once a year.

6. Sponsor A Pet

While sponsoring an animal at a shelter will not provide you with an actual live-in pet, it's still very rewarding. Sponsorships can be renewed every year and are ideal for people who cannot own a pet, but would still love to help out or make an animal's life better. Some shelters also offer you the possibility of visiting the sponsored animal in question or even volunteer at the shelter itself. When sponsoring an animal at a shelter, you will be able to present it with food and veterinary care, in addition to shelter. Sponsoring schemes are generally used for animals who might never be homed and are available in Malta for cats, dogs and even horses.  

Want to read more about pets? Click here to view Yellow's pet section.

 

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