You can choose from:
If you've got a relatively low budget, a bird could be the perfect fit if you're looking for a low maintenance pet to keep you company.
Compared to other pets, birds don't need much attention and are fairly 'cheep' to get started with. Whether you live in a flat or a house, you'll need a suitable space in your home to accomodate a bird cage, along with equipment to keep your bird occupied, such as a swing or ladder.
After the initial set-up cost, you should consider monthly costs such as bird feed, toys and occasional vet fees.
We'd suggest keeping £20-30 a month aside to ensure your bird is kept healthy and happy.
Birds also make fantastic first pets for children. If you're looking to get a bird for your child, try giving them a responsible task, such as cleaning out the birdcage each week. It will help them feel more involved and will teach them how to be responsible pet owners.
If you don't consider yourself active, but you're looking for a pet to play with, a cat might be the right option for you. Cats are generally cheaper to look after compared to dogs, but still prove to be fun, family-friendly companions.
As cats generally have a relaxed temperament, they are ideal pets for children, being both playful and calm. They can also be left alone - ideal if you’re away from home for most of the day or you're always on the go.
Short hairs and Bengals are the breeds to look out for if you're allergic to cats as they’re completely hypoallergenic. Avoid breeds such as Siamese and Ragdolls as they regularly shed hair.
The most common cats in the UK are Moggies and Short hairs. For these breeds, look to budget up to £30-40 a month. Once your feline friend is on board, some of the ongoing costs to consider include food, cat litter, toys, vet bills, pet insurance and boarding costs, if you travel.
If you're looking for the ultimate low maintenance, low cost pet, why not check out the invertebrates and consider taking home a giant land snail or a bunch of stick insects?
For those people who are time-pressed, budget-stretched and short on space, giant land snails and stick insects are pretty much perfect. They can live in a variety of small containers and aren't particularly fussy eaters.
Both creatures make fine starter pets for children. Kids can keep them safely in their rooms, learning to take care of a pet as they learn about these small yet fascinating animals. Plus they’re not likely to scurry off given half a chance!
The budget required to set up a home for and maintain these kid-friendly exotic pets is extremely low. The stick insects only need a diet of fresh leaves and the giant snails are particularly fond of gobbling veggies from the fridge.
If you're looking for a cool and interesting pet, why not go for something exotic, like a snake, turtle or iguana? Be prepared to do your research beforehand though so you understand the level of care involved and know you can provide the right living conditions. Your local vet should prove a valuable source of knowledge.
While they're not large and don’t need lots of exercise, exotic pets still need space to move around. Some will need specialised terrariums kept at the right temperature (and to make sure they don't slither away). Turtles are a particularly long-term investment, with an average lifespan of up to 50 years!
While exotic pets might not take the same level of hands-on care as bigger, more active pets, make sure you have enough money to give them the specialised food and environments they need to live happily. And remember: when you decide to take a holiday, it might prove more difficult to find a sitter for a snake than for a dog!
For a low-maintenance pet that doesn't take up much time, fish are ideal. Garden or no, there are various types of fish that can be kept indoors and outdoors.
A common choice is the humble goldfish. They are easy to start with and cheap to keep. Traditional goldfish bowls don't take up much room and are easy to clean on a regular basis. The main cost you'll have to consider is fish food and cleaning materials. Goldfish can also be kept in outdoor ponds, but you'll need to have an adequate filtration system to keep the water clean. This can prove costly so make sure you shop around for the best deal.
A tank of tropical fish can be a lively addition to any room. While they’re suitable for children, their tanks need cleaning regularly to avoid the fish becoming unwell. Getting started is significantly more costly as you have to consider the different fish you'd like, a tank, a filtration system, food and cleaning materials. Expect to pay £30-40 per month to maintain your exotic fish.
Having a house and garden, as well as time and money to invest, means you could get yourself a large dog.
With their loyalty, good temperament, playful nature and obedience, it’s little wonder large dogs like Labradors, Border Collies and German Shepherds have staked their claim on the top five places for the UK’s favourite dogs.
If you’re looking for an excuse to keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors, no matter what the Great British weather throws your way, large dogs come with the sort of boundless energy that only a good runaround can burn off.
Large dogs aren’t a cheap option though. The cost of food, grooming and insurance can run up monthly bills up to £100. Don’t forget to consider the initial set-up costs, such as a lead and collar, a bed, food bowls and toys, as well as vet bills for spaying/neutering, microchipping and vaccination injections.
Loyal and friendly, there’s truth in the saying that dogs are a man’s best friend. A dog offers true companionship, but as any dog-lover knows, each dog has a unique personality that makes it feel part of the family. Consider your new pet’s needs before choosing a medium-sized dog.
Spaniels and terriers hail from working dogs, which means an active lifestyle is in their blood. Plenty of exercise is essential for keeping medium-sized dogs in good health and burning off all that energy.
If allergies are an issue, Poodles and Labradoodles, Border Terriers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Cocker and Springer Spaniels, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are all hypoallergenic.
Expect to pay up to £80 per month for food, toys and insurance; however, set-up costs can run much higher. Be prepared to budget for a bed, lead, toys, bowls and grooming brushes, as well as any extra costs, such as vets bills and boarding costs, if you decide to go away.
They say good things come in small packages and that’s certainly the case when it comes to canines. While they might be low maintenace, there’s bundles of personality running round on those tiny legs, especially if it’s a Jack Russell - the UK’s third most popular dog!
Small dogs take up less room in a home where space is at a premium; ideal if you consider your house to be ‘cosy’.
That said, a smaller stature doesn't guarantee low energy, so be sure you can invest enough time to give them ample exercise throughout the day.
If you need a dog that’s easy on the allergies, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Westies are your hypoallergenic options. Once the initial cost of bringing home your puppy has been taken care of, you should budget at least £50 a month to cover food, grooming, toys, insurance and vets bills, as well as the cost of dog-sitting in case you need to leave your precious pooch home alone.
If your budget’s on the lower end of the scale, small pets can make great companions in place of dogs and cats. They can also be the perfect introductory pet to a household, especially for children.
After the initial set-up costs, you should budget up to £30 each month to keep your small pet fed, healthy and comfortable. Guinea pigs, chinchillas and rabbits enjoy companionship from their own kind. They can get lonely if they live on their own, so if your budget can stretch to it, consider getting them a playmate of the same sex.
Even if you’re missing outdoor space, rabbits and guinea pigs can make great indoor pets. Make sure they’re given enough space to run around, as well as an enclosed space for a bit of privacy. If you don’t have a lot of room, a hamster cage can take up a lot less space than a rabbit or guinea pig hutch. Be prepared for nocturnal activities though; hamsters tend to really come alive at nighttime!
It looks like your answers mean your only option is a pet rock.