8 Perfect Smaller Pets For Busy Family Homes

Article by Kathy Chapman

Paw'fect Pets For a Busy Family

It can be tricky to fit a pet into a busy family home, particularly if you don’t have the time and space to commit to a larger pet like a dog or cat. Pets can help complete a family and teach kids valuable lessons about responsibility and caring for those around you. 

If you have a smaller home or your family is too large to accommodate a larger pet, there are many smaller pets that you could consider adopting instead. Smaller pets can also be a great way to test the waters and see if your kids are ready for the responsibility of a larger pet. 

Here are some of the best smaller pets that will suit any busy family home. 

hamster icon grey


Hamsters are super low maintenance pets, making them ideal for first-time pet owners and kids. You will need to get them a cage big ample to give them enough stimulation and exercise throughout the day, but aside from that, daily cage cleaning and feeding, hamsters don’t require much hands-on attention. 

You can take hamsters out of their cage for exercise and for the kids to play with, but it is worth noting that not all hamsters enjoy being handled, and some may bite. 

Hamsters are also a great low-cost pet, so you won’t have to worry too much about expenses once you’ve got their cage kitted out. 


 lop eared rabbit



Rabbits are adorable, cuddly and low maintenance pets. They will require a hutch to live in, and depending on the weather, they may need to be housed in a shed or garage during the colder months. 

Rabbits are easy to feed, with hay, carrots and leaves being the main staples of their diet. They are also really fun family pets, sure to be adored by kids and adults. Rabbits can live up to 12 years old, making them the perfect starter pet for younger kids and letting them transition smoothly to a bigger animal over time.  

snake clipart grey


Snakes, despite their reputation, can make excellent pets. They may not be for everyone, but snakes are actually very social, curious and gentle. The primary consideration when buying a snake is ensuring that you have the right type of enclosure, along with heating bulbs if your snake requires it. 

Snakes will require a fair bit of research before you get one as a pet, but they are very low maintenance pets once it is home. You can handle them and pet them and could be the perfect pet for broadening your kids’ horizons. 


pet budgie



There are many types of birds that can make excellent pets. Budgies are among the most common and popular types of pet birds due to their friendly and gentle natures. It is worth noting that budgies tend to do better in pairs so that they can keep each other company. 

You will need specialist bird food for any pet bird, so you should research the best type of food for the birds you choose. Check out Little Peckers for an idea of the variety of bird supplies you might need and for advice on the best ways to care for your feathered friend. 

If getting a bird is too much of a commitment for your family, you could also consider putting bird feeders out in your garden to attract wild birds. This will enable you and your family to enjoy birds in their natural habitats without committing to caring for a bird in your home.


shubunkin goldfish | grey


Fish are the ultimate low maintenance pet. You could consider getting a goldfish for a simple starter fish that the kids can feed and watch swim around their tanks. You will need to know how to clean out their tanks properly and ensure that they get the right food. 

Once you have mastered goldfish, you could consider moving on to more exotic fish, though it is essential to research the kinds of environments and food that fish need to ensure they live long, healthy lives. 


guinea pig

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs have a lot of the cute factor that people are looking for in a pet. They are larger than hamsters and require more exercise and attention than the smaller animal. Guinea pigs tend to have a more cuddly and friendly nature, making them great companions for kids and grown-ups alike. 


rat silhouette


Like snakes, rats often have a bad reputation. Domestic rats, however, are a different breed from their sewer-dwelling counterparts. Domestic rats are clean, gentle and social rodents. 

Rats typically need larger containers to give them plenty of space to exercise and mental stimulation. Given that they are such sociable creatures, it could be an idea to invest in more than one rat. You will be able to take them out of their cage to run about freely if you wish – rats are typically very gentle and will get on well with kids. 


Turtles as pets


Turtles can make great pets. They are calm and relaxed and add some unique character to your house. There are hundreds of turtles varieties to choose from, so it is worth doing your research to find the right turtle to suit your home and lifestyle. 

It is worth noting that turtles can live for a very long time – longer than humans in some cases. So, a turtle is a pet that you should only consider if you are in it for the long haul. Aside from being a long-term commitment, turtles are very low maintenance pets. They hibernate for the winter, making their care even more straightforward. 

Paw Icon


There are many types of pets that will suit a busy family home. The great thing about many smaller pets is that they are low maintenance – perfect for busy parents and teaching children about animals and their care. 

With any pet, there will always be certain crucial elements of care: cleaning living areas, feeding, exercising and ensuring that they have the space to thrive. If you’re not ready for the commitment of a cat or dog, then any of these animals can be the perfect alternative. 

Article by Kathy Chapman


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