11 Small Pets That Aren’t Dogs but Are Just as Affectionate

Whether you are renting a small apartment or own a home, having a small pet is always a good idea, and it’s a great alternative to owning a dog. Selecting one, on the other hand, is not an easy task!

There are so many benefits of owning small pets, such as not disturbing your neighbors with barking or minimizing potential damage to your home. However, owning a pet is a big responsibility because no matter the size, all animals need love, attention, and a good home.

Have you considered what kind of small pet is best for your home? Keep reading to find out.

1. Fish

Fish are among the most popular on our list of small pets. In most types of living situations, they are okay in most leases and can live in their tank anywhere in your home. They require regular tank and water cleaning maintenance, feeding, and a consistent water temperature.

2. Hamster

These small pets are widely known for being one of these main species: the Syrian, Dwarf Campbells Russian, Dwarf Winter White Russian, Chinese, and Roborovski. Hamsters come in a variety of sizes and colors, and they can entertain themselves.

Hamsters are recommended for people looking for a small pet because they are easy to care for and don’t take up much space. These creatures can live in a cage and need exercise, daily water and meals, chewing materials, and a hiding place. 

People who have allergies to pet dander can usually live in the same space as a hamster without any issues.

3. Guinea Pig

A guinea pig is a great “starter pet” for small children, as they love socialization, so they prefer a companion. Every one of the thirteen guinea pig breeds recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association can weigh up to three pounds.

These pets like to live in a cage that is at least two feet by three feet; however, they do need to exercise a good amount each day. This can be achieved by setting up a playpen for them and creating hiding spots and tunnels for them to explore.

One thing to note is that they are prone to back injuries, so they shouldn’t be doing activities that involve an exercise wheel or jumping.

4. Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs are great pets and require very little commitment. These are good for hypoallergenic homes, and they really just need food, water, and tank maintenance.

5. Bird

Birds are great pets, and they don’t even need to be handled often. They need a cage with chewing supplies, as well as climbing opportunities. We recommend parakeets or budgies because they are small and are easy to keep. 

Budgies make great pets and come in a variety of colors, too. These little guys do prefer having a companion to prevent loneliness.

6. Reptiles

Reptiles are great small pets, and although some people are intimidated by owning one, they can be just as loving and low maintenance as others. Reptiles like to live in a tank (size varying on species) and need a heating lamp to regulate body temperatures.

Reptiles can range from Bearded Dragons to frogs to geckos! There are so many options to choose from, and they make a minimal amount of noise. They all having different diets as well, but they are commonly known for eating insects.

When setting up their habitat, research your species and set it up, so they have plenty of hiding places and climbing opportunities!

7. Rabbit

Rabbits are amazing pets for apartment living because they are mostly sociable animals and can be litterbox trained. Most bunny owners allow their rabbits to roam free in their homes. However, they do like to chew and dig, so keep them away from wires and carpets!

8. Chinchilla

Chinchillas aren’t your typical household small pet, but they are one of the best. Think of a large hamster with super soft fur. These guys should have a semi-large cage that allows them to explore and also require a dust bath.

If you get one of these, they are like guinea pigs in the sense that they prefer to have a companion. 

9. Cat

Cats are a popular small pet, and although they may seem big to some, they groom themselves often and are litterbox trained. Cats love to cuddle and play, which is great for any household, but they also don’t require attention 24/7.

Cats love to sleep throughout the day and don’t mind if their owner has a nine-to-five, as long as they get their meals.

10. Ferret

Ferrets are super playful and will play with you or other pets. They need a living space to accommodate their playful nature, so a cage around two feet long and four feet tall is best. 

Likes cats, they sleep most of the day. So while you’re at work, you don’t need to worry. They do like to create mischief, so keep an eye on them!

11. Hedgehog

These shy creatures are among the cutest. They are known for being small with fuzzy bellies, tiny legs, and a body covered in spikes. These little guys are very gentle creatures and are pretty low maintenance.

Like hamsters, they need a minimum of a two-foot by two-foot cage, wood shavings or cage liner, food and water, and a method of exercise.

Choosing the Best Small Pets for You

Picking the best small pets for your household can be a challenging process, but once you find the right fit for your home, you’ll be happy it’s not a dog! Remember that all pets need your love and care. Always make sure you have the space in your home and the funds to care for any small animal.

Want to learn more? Check out our other blog posts for more tips like these.