So you’ve just left home and been thrown head first into the world wide web of flatting and sharing your precious space with others.
Many perks come with this time in life, but there can also be some downsides too. One of these is the realization that that dog and cat you’ve had since you were five who still take up all the space in your bed at night suddenly get to stay exactly where they are – only you’re moving out. This means that for the first time in your life, you’re not the proud owner of a pet. And you miss them. Terribly. Here are three low maintenance, cheap to keep pets that you can take with you when trying to find a flat – remember, even if you wanted to take Fido, most apartments don’t allow dogs.
The first low maintenance pet that you’ll find surprisingly companionable when you’re not getting along with your roommates is the gecko.
Geckos are so maintenance free; their gecko pet starter kit requires almost nothing at all. Their home commonly consists of a plastic container with some sand and a few logs strewn around the place, and because geckoes are cold-blooded lizards, they also require a little bit of inexpensive heating. You can pick a light bulb up for a couple of dollars and easily fit it into the container so that your Gecko is nice and warm year round. A bonus feature is acquiring its meals – Gecko’s primary food source is mealworms, and they only cost a few cents per meal. Quiet, calm and friendly, Gecko’s are the perfect frills free pet to take with you when you try to squeeze all your stuff into a room that is now half the size of what your old one.
The second low maintenance pet that’ll take the edge of withdrawals from your cat and dog is fish.
If you go for a particularly common species of domestic fish, such as the Goldfish, you’ll be spending the money you’ve saved on dinners out all the time. While a fish tank can set you back a hundred or so, the fish themselves usually cost around $1 or less, and then once you’ve got everything it needs in the tank and its daily round of meals, it’ll cost you less than $100 a year to look after it. Pretty straightforward and easy by the sounds of it! Come Into The Water is an excellent review website that covers all different kinds of fish tanks and aquariums, helping you wade out of the deep end and into being a proud owner of a very easy fish.
The third and final low maintenance pet that will help you acclimatize to a life shared with people and not furry animals is the hermit crab.
While the thought of owning a crab as a pet is slightly weird, it turns out they can be fascinating and entertaining creatures to have around. They also happen to be the cheapest pet to own and maintain, helping you with that college debt from day one. Purchasing a plastic tank will be more than sufficient for them, with any array of objects to amuse them displayed – and you only have to clean the tank a handful of times a year. The biggest job you have to do for them is to make sure they have a larger shell to grow into as they age – easily found at any pet store. Their food is cheap too and also readily available.
So before you get on the phone to Mom about how hard it’s been the last few weeks not having Fido and Whiskers pushing you out of bed at night, take a look at what else is out there to dampen those blues. Remember, not every pet has to have fur and a tail. Each of these pets is perfect for that busy time at college when you can’t even remember to take your clean clothes out of the washing machine and put it in the dryer – it’s a good thing you’re no longer in charge of an animal larger than a rat.