There are some advantages to having a pet, but even a low maintenance pet is not for everyone. If you live in an apartment, condominium, or other type of housing that might have strict pet rules, find out what pets are allowed. Fish that require a big aquarium, rodents, and some or all dogs and cats are frequently prohibited in shared or controlled housing situations. If money is a concern, remember that a low maintenance pet is not synonymous with an inexpensive one. You might also want to consider how long the pet will ideally live, because an animal’s lifespan can be anywhere from several weeks to more than 100 years.
Determining whether or not your housing authority prohibits some types of pets is important. Often, failing to abide by apartment or condo rules results in heavy fines, eviction, or both. Even if you find the perfect pet and can easily sneak it into the building, this is usually not a good idea without money on hand for fines, another home for the pet, and a backup living arrangement for yourself in case the worst happens. Most places, however, do not care if tenants keep small fish, gerbils, or lizards. Exotic animals and large dogs are commonly banned, but these pets are generally not low maintenance anyway.
The start up expenses for a low maintenance pet might not be low at all. If the initial costs are not a problem, think about how much the pet will cost long-term, including monthly costs for food and bedding. A low maintenance pet presumably does not have frequent medical issues, but you should determine the cost of veterinarian help if the pet does become ill. When low maintenance pets do have health issues, treatment can be expensive and potentially time-consuming. As with all pets, their health is the owner’s responsibility, and at the very least you might have to pay to humanely euthanize the animal.
A frequently overlooked aspect of owning a pet is the animal’s average lifespan. Even some fish, gerbils, and hamsters can live for several years, or longer with good health care. In fact, some types of birds and turtles live much longer than the average human, and must be given a new home in the owner’s last will and testament. If you are planning to move or otherwise do not want a pet in two or more years, some low maintenance pets are not for you.