3 Small Pets for People Who Hate Long-Term Commitment

Have you ever considered having small pets instead of the larger traditional ones?

Whenever we talk about pets, most people think of dogs, cats, and even horses. But all these pets are for people who are willing to take up a long-term commitment. But what if you don’t want to sign up for the 10+ years of responsibility?

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not implying that taking care of pets is a chore. But some people just don’t have the time. 

Take me, for example. I plan to have a baby in 3 years. And I would like to have a pet before that. I don’t want to have a pet when my baby is born because, as a kid, I was severely allergic to pet danders. So, I fear that my unborn kid might also have the same allergy (An illogical fear! Yeah, I know, but I cannot shake it off my head). Therefore, I don’t want to have a pet when my kid is still young. 

Moreover, I neither have a lot of time to spare every day nor can I afford to spend so much money on a pet. Yet, I desire to own a pet and develop a deep bond with an animal. So, what can I do?

Small pets are the best option for people like me. Several small pets have a life span of just 2 – 3 years. They neither need as much money nor so much time as a dog or cat.

Yet, they can bring warmth to your home and joy to your heart. In this blog post, I list three of these common small pets.

3 small pets

1. Hamsters

Hamsters were only domesticated in the last century. Yet, in less than 100 years, they have become one of the most common small pets worldwide. They are found in millions of homes across the world. 

There are 19 different types of hamsters. Even though only 5 of them are kept as pets, there is still a hamster for every kind of human being. 

  • Are you someone who has never had a small pet before but would like to start now? Go for the Syrian hamster. 
  • Are you someone who has had experience with small pets, has a lot of free time and wants to hold or cuddle your small pet often? 
  • Are you someone who likes to care for a pet but doesn’t want to hold him? Would you rather watch your pet doing his daily activities? 
  • Are you someone who has a 9-5 work schedule and want to spend time with your pet when you return home? Or are you a night-shift worker who only has time in the early mornings when you return home?

Regardless of which of the above categories you fall into, there is at least one species of hamster that suits your lifestyle. And hamsters come in various colors and sizes with different fur lengths. So, regardless of what your taste is, you will certainly find a hamster that makes you happy. 


The lifetime of most of these hamsters ranges from 1 to 3 years. So, you don’t have to worry about a long-term commitment. Moreover, they don’t cost you as much every month as a dog or a cat. 

Hamster care advice:

  • Hamsters are extremely active creatures in the wild. So, they need a cage that is big enough. They also need toys (hamster wheels, chew toys, etc.) to play with. If not, they might get lonely and depressed and start climbing the bars of the cage or biting them. 
  • Hamsters can get attached to their owners easily. So, once you tame them, you have to keep spending time with these tiny creatures regularly. If not, they will get depressed. 
  • Some types of hamsters are territorial and solitary creatures. Housing them with other hamsters will end up with one hamster killing the other. So, make sure you buy the right type of hamster. 

2. Betta fish

There are some people who don’t like the smell or sound of pets. Some others just like to look at pets rather than hold them or play with them. And then, there are people who prefer fish to other pets. For all these people, Betta fish is an excellent choice. 

Betta fishes are found in shallow waters, ponds, and slow-moving streams in Asia. In the wild, they survive by feeding on insects, small fishes, larvae, and some invertebrates. 

betta fish

Betta fishes can make a good pet for both new and experienced pet owners. Unlike many other fish species, Bettas are very intelligent. They can learn to memorize their feeding times. Moreover, despite being terribly near-sighted, they can learn to recognize their humans.

They can also develop a good bond with you and get excited whenever you approach the fish tank. 

And once you develop a good bond with Bettas, you can teach them several tricks to amuse your friends and family, like following your finger, swimming through a hoop, jumping out of the water to be petted, playing soccer, eating from your hands, etc.

Despite keeping your friends and family amused, this keeps your Bettas from getting bored. 

Betta fishes are also great for teaching your kids about the importance of pets and the value of other lives.

Betta fishes live for 2 to 3 years on average. So, they are perfect for people who don’t want a big commitment. Just like hamsters, betta fishes also come in different colors. So, you will surely find one that suits your taste. 

Betta fish and snail

But before you get excited and rush to the nearby pet store to buy a Betta fish, there are certain things you must know:

Betta fish care advice:

  • Betta fishes need constant stimulation. Otherwise, they may get bored and become depressed. So, make sure that you have a big fish tank. Moreover, the fish tank should have plants, caves, and lots of interesting things for your Betta fish to explore.
  • In the wild, Betta fishes live in water that doesn’t contain much oxygen. So, even though they have gills, they have also evolved special organs called labyrinth organs. If there isn’t enough oxygen in water, they stick their head out of water or jump out of the water to breathe in oxygen. So, you shouldn’t cover the water tank in which you place your Betta fishes. 
  • Most Betta fishes sold in the USA come from Betta breeding farms in Southeast Asia, where they are forced to live in terrible conditions. They are kept in a small bowl of water, where there isn’t enough place to move around or explore. As a result, they feel lonely and become frustrated and depressed. By buying a Betta fish from a pet store, you will only be supporting this business model. So, instead of buying a Betta fish, try adopting one.
  • Before buying a Betta fish, you must first prepare the aquarium where your Betta fish will live. Municipal water contains Chlorine and Chloramine that are dangerous for your Betta. So, you must treat it with a water conditioner before adding it to the aquarium. You should then cycle the water (Replace 10% of the water in the tank with freshwater every week) for several weeks. This helps good bacteria to grow in the tank, which helps break down the toxic ammonia excreted by your fishes. Only after performing these preparatory steps should you buy a Betta fish and put it inside the aquarium. 

3. Zebra Finch 

Just like there are people who prefer to have animals as pets, and there are people who prefer to have fish as pets, some people might prefer to have birds as pets. For these people, Zebra Finch is a perfect choice. 

A Zebra Finch has the shortest lifespan among birds that are kept as pets. It lives for just five years on average

In the wild, Zebra Finches are found in Australia, where they are primarily available in the classic wild color. But by selectively breeding these birds, breeders have produced many additional colors. So, you will be sure to find a Zebra Finch that suits your taste. 

zebra finch

Zebra Finches are difficult to tame. So, teaching them to sit on your finger, come flying to you when you call out their name, or mimic your voice would be a mammoth task.

Therefore, they are better suited as pets to look at rather than to play with. So, if you are looking for a bird to tame, Zebra Finch is not the pet for you.

But if you are someone who finds solace just by looking at birds, animals, and nature, Zebra Finches are the best bet for you. 

Zebra finch pair

Zebra Finch care advice:

  • Zebra Finches are sweet-tempered, social creatures. So, it is cruel to house them alone. Ideally, they should be housed in groups. But when that is not possible, they should at least be kept in pairs – same-sex or otherwise. But if you keep two birds of opposite sexes together, they will breed. So, be informed. 
  • Zebra Finches tend to fly and hop around all day. So, it is necessary to have a big long cage (ideally 5 feet long and 1.5 feet tall) that doesn’t restrict their movements. 
  • It is easy to find out if a Zebra Finch is happy or not. In the wild, Zebra Finches are chatty birds. So, a Zebra Finch that feels happy will make noises (something like a chirp) throughout the day. If you keep the cage near the window or outside, where your Zebra Finches can hear other birds, they will respond to the calls of other birds from the outside with their own calls.

These are some of the small pets that you can buy if you are not prepared for a long-term commitment. What do you think?

Do you like any of these pets? Or is there another pet that you like? Let us know in the comment section below.

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