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The cheapest pets you can own

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Cats and dogs are a popular choice of pet, but adopting and caring for these furry friends tends to be expensive. If you’re looking to keep costs down, why not consider a more affordable animal? Inexpensive pets are usually more low-maintenance and adapt easily to their new home. From crustaceans to reptiles to rodents, here are 15 animals who will keep you company without breaking the bank.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Hermit crab

The hermit crab makes an unusual pet that doesn’t cost very much—you can buy one for about $6 at most pet stores. You should also plan to spend $125 to set up your crab’s living environment, as well as $25 per month on maintenance. Contrary to what its name suggests, this little shelled creature prefers to have company. At such a low price, you could get two, three, or even four of them without having to spend a lot more.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Betta fish (Siamese fighting fish)

The betta fish is an inexpensive pet that’s very easy to care for. This pet will cost you less than $600 over the course of its entire lifespan, which is about two years. Most of this goes toward initial purchases such as the tank, filter, thermometer, and heater.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Guinea pig

This cute rodent is especially popular with kids. That’s great news for parents, because it’s also a pet that’s easy on the wallet. You should budget about $200 to buy the guinea pig and its cage and to set up its living environment. After that, maintenance costs will add up to roughly $40 per month. This includes food, bedding, vitamin C supplements (a must for this rodent), and veterinary care. You can also feed fruit and vegetable peels to your guinea pig to save money and cut down on food waste.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Tarantula

Some people find its appearance repulsive, but the tarantula actually makes an excellent pet. Because it doesn’t need to be entertained, visit the vet, or have a bunch of toys, this arachnid is one of the least expensive animals you can own. You’ll have to spend close to $130 to buy the tarantula and everything you need to set up its home, after which you’ll be paying just a few dollars per month for its food.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Budgie (parakeet)

Did you know that the budgie (also known as the parakeet) belongs to the parrot family? That explains why it loves to talk and socialize with those around it. Not only is this bird cheerful, it’s also inexpensive to care for. The budgie, its cage, and accessories will cost you about $300. Once you’re all set up, you’ll be spending $200 per year on food, toys, and visits to the vet.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Corn snake

It doesn’t cost much to adopt a corn snake, especially compared to the cost of an animal like a dog. As a new owner, you’ll be spending between $40 and $80 for the snake and between $100 and $400 for the terrarium and its accessories. Food and maintenance expenses will cost you $20 to $30 per month.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Hamster

If you had a pet hamster as a kid, you know that these animals are very cute and love running on their wheel. They’re also one of the least expensive rodents you can own. You’ll need to spend less than $1,000 on your hamster over its entire lifespan, which is about three years. This includes $350 to buy the hamster and supplies for its living environment, plus close to $260 annually for its food and maintenance.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Butterfly

The butterfly is a cost-effective pet that requires very little care. For just a few dollars, you can order a butterfly growing kit online. However, not all of the caterpillars in your kit will mature into butterflies, so be sure to order a few extras if you want to see your pet take flight. As for food, some species of butterflies do not actually eat (they don’t have mouths). Other species need a solution of water and sugar. In any case, apart from the cost of the vivarium, you won’t need to spend much money on a pet butterfly.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Emperor scorpion

The emperor scorpion is the ideal pet for people who don’t have much time or affection to offer. And it’s not especially dangerous—its sting is comparable to a bee sting, painful but not serious for most people. In total, an emperor scorpion will cost you between $25 and $100. You’ll spend between $25 and $50 on the scorpion and the rest on its living environment. If that seems too good to be true, don’t forget that scorpions feed on live insects. But these can be purchased for a few dollars a month.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Rat

Rats don’t have a good reputation: we tend to picture them swimming in sewers or biting anyone who approaches them. However, they make excellent, inexpensive pets. To buy and care for this rodent, plan to spend $10 to $15 on the rat, $200 on its living environment, and $20 to $30 per month on its food. Keep in mind that rats are very social animals, though, so it’s best to adopt two rats rather than just one.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Sea-Monkeys

These odd creatures are actually a type of shrimp. Created in a lab in the 1950s, Sea-Monkeys are known as the “instant” pet, sold as packets of eggs that hatch when added to water. You can buy a kit containing the eggs and a fully equipped aquarium for the modest sum of $20. Sea-Monkeys have a life expectancy of two years.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Although the hedgehog itself can be quite expensive ($100 to $300), the cost to care for this prickly little creature is relatively low. Once you’ve purchased the cage and supplies for about $150 to $300, you’ll need to budget $15 per month for food.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Goldfish

Looking for a pet that’s both low-cost and low-maintenance? Get a goldfish! For less than $100, you can buy the fish, a basic living environment, and several months’ worth of fish food. Plus, an aquarium adds more colour to your space, giving you something pretty to look at while working from home.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Rabbit

Kids will love the bunny’s soft fur—and adults will love its low cost! For $250, you can buy the rabbit, cage, and everything you need to set up a cozy home for your new pet. You’ll also need to spend around $40 per month on food, and if you plan to spay or neuter your rabbit, the procedure will cost you between $125 and $250.

food, the cheapest pets you can own

Leopard gecko

The leopard gecko is a popular species of gecko lizard and one of the least expensive to care for. The initial cost isn’t too high: about $200 for basic equipment, including the price of the lizard. Same goes for its food, which will add up to around $6 per month. Enjoy the presence of this beautiful spotted creature without going broke!

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