7 Awesome Pets That Aren’t Dogs

Sometimes, having a pooch around to keep you company (and even in shape) isn’t possible due to a variety of reasons. Here are some pets that offer plenty of love and don’t need to be walked.


Ferrets

If you live in an area where ferrets are legal, these playful and snugly little creatures will warm your heart so much, you won’t be able to remember a time without them. Sly like a cat, these playful little guys need a lot of outdoor time, so be ready to keep them out of their cage while you’re around the house. However, they also love to chew anything in their path so you’ll have to keep a close eye on them. Ferrets are party animals and love to be the center of attention, so invite the gang over to meet your friendly new pet. (Photo credit: Valitov Rashid/Bigstock)


Birds

I’ve personally lived with birds since I was young, my first being a small peach-faced lovebird named Panchoe. It was love at first sight. He lived with my family until the ripe old age of 17 (yes, that’s human years). I am now the proud mama of a two-year old Caique named Max, who hops like a kangaroo and will hopefully live to be over 30 years old. While these intelligent, beautiful creatures may look easy to live with, be ready for a huge commitment. Even smaller birds such as budgies and canaries need to get out of their cage so they can bond with their human. They can be loud (especially when they want to get out of their cage), messy with feathers and food, and tend to gnaw at everything they see (Max has destroyed more things than my dog ever has). However, with proper training and socialization, the smallest of budgies or the largest of parrots (such as the Hyacinth) can be absolutely amazing animals who will love you – plus, they can be taught to be excellent cuddlers, no matter their size! (Photo credit: Lindsey Eltinge/Bigstock)


Guinea Pigs

Smaller than cats but larger than hamsters, Guinea Pigs are great animals for families who want to teach their children about pet care and responsibility. They’re low-maintenance and relatively quiet, making them a good first pet to have in the house. They live an average of five to seven years (double the amount of hamsters) and although they may all look similar, each has their own personality (shy or outgoing, adventurous or lazy). Unlike dogs, Guinea Pigs do not need to have daily outdoor exercise, but they do need plenty of time outside of their cage to socialize them and get used to other people. They also have a few other cute traits such as purring when they are happy (yup, just like a cat!) and hopping when they are excited, which literally means they hop/jump into the air over and over again. (Photo credit: Viorel Sima/Bigstock)


Hedgehogs

You’ve no doubt seen videos of these adorable creatures floating on their backs during their baths, and the truth is, they make amazing pets as well! You don’t need to give them constant attention, as they do well on their own with some toys in their cage, but a few hours a day outside of their enclosure should be more than enough. Affectionately known as hedgies, their quills do not hurt like that of the porcupine, so long as they are handled gently and carefully. Some fun facts: baby hedgehogs are called hoglets – how cute is that?! And on the other side of the spectrum, adult male hedgehogs are notorious masturbators, so if you pick up your so-cute-I-could-pinch-your-cheeks hedgie and his tummy is wet, well…you know what he’s been doing. (Photo credit: Nneirda/Bigstock)


Rabbits

I’ve had the pleasure of having quite a few animals under my roof when I was a child and a bunny was one of them. While we only had her for a year, Livianna was such a joy to have around as a pet. Playful and adorable, I recall seeing her happily jump in our backyard and periodically gnaw at our grass. Since they are such small creatures who make little to no noise, these fluffy guys are great apartment dwellers. You can purchase one from a reputable breeder or adopt one from your local shelter. They live for about 8-12 years, and like most pets, have a huge personality as well. Plenty of bonding time as well as spending time outdoors so they are exposed to sunlight is key to having a healthy, happy rabbit. (Photo credit: elenathewise/Bigstock)


Fish

For those who live busy lives but also want to care for something beautiful, fish may be the answer you are looking for. Buying a fish usually comes with a big price tag. Bowls won’t do – fish need a large tank to live in. Two to five fish can live in a 20-30 gallon tank. Fill their tank with some small rocks, pebbles, live plants and some decorations (like a treasure chest or sunken ship – Arrrr!), and you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful home for your fishy newcomers. (Photo credit: Andrey Armyagov/Bigstock)


Bearded Dragons

Pretending to be Daenerys Targaryen has never been easier – after all, these little reptiles have dragon right in their name, right?! Well, unlike Drogon or any of Dany’s other dragons, these guys are well-mannered and won’t burn you to a crisp should you irritate them. Rather, bearded dragons have a happy-go-lucky attitude. They do well with daily or even weekly interaction with their human and like to be taken out of their enclosure to explore the land you call home. They can even live to be as old as some dogs – 15 years, in fact! They aren’t too picky about what they eat and other than having a heated enclosure, they are relatively low maintenance pets and don’t make much of a mess. They’re also quiet and gentle creatures who will happily lay on your shoulder.

Diana Faria
Diana Faria

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