Best Small Pets: Choosing the Right Pet

Choosing a new pet to adopt for the family can be a fun yet stressful task to take on. There are so many small, cool pets to choose from out there. Not to mention all of the things you need to take into consideration before adopting an animal.

Things such as “is my home big enough” or “Do we have enough time to care for an animal right now?” If your answers to these questions are that you have a tiny home and limited time, there are a few small animals that make the best pets for such lifestyles. Not to mention small animals are usually good pets for kids.

Guinea Pig

They may come from the same family as hamsters, but their personalities could not be more opposite. Hamsters are known for biting or nibbling on their human owners.

Guinea pigs, however, have a more docile and gentler demeanor. They enjoy being interacted with and even held and handled by people and children as long as they are being held properly and not being harassed. 

Guinea pigs make a great family pet for families with young children who are able to learn how to properly handle a guinea pig. They make great beginner pets for families with young children who are ready to start caring for a pet or two. Guinea pigs do well in pairs so that they have a companion to hang out with when you’re not home to interact with them. 


Hamsters are so cute and fuzzy, it's hard to take your kids or even yourself into a pet store without topping to take a peek at these cute little guys.  They are known to be a little nippier than their cousins the Guinea Pigs, but hamsters still make fun little first-time pets for kids and even some young adults. Just like with most cats, female hamsters are the ones with the attitude problems, as the girl hamsters are known more to bite than the male ones. 

Girl hamsters may sound like a challenge, but they are all unique so the personality of your hamster may carry more or less from what is considered typical. Caring for a hamster is easy enough too, especially for children. All they need is a decent sized cage to live in with tunnels to play in, a wheel for exercise, and a comfy area for nesting. 


Rabbits aren’t as easy to care for as some people seem to think, but they do make wonderful pets, however. It may take a combined family effort to properly care for a rabbit as a pet and might not make the best first pet for a child. They require a special enclosure to run and hop around in and be happy. As well as a comfortable place to sleep and feel safe. They are rather timid and skittish little creatures. So, having a safe place to retreat to when they want to feel cozy and secure is important. 

A rabbit may sound like a complicated small pet to care for, but they are still wonderful and loving little critters to keep as a pet if you are up for the challenge. Rabbits also usually need the companionship of another one of their own kind living with them for friendship to keep them from feeling lonesome when you and your family are away during the day. 


Some people get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about touching a reptile such as a snake or a geckos, let alone even considering having one as a pet.

There are some small reptiles such as frogs and various small species of lizards that make great small pets that are low maintenance. 

Buying and setting up their enclosure is probably the most tricky and costly part of caring for a small reptile. They need a tank to live in, the size varies depending on the size that the reptile may grow to be. They will also need an environment in the tank and a heat lamp to keep them warm since reptiles are cold-blooded. 

Reptiles' diet consists of live prey, which may be troublesome for some people. For young kids who are excited at the idea of feeding crickets to a lizard, getting a reptile as a small pet may not be such a bad idea. 


Fish are one of the easiest small pets that a person can own. Fish are a fun and relaxing pet to own at any age in life. Kids can enjoy owning a fish as a small pet because they only need to be concerned about changing their water regularly and feeding them a few times per week.

Fish aren’t a pet that you can physically interact with, unlike a dog or cat. But they still can be fun to play with. Some fish owners have even been known to teach their fish to jump through a little hoop just above their water. Goldfish are generally a good starter fish for young children, but betas are also a good fish to begin with. Both are low maintenance and calming to look at as they swim around in their bowl.


Small pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, reptiles, and fish make great pets for people of all ages, but especially as beginner pets for young children. Having these small pets allows kids to learn how to take responsibility for caring for a pet and tending to their needs. 

What pet should I get?

The pet that you should get depends on your lifestyle as well as preferences in pet type. Some factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing the best pet for you, include your living situation and the time and resources you have available to care for a pet. For instance, if you live in an apartment and work a lot you might want to consider getting a fish or cat.

What is the best pet?

Determining the best pet is generally a matter of opinion, but cats and dogs typically take the cake in that category. Cats are low maintenance and good with small living spaces, whereas dogs are fun, loving, and protective while also needing a larger living space usually.

What is the best small pet for a child?

The best small pet for a child as a beginner pet is usually a goldfish. They are cheap to buy and take care of, not to mention super easy to care for. Goldfish make a great small starter pet for kids to begin to learn the responsibilities of caring for a pet.

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Written by Leo Roux

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