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COMPANY CULTURE / FEB. 11, 2016
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Top 3 Low-Maintenance Office Pets

Young woman working with cat
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Pixelkeet has birds, Google has dogs (with very official name badges), and Poopy Cat has cats (to be fair, though, they do make biodegradable litter boxes). And with approximately 20% of companies in the US welcoming pets in the office, you and your workmates are starting to feel left out and want to jump on the pet-friendly office bandwagon.

You’ve listed off all the benefits of having an office pet and managed to convince your boss what a great idea it is both in terms of employee morale and workplace productivity. The only thing that remains to do now is to decide what kind of pet to get. You’d like a dog (but dogs need lots of exercise and grooming), Alex wants a poisonous snake (but that’s out of the question since you have the company’s health and safety requirements to consider), and everyone knows that Shirley wants a cat (she is the office’s crazy cat lady, after all).

However, they all require a bit of work to keep, and the truth is everyone in your department is either too lazy to take Fido out for his daily walks or simply doesn’t have a lot of time to spare to scoop out Fluffy’s poop from her litter box. After much debate, you’ve come to agree that a low-maintenance office pet is your best option.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the three best, and least demanding, pets for your office!

See Also: Top 6 Companies And Their Office Pets

1. Guinea Pigs

Guinea pig in grass
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One of the main reasons guinea pigs make a great first pet for kids is because they’re so easy to look after. They require little attention, especially if they’re in the company of other cavies, and are generally well-behaved and sociable rodents. Because of this, they also make excellent office pets. They’re affectionate little creatures that are known for squealing when they sense their owners approaching and at the sound of the office’s refrigerator opening.

For those living and working in Switzerland, however, you’ll need to adopt at least two guinea pigs if they’re your choice of office pet. As of 2008 and according to Swiss law, owning a single guinea pig is harmful to its wellbeing as they’re considered to be social animals and it is, therefore, strictly prohibited. The same applies for goldfish, rabbits, and turtles.

Lifespan: 4 to 5 years

Startup Costs: $30 on average for each guinea pig, plus $50 for a suitable cage, and around $20 for a month’s supply of food and bedding

2. Budgies

Budgie sitting on birdcage
Shutterstock

There are three main reasons why keeping a budgie as an office pet is a great idea.

For one, although they’re serial poopers, their poop tends to dry quickly and, therefore, doesn’t smell much; this means you can get away with cleaning their cages out just once a week. Two, they can be taught to mimic words and phrases. And finally, three, you can pretend to be a pirate and carry your little feathered friend around the office on your shoulder.

Lifespan: 5 to 14 years

Startup Costs: $20 on average for each budgie, plus about $60 for a suitable cage and basic supplies

3. Betta Fish

Betta fish
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If you’re looking to get a fish, a Betta fish is your safest bet. Also known as the Siamese fighting fish (males require separate bowls for a reason), they can be aggressive and will sometimes become highly possessive of their territory if trespassed by rivals. They will flare their gill covers to intimidate rivals, and they will also do this to flirt with other fish. Because Bettas can go to the surface for oxygen, they do not require a filtered fish tank, but it will need to be cleaned at least once a week.

However, to make things extra simple for you, you can invest in your very own Water Garden, a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food. Combining a fish tank and your very own office garden into one, the Water Garden is a closed-loop ecosystem in which the fish’s waste is turned into nutrients for the plants (basil, mint, and parsley, for example) and the plants, in turn, keep the water clean.

Lifespan: 2 to 4 years

Startup Costs: $2 to $20 for each Betta fish, plus $59.99 for the Water Garden which includes gravel, fish food, and organic seeds

See Also: 5 Jobs For Cat Lovers

Does your office keep any of the pets on this list? Perhaps you have a few pointers you’d like to share with those of us who are considering getting a low-maintenance office pet, or maybe you have a few ideas of your own to add? Let us know in the comments section below!

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