From the tranquil presence of fish to the effortless care of small pets, business founders and leaders share their top recommendations for first-time pet owners. Style My Soul explores a diverse array of animal companions, each with unique qualities that make them suitable for newbies in the world of pet ownership.
Fish: Low-Maintenance and Therapeutic
Fish are often regarded as low-maintenance pets. They don’t require constant attention or daily walks like dogs or cats. With the right tank setup, regular feeding, and periodic water changes, you can ensure a healthy and vibrant environment for your aquatic friends. This is an excellent opportunity for first-time pet owners to learn about responsibility without feeling overwhelmed. There’s no denying the mesmerizing beauty of a well-maintained aquarium. There’s definitely aesthetic appeal. It’s also been scientifically proven that watching fish swim can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve mental health. The soothing sounds of bubbling water and the hypnotic movement of fish provide a tranquil experience for any observer.
- Jay Silber, Partner, Aqua Creations
Doodle Breeds: Friendly and Smart
Consider a doodle breed, such as a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle. These breeds combine the intelligence and friendly nature of Poodles with the affectionate and loyal characteristics of Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers. This mix often results in a pet that’s both smart and sociable, ideal for new owners. Doodles tend to be low- to non-shedding, which is a huge plus for those concerned about allergies or household cleanliness. They’re typically good with children and other pets, making them excellent family dogs. Their adaptable nature suits various living situations, from apartments to houses with yards. However, potential owners must remember that doodles, like all dogs, require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and proper training. They thrive on human interaction and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. While they’re a fantastic choice for first-timers, they require commitment and consistent care just like any other dog.
- Garrett Yamasaki, Founder and CEO, WeLoveDoodles
Cats: Independent and Affectionate Companions
Drawing from my personal experience as a cat owner, my family’s decision to welcome a cat as our children’s first pet has been nothing short of rewarding. Cats bring a unique blend of independence and affection to a household, making them an ideal choice for families. Their adaptable nature ensures they thrive in various living environments. As a low-maintenance pet, cats are well-suited for individuals or families with busy lifestyles. Their grooming needs are minimal, and they often entertain themselves, requiring less hands-on attention than some other pets. They are often well-suited to apartment living, providing a sense of comfort and companionship without the need for a large yard. The cat’s presence in our home has played a significant role in enhancing our children’s sense of responsibility and maturity. Caring for a pet, even one as independent as a cat, instills valuable life skills, teaching children about commitment, empathy, and routine.
- Jannelle Hurst, CEO, Legacy Rose Company, LLC
Tortoises: Calm Pets with Longevity
For those looking for a pet with a longer lifespan and unique character, a tortoise can be a great option. They are relatively low-maintenance but do require a specific living environment that mimics their natural habitat. Tortoises are generally quiet and have a calm demeanor, making them suitable for a more relaxed household. They’re fascinating to watch and can provide a sense of continuity and stability, given their long lifespans. - Olivia Kepner, Founder, Coolwood Wildlife Park
Guinea Pigs: Easy, Social Starters
I’d recommend starting with a low-maintenance and affectionate pet like a guinea pig. These little furballs are not only adorable but also pretty easy to take care of. They don’t require as much attention as dogs or cats, making them perfect for someone new to the pet-owning world. Plus, they’re social creatures and can be quite interactive, so you’ll get that companionship without feeling overwhelmed. Just make sure to provide them with a cozy cage, fresh veggies, and lots of love!
- Gabrielle Yap, Senior Editor, Carnivore Style
Hedgehogs: Unique, Low-Demand Pets
Hedgehogs can make great pets for first-time owners who are willing to put in the effort to understand and meet their specific care requirements. While not a common choice, hedgehogs can be a unique and rewarding pet. They are known for their distinctive appearance and interesting behaviors. Hedgehogs require a suitable habitat with the right temperature, lighting, and bedding. They also need a balanced diet consisting of high-quality hedgehog food, insects, and occasional treats. Proper handling is crucial since they have quills, but with gentle and patient interaction, they can become friendly and social pets. Their independent nature makes them suitable for busy individuals. However, it’s important to note that hedgehogs have specific needs and may not be a suitable choice for everyone. - Roy Lau, Co-Founder, 28 Mortgage
Small Pets: Effortless First-Time Care
Low-maintenance small pets are a perfect option for first-time pet owners. Some of the most famous low-maintenance small pets include guinea pigs, ferrets, sugar gliders, fish, and budgerigars. These pets require little time and effort for feeding, grooming, and housing, and therefore, first-time pet owners can effortlessly handle them to enjoy pet ownership. The key reason to adopt low-maintenance small pets is that they offer a hassle-free and introductory experience to pet care. Being less to no demanding, these pets adjust well to the routines of their owners and don’t bind them to compromise their activities. Being adaptable, not only do they require less special care and attention, but they also face fewer health issues. Unlike high-maintenance pets, these pets don’t need grooming, training, or regular exercise, making them perfect for first-time pet owners. This helps new pet owners have a positive first experience, feel responsible, and make lasting friendships with their pets.
- Jehanzaib Ahmed, Founder and CEO, wildlypet.com