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Top three low-maintenance pets for the office or classroom

Plants are not the only way to add life and colour to your workspace.

Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal

Published: 10 November 2015, 2:33 AM

It has been proven that having a pet reduces stress and increases the efficiency of your colleagues or classmates. Not only that, their presence can help build camaraderie and a sense of responsibility among workmates.

But before you decide on getting a pet kitten or a lame pet rock, we have three alternative low-maintenance pets that you can consider sharing your work/study space with.

1. Betta, aka fighting fish

No, this Betta is not the young boy you address in Hindi. These bettas come in the form of a graceful small fish in a tank. The fishes are a joy to keep and they display beautiful bright colours which are pleasing to the eye.

You can amuse yourself by putting a mirror in front of a male betta and watch it “put up a show”. Or you can just talk to it when you are feeling stressed.

BETTAS DO NOT NEED AN AIR PUMP AS THEY CAN BREATHE SURFACE OXYGEN.

With a lifespan of three to five years, bettas are the best starter pets a workspace can get; you only need to clean its tank once a week.

The only drawback is that you cannot cuddle it the way you would with a kitten.

Price range:

You can bring back a betta, fish food and tank for about $40.

2. Guinea pigs

These rodents are the next best pets you can take care of. They make terrific first pets for people who want a loving animal but cannot provide the amount of attention that a cat or dog requires. Their squeal of delight when you bring food will melt your heart.

Also, since guinea pigs are from cool climates, your air-conditioned workspace is just right for these furballs.

THEIR CUTE EYES WILL SOFTEN EVEN THE MANLIEST OF HEARTS.

Apart from having a fair amount of space for their cage, they will need hay, water, fresh vegetables and a small amount of pelleted food formulated for guinea pigs, plus a vitamin C supplement each day. If your friends can share the expenses, all of you can be the proud owners to the cute rodents!

Price range:

Each Guinea Pig can range from $30 to $50. A suitable cage can cost about $50.

3. Budgies

You can be buddies with your office budgies. When you put them around people, they can be very cheery and lovable. These small winged creatures are in the cheaper range compared to rest of their parrot cousins and are relatively low-maintenance pets.

It is best if you only have one budgie because they tend to attach themselves with other budgies. When they are alone however, they will treat humans like one of their own.

YOU CAN ALSO TEACH YOUR BUDGIE TO TALK.

Their life span is about five to fifteen years. Clipping its wings can be an option if you fear it will fly out of the window. Plus, it is best to put their cages near a window so that it will not be too cold if you are working in an air-conditioned environment.

Unlike the first two pets however, budgies have some special considerations that you need to take note of. First of all, they do have allergies and cleanliness is important when handling them (they can fall sick too!). Apart from that, you have to make sure there is someone taking care of them on the weekends.

Price range:

You can get the birds at about $20 and a proper bird cage and food will add up to about $60.

So if you think your workspace is conducive for pets and have a bunch of responsible and fun friends who can help with raising it, this will be a great idea to explore!

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