4 Great Low-Maintenance Pets For Students to Help Relieve Stress

By Nigel Robert Modified on July 07, 2022
Tags : Health and Wellness | Relationships

A furry, reptilian, or fishy friend can help you de-stress all year long!

4 Great Low-Maintenance Pets For Students to Help Relieve Stress

University life can be stressful, especially in exam season — but even summer break means part-time work, volunteer gigs, and maybe even summer courses.

It's easy to feel isolated during this time. Having the attention and presence of another living being can help you relax and lower stress. Pets are a great choice for the task!

Most students don't have the time or space to care for bigger, high-maintenance pets like cats or dogs. However, there are smaller, lower-maintenance animals that make amazing, easy pets to care for.

Here are four of the best low-maintenance pet options for any student looking to spread some love and help relieve stress.

Leopard gecko

Lizards, particularly leopard geckos, have become one of the most popular pets for college and university students to have.

These lizards are small, growing to only around 7"-11" long and weighing 50-80 grams. They typically require small tanks to house them, and will typically eat easy to find, cheap insects such as crickets, Dubia roaches, mealworms, and super worms.

Unlike other lizard species, leopard geckos can be very affectionate and welcoming to close contact. They're even known to cuddle into their owners' hands for warmth, which is an extremely adorable way to relax you in the middle of a study session.


Fish are another popular low-maintenance pet that people lean towards when they don't necessarily care about having physical contact with their pet.

The most recommended species include:

  • Tetras: schools of at least 5
  • Guppies: schools of at least 3
  • Goldfish: kept individually
  • Bettas: males kept individually, females in schools of 4

Fish are perfect for college and university students because they typically don't require much attention, and feeding them once or twice a day is a breeze!

While you can't cuddle with them like other traditional pets, some people find watching them swim around in their aesthetically pleasing tanks relaxing enough for them.


Hamsters are a staple pet choice for children and students alike. These small rodents don't require a specialized diet, and live in small, uncomplicated cages that are easy to set up.

Hamsters can easily entertain themselves if you're incredibly busy. However, unlike other pets on this list, they do tend to crave physical contact whenever you can give it to them.

This makes them the great companions if you're looking for a furry friend you can cuddle with while studying and doing homework.

It's important to note that hamsters typically only live for two or three years, so they aren't really "lifelong pets" by any means.


The last low-maintenance pet on this list is the turtle. The best beginner, student-friendly species include:

Out of the four, the red eared slider is typically the friendliest. They're active and love being let out of their tank to walk around. As they become more socialized they typically allow petting and being held, without getting startled or frightened.

In contrast to hamsters, who have short lifespans, turtles can live for 30+ years, which is important to consider when looking at them as pets.


Even though university can be stress-inducing at times, there are various ways to relieve some of that stress. Keeping a furry, reptilian, or fishy friend is one of them!

Lizards, fish, hamsters, and turtles make amazing low-maintenance pets for anyone who requires a little relaxation and stress relief in their busy college lives.

They're all small, relatively quiet, easy-to-care-for pets who can bring at least a little sense of calm in the hustle and bustle of daily life. But remember, your pets rely on you for love and care, so be sure you're ready before adopting!

If any of these potential pets interest you, do your research and consider adding them to your life!

Learn more about pets and pet care

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