Low-Maintenance Pets That Can Be Kept Outdoors

Updated on March 17, 2017

Outdoor Pets That Are Easy to Keep and Care For

Several types of outdoor pets are considered to be low-maintenance. In the interest of delivering the best information, I believe we need to first define what an "outdoor pet" is. An "outdoor pet is typically an animal that is kept outside as a pet. But outdoors animals that you keep as pets is completely different. For example, a fish is an outdoor animal, but is rarely kept outside. If raised as a pet, it is much more common to find a fish living indoors. On the other hand, a chicken is a pet that is kept outdoors.

Low-Maintenance Pets That Can Be Kept Outdoors


Low-Maintenance Outdoor Pets

1. Fish

Outdoor fish are simple to care for. All they need is water, sunlight, and food. If kept properly, they can be great pets. The only downside to keeping fish outdoors is that their living area needs a lot of maintenance (cleaning pumps, ponds, etc.). On the other hand, they only need to be fed once a day, cleaned once a month, and after initially setting up the tank, they don't need the constant attention that other animals may require.

Keeping fish indoors is another great way to enjoy the pet. Instead of having a pond or fountain, you simply set up a low-maintenance tank in your home and fill it with your favorite fish. Rather than choose an exotic saltwater fish, go with an easily cared for tropical fish. Once you set up the tank, the fish will provide you with endless hours of fun, and they only need to be fed once a day. Be sure that if you are interested in a low-maintenance fish that you are choosing the correct fish family. Also keep in mind that the more fish you keep in your tank, the more you have to clean it out each month.

2. Cats

In my opinion, cats are best kept outdoors. I only recommend doing this if you own your own land or live in a rural area. You should not let your cat(s) run rampant through your neighborhood. But, if you do live on a farm, or outside of the city limits, cats pretty low-maintenance. They do not require elaborate housing, just a warm place to take shelter from the weather. They simply require food and water, and are usually pretty happy chasing mice and the likes around outside. Furthermore, as long as you place a flea collar on the cat, it can be allowed to roam with no problems. Cats enjoy independence and will be more comfortable coming to you rather than being forced to constantly be by your side as indoor companions.

3. Snakes

There are many different types of snakes to consider keeping. Smaller-sized snakes are usually low-maintenance. If you are planning on keeping a 30-foot boa constrictor, obviously the maintenance is going to be a little more demanding.

Snakes require sunlight, heat, shelter, food, and water. Their feeding habits are very particular, so before you acquire a pet snake, learn how to feed it, what to feed it, and how much to feed it. I also recommend against getting any kind of poisonous snake unless you are a professional.

4. Lizards: These reptiles make great low-maintenance pets, and can be kept indoors or outdoors. The best lizard to think about getting is a bearded dragon or a gecko. They have great personalities, and they are very hardy and tolerant to quick change. In fact, these fascinating creatures regenerate lost, broken, or damaged body parts. Lizards are the best pets for those who are new to pet-keeping because they're very simple to care for. They are very loyal, curious, and naturally love to explore, so they do require a particular environment or habitat to live in.

5. Birds

It is obvious that birds are outdoor animals, but when people keep them as pets, they are usually confined to a cage indoors. Considering that birds need to be able to fly and interact with other birds in order to maintain happiness, they do require a lot of attention, otherwise they can become withdrawn, depressed, and even mean.

The best way to keep a bird as a low-maintenance pet is to place it in an outdoor sanctuary where it can be in its natural environment. Here, it can fly around to exercise, as well as tweet away in the morning with the rest of its species. Building a sanctuary is no easy undertaking, however, once it is set up, the birds require very little maintenance. It is important to note that keeping birds outdoors is only acceptable in appropriate climates.

Lion Head Rabbit
Lion Head Rabbit

6. Rabbits

Rabbits are very low-maintenance, requiring only food, shelter, and water. You can keep it in a cage, and let it hop around in the yard 4 times a week. You do not have to keep them inside (unless it is too cold). They're also small, gentle, and easy to clean up after.

7. Rodents

Mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. make great low-maintenance pets and can be kept as indoor pets or outdoor pets, provided they have the appropriate conditions in their cage.

8. Chinchilla

Chinchillas usually like to be kept alone or in pods of 2 or less. They are best kept in large indoor cages and require weekly feeding and watering. They are a great pet to keep if you have little time to care for an animal. The chinchilla is very similar to a rabbit and can even be allowed to roam around your home if you don't mind them nibbling on things they find. Like rabbits, they are small, soft, and also great with kids.

9. Chickens

In Mexico, people keep them as pets similar to the way we keep dogs in the U.S. There are a few reasons why chickens make great outdoor pets. They require very little interaction, they only need to be fed once every other day, they can find they're own food and water, and they do not need shelter. Chickens that are kept alone and cared for properly are extremely loyal. They can be a great companion, and will usually great you in the morning with a song and dance. They also do a great job of chasing off unwanted critters and providing you with fresh eggs!

10. Insects

Bugs usually require little food and water, and can be kept in small containers. Ants are a great idea, especially for kids. An ant farm requires almost no maintenance at all.

11. Turtles

These fascinating animals make great outdoor pets, but require an appropriate habitat. They thrive in dry and warm environments, but require lots of water and fruits to keep them hydrated.


There is no such thing as a pet that requires absolutely zero maintenance. It is inappropriate to consider keeping a living thing if you are unwilling or unable to spend time with it. Any animal, reptile, or insect kept as a pet should be cared for at least once a day. A good rule of thumb is to try to spend an hour a day with your pet. This list suggests animals that require little maintenance, but you must still give your pets a sufficient amount of care and attention. It's also important to consider your environment. If you live in a busy city or somewhere cold, the tips above may not apply to you and you could harm an animal if you keep it outside. It is best to consult with an animal specialist before making a decision on which pet to keep.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


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    • profile image

      12 hours ago

      Attention to any new pet keepers in the hobby: this article is TOTALLY WRONG about turtles, fish, lizards, and snakes. I myself have all of these animals and this article makes it seem like every species is the same. Sure, you can keep reptiles in outdoor enclosures. I have a few outside myself but I live in a place where it is almost never below 65 degrees all year. This page also says lizards are extremely loyal...a dog is loyal...not a lizard. Lizards like iguanas and monitors will come up to you and they will let you hold them but it’s not because they are loyal it’s because they want food or a scratch. And some lizards only have the power to regrow their tails not all body parts. Whoever wrote this article is the problem with this hobby. You tell people lizards don’t need a particular environment or that all turtles love being on dry land. The person that wrote this article obviously has never kept animals before because garuntee you that if you keep a rock iguana in 40 degree outdoor temps it will die. Or if you keep a side neck turtle in a desert enclosure it will die. Or if you, as the author, think a freaking tropical bird like an African Grey or a Macaw is a low maintenance pet then you are very wrong my friend. And guys I don’t suggest keeping any fish Outside unless it is goldfish, koi, or some sort of molly unless you are expierinced and have the right equipment. The tropical fish you usually see in the pet stores (cichlids, tetras, catfishes, etc) require warm water temps many times in the 75 degree F range and that cannot be achieved in colder climates. I guess what I am trying to say is please don’t read this article as a beginner and think this is all that you need to read. Please do more research. Watch videos like Racheal O’Leary, The Bio Dude, King of DIY. Because honestly this is a disgusting excuse for an article and I am sure my fellow animal keepers/lovers will agree.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      rabbis are NOT "very low-maintenance" at all if they go as little as 12 hours with out food the will die. they need fresh greens every day at least an hour out side their enclosure and are sensitive to temperature. they should be strictly inside pets.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      The information about rabbits is absolutely misleading. They require much much more time and attention. You will never get to know your bunny like this. Absolutely never. The get lonely, bored and depressed when they are kept in cages outside

    • profile image

      Kristin Patrick 

      8 months ago

      Those pets are cool and good i like the website

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      info about chinchillas is totally wrong, being a chinchilla owner for many years now I can inform you that this is bullshit. please please please look for you information elsewhere.

    • profile image

      a kid 

      21 months ago

      i realy want a pet that can live in the house but not in a cage all the time

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Um, have you thought about how cold these poor animals will get in Winter. Also, as a gecko owner, I know you most certainly CAN NOT keep them outdoors! Rabbits CAN NOT just be caged and visited 4 times a week! That is complete RUBBISH!!!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Not one of these pets are low maintenance and deserve at least 2 hours interaction and exercise per day.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      30 foot boa wow I'd love to see one of these dog need more socializing than your info has stated I have find in my opinion that working dogs suit the outdoor lifestyle as I have four my self I keep them in twos as they are pack animals but have 2 other heated pens in case there a problem witch I ain't had in 5 years an they seem to enjoy it my dogs are out of that pen for at least 6/7 hours a night if it just wondering the yard or working or there just sitting in the garage with me but there never left long periods of time with out human contact

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Chickens are the best bet

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      dogs are a pack animal and certainly need more than simply a daily visit. how sad.....

    • FishAreFriends profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      Nice Hub! I don't have any outdoor pets now, and most on the list would some inside during our cold colorado winters anyways... I like the organization of this hub.



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