7 Best Pets to Have as a Teenager

If your teenager has recently expressed interest in owning a new pet, there are few things you may want to consider first. Seeing how your teenagers are no longer young children, they can bear more responsibility when it comes to pets. So, what are some of the best animals for teenagers to have?

Some of the best pets to have as a teenager include many different types of dogs, cats, and reptiles. While some of these animals may require different levels of time and care, any teenager could easily look after and take care of these kinds of pets.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the seven best pets for teenagers to have, as well as what to consider before you bring home a new pet that your teenager will be responsible for. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading.


As we stated above, dogs are a great pet for any age group to be around and care for. Not only are dogs a loyal and lovable pet to have, but they are also easy to maintain and care for. While some breeds may require more time and attention than other breeds, any teenager in your life would love the chance to care for a new dog.

It’s important to note that some breeds will do better in a house full of young adults than smaller children. Below, we’ll explore some of the best dog breeds that will do well in a house full of teenagers.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for being a companion breed and are just as protective as they are loving. These large dogs are highly intelligent and will enjoy being in a house with energetic and active teenagers.

This breed requires a good amount of exercise, so if you have a teen that likes to spend time outdoors and being active, the German Shepherd will make a great addition to your household. When your German Shepherd isn’t busy being active outdoors and burning energy, they’ll enjoy simply spending time with your teen.

While taking care of this breed isn’t too difficult, a German Shepherd belongs in a household with active members who are willing to keep their pet active daily. If you’re looking for the perfect pet for your energetic teenager, you may want to consider having a German Shepherd around.

Golden Retriever

Gold Retrievers are another great dog breed that will do well amongst teenagers. These dogs are known to be friendly, tolerant, and easy to care for, making them a great pet for any teenager to own.

Golden Retrievers are another large and active breed that any teenager would love to have around. Your teen will have an easy time training this breed, as well as keeping them active and healthy outdoors.

This breed is such a popular family dog and will do well in a house full of active teens that have the time and energy to give their new pet the exercise they need. Seeing how this lovable breed is easy to care for while still requiring a good amount of attention, your teen looking to gain some responsibility will do well in owning their own Golden Retriever.

Jack Russell Terrier

If you’re looking for another lovable breed that does well around the whole family, including your teen, then the Jack Russell is the perfect pet for you. This breed has loads of energy that need to be burned daily while also requiring a lot of attention.

While this breed is easy to train and have around, Jack Russells do require a lot of time and patience, so it’s important to be mindful of this factor. If you have an active teen in your life looking to bear more responsibility or maybe become more active themselves, having a Jack Russell in their life will help them along.

This breed is easily trainable and will quickly become an unbreakable companion in your teen’s life. Taking the time to understand which dog breeds will make the best pets for teens will ensure that both your new pet and your teen will become inseparable for life.


Another great option when it comes to ideal pets for teens is a reptile. If you have a teen who isn’t keen on being constantly active outdoors or has the energy or time to keep up with a new pup around the house, a reptile may make a great fit.

Below, we’ll explore some reptiles that your teen can easily look after and care for without a problem.


Reptiles such as geckos require a good amount of essential materials to stay happy and healthy. Not only will your teen need to keep their gecko in an appropriately sized tank, but also factors such as food, heat, lighting, and how to correctly handle their reptile should all be factored in beforehand.

There are plenty of different geckos that your teen can choose from, depending on what kind of reptile they prefer. While most geckos don’t differ too much when it comes to how they should be cared for and what they need to survive, it’s important to be mindful of the small differences.

While the diet between a crested gecko and a gargoyle gecko may slightly differ, your teen needs to do their research beforehand to take care of their specific gecko correctly. Most geckos can live between 10-20 years, and with the proper care and love, your teen will have a companion for the long haul.


Turtles are an easy pet to have around, and any teen can easily care for one with the proper knowledge and materials. Turtles require semi-aquatic environments to thrive and remain healthy, so it’s important to be mindful of this.

Your teen’s turtle can live between 15-25 years, and they make a great pet for beginner pet owners. If your teen prefers keeping their pet close and not having to worry about walks or bathroom breaks, a small reptile, like a turtle, might make a great addition to your teen’s life.


There are plenty of beginner-friendly types of snakes that your teen can easily care for daily. While not all teens or parents may be keen on keeping a snake around, these animals make great pets, and there are plenty of benefits to owning one.

For example, corn snakes are a popular choice among those new to owning this kind of reptile. Corn snakes are popular since they aren’t too big and they are widely available.

It’s also important to note that your teen’s snake will require the appropriate kind of enclosure and other materials such as substrate to stay healthy and happy in their new home. Keeping all these factors in mind will allow your teen to care for their new reptile friend.


Rodents are another great option for teens looking for a new animal companion, as well as a bit more responsibility. Rodents such as rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters are fairly easy to care for, and there are plenty of benefits of allowing your teen to own one.


Rats are easy to care for and are highly social animals that your teen would love to have around. With the proper care, your teen’s rat can live up to 2-3 years. While rats require a stable housing environment and feeding schedule, your teen can easily care for a new rat with the proper equipment and knowledge.

With rats being sociable and loyal animals, your teen will immediately grow to have an unbreakable bond with them and will love to care for them and have them around.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs require lots of attention, so if your teen has the time and energy to care for these adorable rodents properly, there are plenty of pros to your teen owning a guinea pig. With the proper love and care, a guinea pig can live up to 8 years comfortably, and they are fairly easy to care for.

If your teen is willing to give their new guinea pig the time and attention they need to stay healthy and thrive, having a guinea pig to look after will have plenty of benefits for both your teen’s new companion and their new pet.


Hamsters aren’t ideal for keeping around small children, but you can easily trust your responsible teen to take care of this nocturnal rodent. These furry pets are big on exercise and love to eat, but it’s important to be mindful that their lifespan ranges from 1-2 years.

Hamsters are also known to have poor eyesight, so it’s important to watch their behavior so that they don’t end up injuring themselves. It’s also important to give your hamster space while they’re sleeping, as they may nip anyone who disrupts their much-needed sleep.

This loveable rodent will make a great addition to your teen’s life and will allow them to take on more responsibility while also making a friend along the way.


Cats are easy to care for and are known for being very independent. So, while cats may not require the level of attention that other pets may need, cats do have strict requirements that your teen needs to meet.

Most cats can comfortably live up to 13+ years with the right care and attention from their owners. Cats should be kept indoors for their safety, and your teen should be mindful of how often they clean out their cat’s litter box.

Cats are also self-cleaning animals, so you won’t have to worry about that factor while caring for them. While there are plenty of myths out there that cats are very anti-social, cats love to be close to their owners, as long as they are in the right mood.

If your teen is also somewhat independent and on the anti-social side, having a cat around may be the person companion for them.


Most birds are actually very low maintenance, and they don’t take up a lot of space, which makes them an ideal choice for beginner pet owners. For example, parakeets are very affectionate animals that do well around all age groups, including teens.

The average parakeet lives anywhere from 7-10 years, and they are an easily trained bird that will do well in a stable and comfortable environment. You can also easily train your parakeet to speak with the proper socialization and training.

Parakeets also enjoy a large array of foods that vary from veggies to bird seeds. Parakeets will also enjoy fruit occasionally, and of course, fresh water should be provided in your parakeet’s diet daily.

It’s clear to see that birds such as parakeets will make a great addition to your teen’s life for numerous reasons.


While there are plenty of different types of fish to choose from, most fish are low maintenance and easy to care for. With the proper equipment and knowledge, your teen can easily help care for numerous fish at a time. We have recently written an excellent article about the 7 best fish for beginners here.

For example, freshwater fish are non-aggressive fish that will make a great addition to your household. Freshwater fish need to be fed no more than two times a day, and their diet consists of tropical flakes and pellets.

These fish also require an appropriately sized aquarium to stay happy and healthy. The water quality of your fish’s tank is also essential to their well-being, so it’s important to be mindful of all these factors.

Your teen will love to have a tank of freshwater fish around, as they are easy to take care of and will liven up any household with their bold and brightly colored bodies.


The last pet that will make an ideal companion for any teenager is bunnies. Bunnies are highly affectionate creatures and need owners who are willing to give them plenty of time and attention daily.

With the proper care, bunnies can live up to 10+ years, but it’s important to note that they require strict and proper care to thrive and stay healthy for the long haul. For example, your bunny’s housing temperatures should never exceed 80°F (27°C) to keep your bunny safe and comfortable.

To keep your bunny energetic and lively, high-quality rabbit food should be the majority of what your bunny consists of, with fruits and vegetables being an occasional snack for your furry friend.

Your teen will thoroughly enjoy having a pet bunny around to keep them company, and their bunny will be happy to have a sweet companion by their side as well. Keeping all these factors in mind will allow your teen to properly care for their new pet while also picking out the best option for them and their schedule.

What to Consider Before Adopting a New Pet

Before you and your teen decide on adopting a new pet, there are a few factors you should both consider beforehand. To properly care for any new pet, you’ll have to decide if you have the time and resources available to you to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.

Below, we’ll explore each of these factors and how you can pick the best kind of pet for you and your household.

Pet Requirements

To properly care for your pet, it’s important to note that you should have the time, space, and energy to give them everything they need to thrive and survive. For example, if you plan on adopting a large German Shepherd for your teen, it’s important to note that you should have the space for such a large dog and the time to give them the exercise they need.

If you feel as if you won’t have the time to care for a very energetic dog, you may want to consider keeping a pet that is more low maintenance. For example, having a cat or a pair of geckos around won’t require as much time and energy as a new dog would.

Keeping these factors in mind will help you make the right decision for you and your teen, as well as your future pet.


Another factor you’ll want to take into consideration is your future pet’s lifespan. We explored many of the animals your teen may be interested in and their expected lifespans if you go on to live a healthy life.

Your future pet’s potential lifespan is important to consider, and it’s also important to make your teen aware of this well. While your teen will most likely become close to their new pet and will likely share a bond with them, it’s important to let them know how long their future pet might be around.

For example, the life expectancy of a cat is much longer than that of a hamster, so keeping these factors in mind is important at the end of the day. While these animals’ lifespan shouldn’t stop you from being interested in them, it’s still important to factor this into your decision making.

Overall Costs

The cost of your new pet is another component you’ll want to consider before bringing any new animal home. If you have a pet that requires more essential items such as specific types of food, housing, and care, the overall cost of keeping this pet may be high.

For example, keeping a gecko as a pet comes with many different expenses. While many of these expenses are solely one-time costs, it’s important to factor them in. For starters, your gecko will require a large enough tank to be comfortable in, as well as the proper lighting, heat, and decor for their new environment.

Your gecko will also require the correct kind of food, as well as maintenance when it comes to keeping their tank clean and tidy. This is a great example of how the overall cost of keeping some pets may be higher than others.

It’s also important to factor in what’s essential for your pet, as well as what isn’t when you’re trying to establish an overall cost. Keeping all these factors in mind will allow you to stay on budget while also knowing if you can properly care for your new pet or not in the long run.


In this article, we explored the 7 best pets for your teenager, as well as everything you need to know about each of these pets to make the right decision. While some of the pets we listed above are low maintenance, some of these animals require a good amount of time and energy to keep them happy and healthy.

We also explored everything you should consider before bringing your new pet homes, such as the overall cost of keeping these pets, the amount of time and attention these animals will need, and their predicted lifespans.

If you are heading of to college I recommend you read our blog 10 Best Furry Pets for College Students first.

Darren Black

I'm Darren Black, the owner, and author of AnimalKnowhow.com. I am from Scotland, United Kingdom and passionate about sharing useful information and tips about properly caring for an animal's wellbeing.

Recent Posts