Purr-fect and Paw-some: Pets for Single-Parent Households

Last Updated on December 9, 2023 by Lori Pace

Pets are great friends, always there to listen and make you feel less lonely. When you have a dog, you explore and experience nature by taking it for walks regularly. On top of that, your kids learn responsibility by feeding and caring for pets. 

Do you know pets are also amazing stress-busters? Just petting them can make you feel relaxed. And the fun part? Their playful ways can turn an ordinary day into a laughter-filled one. 

Hence, this guide aims to help you find the perfect pet to match your home. 

What are the Top Pets for Single-Parent Households?

Of course, you can get low-maintenance pets like finches, doves, and canaries or unconventional choices like dwarf frogs and hermit crabs. However, we’ll focus on the top interactive pets: dogs and cats. They both bring different joys and are perfect for varying reasons. Let’s find out which pet is the best for you and your kids.

Top Dog Breeds for Single Parents



This breed is perfect for single parents because it is friendly and easy to get along with. Since a beagle is a small pet, it can fit in an apartment or small home. 

French Bulldog

A French Bulldog propped on a ball.

A French Bulldog is like a low-maintenance best friend. It’s small and super affectionate. This breed’s adaptability to apartment living and loving temperament make it an excellent choice for those looking for a low-energy dog.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel staring

This breed is sweet and loving, perfect for single parents and their kids. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is great with families and needs a small living space.

Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu  laid out under furniture

This tiny, affectionate breed is suitable for a single-parent household because it doesn’t need a lot of exercise and is happy just playing indoors.

Boston Terrier

A Boston Terrier laid out on the grass

A Boston Terrier is a friendly little companion for single parents. It’s small and easy to take care of. In addition, you don’t have to worry about lots of grooming or exercise. 

Top Cat Breeds for Single Parents


A Siamese cat staring

A Siamese cat is social and affectionate, making it a great companion for single-parent homes. It thrives on human interaction and is also low-maintenance in terms of grooming.


A Ragdoll kitten lying down

This breed is a gentle giant with a calm and docile temperament. It enjoys lounging around and being cuddled, making it ideal for families looking for a relaxed feline friend. On top of that, Ragdolls are affectionate and adapt well to indoor living.


A Birman staring while lying down

A Birman is a friendly and adaptable cat that forms a strong bond with its owners. It’s a relatively low-energy cat, suitable for a family with a busy lifestyle. Additionally, it has a beautiful, silky coat that requires minimal grooming.

British Shorthair

A British Shorthair lying on a wooden surface

This breed is easygoing, independent, and doesn’t demand constant attention. Hence, it’s content lounging and is well-suited for apartment living. Its low-maintenance grooming needs make it a practical choice for single parents.

Maine Coon

A Maine Coon cat outdoors

A Maine Coon is a friendly and sociable cat that enjoys the company of human family members. Despite its large size, it’s gentle and adaptable to various living spaces.

Considerations When Choosing a Pet: You Can’t Skip This!

Choosing the right pet means thinking about a few important things:

Time and Commitment

Every pet needs your time and attention, but some need it more. Dogs, for example, need walks, playtime, and training. Cats are a bit easier, but still love playtime and cuddles. Other pets, such as rabbits, require adult supervision around your kids. 

Pet Care Expenses

Pets cost money. You need money for pet food, vet visits, and sometimes grooming or toys, in addition to other household expenses. Some pets, like certain dog breeds, can cost more because they need specific food for conditions like bloating or more visits to the vet. Cats usually cost less but still need litter and vet care.

The Space

Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds need more room to move around, while small dog breeds like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers need less space. If you live in a small place, you may have to consider pets other than dogs and cats. For instance, you can get a gerbil, guinea pig, fish, leopard gecko, bearded dragon, or a bird like a canary.

Potential Allergies in the Family

Before getting a pet, check if anyone in your family has allergies. Some dog breeds, like the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Saint Bernard, are heavy shedders. Others, like the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Maltese, have hypoallergenic coats and minimal shedding, making them better companions for people with allergies. 

How to Integrate a Pet into the Household

Bringing a new pet home is a big change. Learn what is best for your pet to ensure your home is ready for its arrival. For example, it should have its own space. Show your kids how to treat the pet right and help them understand why it’s important to care for it. 

Balancing Pet Care with Parenting

Caring for a pet as a single parent can be tough, so choose one that won’t add too much work. In addition, teach your kids the care process so you can share the responsibility. Hence, choose a breed that is good for kids.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right pet for your single-parent household is a big decision. Each pet has its own needs and benefits.

Hence, consider how much time, money, and space you have. Also, remember to consider allergies in your family. Get a family-friendly pet that kids can help care for. It teaches them to be responsible, kind, and good at managing time. They also become closer to their pets, making them feel loved and happy.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!

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