The 15 Best Pets That Won’t Stink Up Your House

smelly dog
UfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Written by Nina Phillips

Published: May 19, 2024

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Some animals are pretty stinky. Ferrets, skunks, and even some dogs have a natural smell that you can’t get rid of no matter what you do. For those who live with others, or are sensitive to smells, picking pets that won’t stink up your house is a must.

Unfortunately, this isn’t very easy. Some animals may be odorless, but only until their cage or litter box gets a little dirty. Others have a pungent odor you’ll never get rid of, no matter what you do. It’s important to understand what’s required to ensure that your pet isn’t going to smell, and if it’s even possible.

Thankfully, there are a few traditional and not-so-traditional animals out there that are minimal in their odors. This article covers 15 of them. Keep reading until the end to figure out all 15 as well as what you need to consider when getting an animal that you don’t want to smell, and possible alternatives to keeping a pet in your home.

1. Leopard Geckos

Some live up to 20 years.

These geckos are pretty sturdy and can handle a few mistakes.

2. Spiders

Macro on Hyllus semicupreus Jumping Spider. This spider is known to eat small insects like grasshoppers, flies, bees as well as other small spiders.

Jumping spiders

are surprisingly adorable pets.

Some people are easily freaked out by these little insects. But they definitely don’t stink.

3. Parakeets

These cute little birds make for perfect pets.

Parakeets love to bathe themselves. If given clean water, they usually don’t have a smell

4. Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs

are a lot more fun than people assume.

These social creatures are fun to watch and are odorless unless sick.

5. Snakes

Ball python coiled on rock

These animals need a lot of space.

Snakes don’t really have a smell, except for garter snakes, making them a great choice.

6. Rats

Rats are smart and affectionate.

As long as their cage is properly cleaned, they don’t release an odor.

7. Mice

Little pet: mouse on arm. Long haired decorative little mouse. Home animal, fun pet. Cute mice. Bicolor splashed mouse on white background. Decorative satin mouse. Photo of mice, pet. Animal and hand

Mice are like the smaller version of rats.

As long as their cage is cleaned regularly, they don’t produce any smells.

8. Rabbits

These animals have a strong urine smell.

Rabbits can be high-maintenance, but they don’t stink as long as you clean up their waste regularly. Still, the ammonia is very strong and if you are super sensitive to smells, this may not be the best option.

9. Chinchilla

These fluffy little animals are absolutely the sweetest.

Chinchillas are adorable pets that only need a regular dust bath to stay clean.

10. Collared Aracari

The collared araçari (Pteroglossus torquatus) is a toucan, a near-passerine bird. It breeds from southern Mexico (North America) to Panama; also Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

This is a rather unusual pet.

They’re a bird that acts a little like dogs but without all of the smells.

11. Hedgehogs

What’s better than cuddling with a hedgehog?

Hedgehogs might be unusual pets, but they’re awfully cuddly and don’t smell with regular cleaning.

12. Cats

Cats don’t have to smell bad.

This may seem like it shouldn’t be on the list. After all, most people have been to someone’s house that smells like a cat. But with regular cleaning cats don’t have a strong odor at all.

13. Sea Monkeys

Remember these little shrimp from your childhood?

They don’t take up much space and you don’t have to worry about smells.

14. Snails

Snails are annoying garden pests, but also fun pets.

There are aquatic and terrestrial snails, both of which really don’t have any smell at all.

15. Ants

Ant farms

are pretty neat, and fairly low maintenance.

If you want to be a little nicer to the ants, you can even put them in a larger cage. Just give them some food and water and you won’t have any smells.

What Else to Try When Looking for a Pet That Doesn’t Smell

You can’t just hope for an odorless animal.

If none of these animals sound quite like what you’re looking for, or if you’re really worried about odors, then there are some other things you can consider.

You Need to Clean a Lot

Bearded dragon

For most pets, you need to expect to clean them or their enclosure at least once a day.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to get an animal that doesn’t smell at all. Even if the animal itself is odorless, their waste and enclosure will build up smells.

More About Your Schedule

Calendar with business appointments,pen and spectacles, monthly schedule

For most animals, it comes down to how clean they are.

Because you’ll have to clean so often, it’s more important to think about how much time you have to dedicate to cleaning up after your pet than getting an animal that doesn’t smell. Some animals like skunks and ferrets will have an odor no matter what you do.

Look at Other Options

Matthiola incana flower, stock flowers, cut flowers in nursery, potted plant

Plants usually have nicer smells than animals.

If you don’t have that much time, and really who does, it might be best to think about an alternative to a pet, like a plant or a Tamagotchi.

Enjoy Animals Outside

Colorful lorikeet bird at a bird feeder in Melbourne, Australia

Bird feeders offer a compromise between having a pet and not having nasty smells in the home.

If you want to see animals, but don’t want to deal with the maintenance or the smell, consider getting bird feeders so you can attract local wildlife.


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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals, FIDIS Travel, and Giant Freakin Robot. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing about animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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