Guinea pigs. These chubby cuddle machines are a nice choice if you don't have much time but you do have kids in the house, according to Real Simple. "A guinea pig is a pleasing handful and plenty entertaining. He will squeal with delight at the sound of your refrigerator opening (thus the 'pig' in guinea pig), and when he's happy, he'll jump for joy, kicking his heels up in the air."
Guinea pigs are a great choice for pet parents who need their sleep, too. "Many other pet rodents are nocturnal, which means that they sleep during prime human playtime," Real Simple added. "Guinea pigs, however, are nappers... And unlike their hamster brethren, guinea pigs don't tend to bite or require an exercise wheel that will squeak through the night."
Pet mouse. Unless you're the "jump on a chair at the first sign of a whisker" type, a pet mouse might provide the company you need without demanding a lot of time. "They bond easily with humans and develop a tame temperament," NB noted. "Still, they can be very entertaining, playful, and amusing. So long as you give them enough food and water, mice can be left the whole day. Mice are hoarders so they will only eat when hungry."
Dog breeds for people who work all day. "No dog should be left alone for more than 6 hours," according to the veterinarian-reviewed Reet Good blog. Many dog owners don't reach that ideal, but nurses who work 12-hour shifts can't even come close. If you still want a dog, though, be prepared to involve a dog walker, and see if you can't adopt an older dog who doesn't need as much attention. "Also, the different behavioral traits breed to breed make a difference," added Reet Good. It recommended these five breeds for pet owners who work all day:
Chihuahuas, which Reet Good called “great little nappers.”
Basset Hound, a breed where “you’ll be the one that’s pining to get home to see your lazy little mate, you needn’t worry about the dog.”
Greyhounds, surprise! “When they’re not racing around, they’re napping and chilling out,” Reet Good assured.
Whippets, who “enjoy time to themselves” and “are brilliant around kids.”
Maltese, “tiny little fluff balls” that are affectionate but don’t need you around all the time.
For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.