Planning to Get an Exotic Pet? Here are Some Guidelines to Help You

Macaw parrot - exotic pets
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

 About 66% of households in the US have a pet. Most people prefer dogs or cats. If you want a different pet, then you can consider getting an exotic pet. An exotic pet is a rare pet that is not commonly kept at home. Such pets are unique and if you are looking for a special pet then you must consider getting an exotic pet.

There are many things to keep in mind before you get an exotic pet. There are legal issues involved. You must also know the requirements for caring for such pets. To help you plan for an exotic pet, we have compiled a list of guidelines to know.

Guidelines to help you choose an exotic pet

1. Know about exotic pets

Before deciding about keeping an exotic pet, know more about these animals. An exotic pet is an animal that is generally not domesticated. Exotic pets are mostly wild animals or birds. Some of the popular exotic pets people like to keep in their homes include:

  • Guinea pigs.
  • Fish.
  • Hedgehogs.
  • Hamsters.
  • Reptiles of different kinds, including snakes.
  • Spiders.
  • Birds – like parrots – of different types.
  • Raccoons.
  • Chimpanzees and other breeds of monkeys.
  • Frogs.
  • Rats and gerbils.

There are instances of people keeping tigers, wolves, foxes, and other such carnivorous animals as pets. However, such pets are extremely dangerous. You must research different pets and collect information. Use this information to decide which pet you want to keep.

2. Know the legality

Laws related to exotic pets vary from one state to another. Not all types of exotic pets are permitted. It is very important to know the law in your state and city. For example, in California, gerbils, ferrets, sloths, and hedgehogs are not permitted. While in Florida, there is an elaborate classification based on three classes. Research the laws in your state before deciding on the exotic pet to keep.

3. Understand the risks

There are risks involved in keeping exotic pets at home. The risk is for the animal and also for you. Very small animals are difficult to handle. You may accidentally cause them injuries while handling them, and they can even die. Snakes and scorpions can be dangerous not only to humans but to other pets like dogs and cats. Small animals should not be allowed outside as they may be attacked by dogs and cats. You must know the risks involved before keeping an exotic pet.

Chinese water dragon - exotic pet
Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

4. Understand its requirements

If you want to keep an exotic pet, then there are requirements related to its housing and food. You cannot leave exotic pets to roam around your house like dogs and cats. They may need an aquarium, cage, or a glass tank. They also may need other structures in their housing like plants. Exotic pets come from different countries and have specific temperature and humidity needs. 

The food exotic pets need differs from regular pet food. They may have specific nutrition needs. It can be costly and you may not find such food everywhere. Know about these requirements in advance. Your local vet may not be qualified to care for an exotic pet. You may have to find someone specialized in handling such pets. Find a vet nearby and talk to them before you bring the pet home.

5. Know their health issues

Each exotic animal has its own health-related issues. Most animals live in places with an environment completely different from your home. You must provide them with a similar environment if they have to thrive. Some exotic pets are very sensitive and the slightest changes in temperature or food can make them fall sick. Understand common health issues with your exotic pet, so you can manage them.

6. Know the care and handling of the pet

Some exotic pets must not be handled. They are best left alone. Others can be handled but with care. You may need to move the pet from its enclosure when you have to clean it. All these calls for knowledge of pet handling and care. Study the care requirements of the exotic pet and also discuss it with the vet. This will ensure you are well-prepared.

7. Know the costs involved

Exotic pets are expensive. Apart from the cost of buying the pet, there are many other costs. You must buy an enclosure with accessories. You may have to provide it with a heating lamp or other equipment for regular temperature/humidity. The food you offer these pets can be expensive. Then there are vet fees. All these can be expensive, so work out the costs in advance to avoid problems later.

Do your research well in advance before you proceed with your plan to buy an exotic pet – and remember to care for them well.

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