Having a pet is a fun and exciting experience. It’s even more exciting if you’re planning to choose an exotic animal as your companion.
These special creatures have strict diets, unique needs, and require different kinds of enrichment for a happy, healthy, and long life. Know what you’re getting yourself by reading our guide on the things to know before owning an exotic pet.
Although exotic is a broad term, it’s important to know which pets you’re legally allowed to have. In the United States, the laws vary by state. Before you brush this off – know that in some states you’re not even allowed to have a rabbit. There are online directories you can browse to check for your specific pet.
The very thing that makes your pet unique is also what makes them difficult to care for. The neighborhood vet may not be prepared to diagnose your pet. You can visit your local vet and check what animals they’re qualified to treat.
If they can’t help you, they may be able to refer you to the closest specialist you can. It’s recommended that you check this before purchasing your pet so you know you can reach care in the event they fall ill.
Exotic animals often need a specific type of home or amenities. For example, reptiles may need a heat lamp or birds will need specific sized cages. Think about their natural habitat and do your best to mimic that as closely as possible. Do online research and consult the person who sold your pet to you. Your exotic pet will be happier for it.
The same way they need a special home, many exotic pets will need a curated diet. Depending on the pet, this may involve feeding them crickets, seeds, or mice. Ignoring their needs even for a short time will cause short and long-term health problems.
It’s also important to ensure that your pet doesn’t have access to anything that isn’t their planned diet. Many things that are non-toxic to humans can be deadly to certain animals.
Overall, considering an exotic pet is an exciting time. The things that make your pet special also make it difficult to care for. Carefully research the specifics of owning your exotic pet and ask for expert advice when you can. Enjoy your fun, unique companion for a long time to come.