It’s not uncommon for movies, documentaries, and now even influencers to feature exotic pets. This usually leads to a sudden increase in the demand for such animals. Understandably, people may find themselves wanting to have foxes, chinchillas, or bearded dragons. However, exotic pets are rare for a reason. They require special food, environments, and they might not be as cuddly as they seem. Let’s take a look at 5 things a potential exotic pet owner should consider before getting one.
Feeding an exotic pet is not as easy as buying a bag of food at the store. In fact, pets like Fennec foxes may fall ill if provided with dog food. Instead, they need to eat meat, eggs, and fruit and vegetables, so be ready to do some extra research.
Bearded Dragons and scorpions will enjoy hunting crickets and mealworms, so make sure you have no problem manipulating creepy crawlers. After all, as we mentioned in “What Feeder Insects Are Good For Your Pet Reptile?”, you will have to feed your bugs before you give them to your pet.
Before getting any type of exotic pet it’s important to consider how much time you will be able to spend with them. Bengal cats and chinchillas need company, so you need to consider how many hours you can spend at home every day before getting one.
Less domesticated pets like Fennec foxes are not particularly social, so you won’t have to feel bad for leaving the house for hours, although they might get a bit restless. Arthropods like scorpions and tarantulas are also very independent.
Making Them Comfortable
Different animals have different needs. Ferrets for example will need tunnels to play, while Macaws and snakes may require a place to climb. But the potential owner should also consider temperature.
Snakes require access to a bit of sunlight, and sometimes even a thermometer to ensure the temperature in their terrarium isn’t too cold. Chinchillas, on the other hand, need to be kept away from direct sunlight. Wkihow also recommends keeping them in well-ventilated areas to prevent heatstroke.
Get Pet Insurance Early
According to a Sound Dollar article on exotic pet insurance, these animals will usually require special equipment and trained veterinarians, increasing their medical bills. As a result, it becomes essential to get pet insurance.
Potential owners should also consider that some exotic animals suffer from specific conditions and will eventually require special care. A Bengal cat’s agility makes them prone to knee dislocation, while Bearded Dragons can easily develop metabolic bone disease. So make sure you get insurance before these conditions appear.
Research Exotic Pet Regulations
Playing with your exotic pet may brighten your day, but their presence can easily disturb your neighbors’. Sugar gliders can be particularly smelly, and Macaws are incredibly noisy. There’s also the issue of diseases. According to the CDC, for example, ferrets require being particularly careful, as they can easily acquire and transmit Influenza A and B.
Logically, not every city or country will be as eager to welcome exotic pets as you. New York, for example, allows people to have foxes, but in states like Indiana, you will need a permit. It’s also important to consider travel. The UK is evaluating a ban on hybrid breeds of cats like Savannah cats and Servals, so you will want to do some research before you bring your pet with you.
Not everyone is either a dog or a cat person. Sometimes, in order to find the special pet in your life, you need to think outside the box. However, owning an exotic pet requires particularly responsible owners. It might be necessary to manipulate bugs in order to feed them, build the right environment, and get pet insurance pretty early. But those who manage to make this type of commitment will enjoy a unique and special company accessible only to a lucky few.
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.