Are you interested in learning about exotic pets and exotic pet care?
When it comes to having pets, we usually think about cats or dogs because they reign supreme as the world’s most popular pets. But what about those who are interested in having a smaller, unique subset of animals as their pets?
Similar to cats and dogs, these animals too will need proper nutrition, the right environment, and enrichment to thrive. But, exotic pet care can be very different from caring for traditional pets.
If you’re interested in learning about exotic pets and how to care for them, you’re in the right place! Let’s take a deeper look into what it takes when it comes to caring for some of the most unique, exotic animals.
Exotic Pet Care
When proper care is taken, small mammals, rodents, and sometimes small insects can be great pets to have. Some of the common exotic animals that people usually get and have as pets are sugar gliders, ferrets, hedgehogs, Dubia roaches, and chinchillas.
Caring for Rodents and Small Mammals
There are a few facts to consider when it comes to caring for rodents and small mammals, including habitat and food.
Importance of Habitats
As an exotic pet owner, you’ll find that there are habitats available precisely designed for specific types of animals. These habitats are essential for making your pets feel safe and secure in your home. Besides setting up a habitat for your exotic animal, you’ll need to make sure to keep it clean and secure as well.
Many rodents need nesting materials. However, material made of wool, cotton, and fluffy bedding products must not be used. They can easily be separated into thin strands and will not be useful anymore. Hay, straw, and shredded paper make much better nesting materials.
Entertainment and Lifestyle
Some rodents like to have obstacles to climb on and through for their entertainment and exercise. Having these items will keep them healthy and happy. Along with their entertainment, you have also to be mindful of their sleeping patterns too. For instance, some animals are nocturnal, so you’ll have to do some research about their way of life and find out if it matches with yours.
It is vital for an exotic pet owner to fully understand the dietary needs and habits of their rodent or small mammal. Many of these animals need a special diet that helps them to get all the nutrients they require to stay healthy.
It is crucial to remember that an improper diet can cause many health complications. So, it’s always a good idea to find a consultant who is an exotic animal expert or specialist and learn more about what your pet needs.
Caring for Amphibians and Reptiles
When it comes to amphibians and reptiles, you should know that they are not suitable as pets for beginners. They need special care, and before you decide to have one as a pet, there are a few steps to make sure they have a good home.
Specific Habitats and Diet
Amphibians and reptiles will need specific climate and lighting depending on their area of origin. That means they’ll require habitats that are temperature and humidity-controlled.
As you may have guessed, these marvelous species also have a very special diet. Their diet sometimes includes small insects or mammals. That’s why it’s important to consult with a specialist to help you understand more about their dietary and habitat needs and specifications.
You should also keep in mind that some amphibians and reptiles can become large in stature as they age. For instance, the African Spur-thighed tortoise can grow up to 3 feet and is known for its long lifespan. They can even outlive their owners.
Caring for Exotic Birds
Similar to amphibians and reptiles, exotic birds are also not for inexperienced pet owners. They also require advanced, species-specific care. For example, a parrot, by nature, is messy, loud, and sometimes destructive. So, the owner needs to know about these characteristics.
Cages and Toys
Exotic birds need large cages with places to perch on. Since they can be intelligent animals, you need to keep them occupied with toys. Also, remember to rotate the toys to keep them from getting bored. And, of course, make sure the toys are appropriate for the species of bird you have as a pet.
Regarding food habits, birds such as parrots like to eat fruits, nuts, berries, and other forms of vegetation. We recommend discussing with someone who is an expert or a specialist in the avian veterinary field for specific dietary requirements. They can help you with ideas about what to include in the diet and at what amounts to keep your bird healthy.
More often than not exotic birds are given an inappropriate diet. When this happens it can cause the birds to become very sick or worse. The wrong diet can also cause a bad reaction, weight gain, or even drastic weight loss.
Factors To Consider Before You Bring Home An Exotic Pet
Legal or Illegal
First and foremost, you should be aware that it is not legal to have exotic animals as pets in all states. If for some reason it is legal to have a specific type of exotic pet, those who do not know how to handle it should avoid owning one. Exotic pets need owners who have the knowledge, time, and resources available to them to ensure that the animals are both healthy, and happy.
Should you decide to adopt an exotic animal, it’s very important to make sure there are no permits required to have them or laws prohibiting ownership of them. If you bring home an exotic animal illegally, chances are you’ll be forced to give them up to a sanctuary or worse have them euthanized.
Clever and Unique Nature
It would be wise not to compare exotic pets with your typical domesticated pets, like cats and dogs. These animals are superb when it comes to escaping their enclosures or habitats. This further proves our point that exotic pets need diligent owners to give them the kind of pet care they require.
It can sometimes also be quite difficult for exotic pet owners to find someone to look after and care for their pets in their absence. So, if you’re the type of person that travels often, you will definitely need to consider this.
A Life-Long Companion
You have to keep in mind that some animals can have a very long life. Tortoises and parrots are known for living as long as we do, sometimes even longer. Once you have an exotic animal as your pet, they become your life-long companion.
They’ll need your care every day, and you have to commit to them because chances are they may outlive you. You’ll need to be prepared for that possibility and plan ahead to ensure they are taken care of by someone else.
In conclusion, we’d like to say that having an exotic animal as a pet is not for everyone. Those who are fully committed, have the resources, time, and proper knowledge about these animals are more suited to give them the proper pet care required. They need someone who is ready to take on the challenge and is willing to provide them a safe, healthy, and happy home.