10 Things You Must Know Before Adopting Exotic Pets

Estimated read time 5 min read

The world of unique pets

Exotic pets—birds, reptiles, small mammals, and even pigs—are among the many most rehomed pets there are. (Rehomed means their unique house owners gave them up.) Individuals assume the ball python appears to be cool, or that the sugar glider is tremendously cute, or that the teacup pig is cute. However, when the python outgrows its enclosure or the sugar glider is troublesome to feed, or the teacup pig is a lot bigger than a teacup, house owners turn out to be overwhelmed and place them for adoption or abandon them totally. When searching for a listing of unique pets, there are various issues to contemplate in addition to how the animal appears to be like.

What you must contemplate

“Small mammals, reptiles, and birds could make excellent additions to the family. However, they’re very completely different from canines and cats,” says Gabby Schrader, DVM. “Before you convey your new pet residence, make sure to analyze their particular husbandry wants. Meals, dietary supplements, temperature, and humidity can make all the difference in your animal’s health. Some animals, like pocket pets, solely stay a number of years, however reptiles and birds can stay over 50 years.” Schrader additionally notes the significance of realizing the place your native unique animal veterinarian is, as not all vets will deal with them.


The very first thing to contemplate when adopting a unique pet is their housing. Reptiles want warmth sources; birds want cages. However, a cage adequate for a cockatiel will not work for a macaw. Pocket pets and different small mammals all have particular housing necessities as properly. Do they climb? Burrow? Do they use a litter field like ferrets? All these questions ought to be answered earlier than you convey your pet residence so you may have the right enclosure prepared for them on arrival.

Veterinary care

This cannot be acknowledged too strongly: Not all veterinarians care for all sorts of animals. Exotic animal vets are a lot much less widespread than small animal (canine and cat) vets, and lots of small animal vets haven’t got the gear required to do in-depth therapies on exotics. Ask your small animal vet for a suggestion or go to your native pet retailer and ask who they recommend. When deciding the most effective unique pets for you, be sure you have entry to a vet who treats them.

Conduct and temperament

If you happen to’re searching for a snuggly pet to cuddle up in your lap, a bearded dragon might not be the only option. Likewise, should you spend 60 hours every week at work and are hardly ever residence, a social animal like a parrot shouldn’t be the pet for you. (In actual fact, you, in all probability, haven’t got time in your life for any kind of pet.) Understanding your pet’s distinctive temperament, conduct, and enrichment wants essential in making certain a top quality of life.

Weight loss plan

Exotic pets can have unique dietary wants. From pig chow to frozen pinkie mice, it is vital to fulfill your pet’s particular dietary wants and keep away from medical issues attributable to nutrient deficiencies. Understanding that your pet must eat mice or crickets means being keen to feed them mice or crickets. Or, in case your pet is a vegetarian, plan on doing plenty of chopping and slicing to offer them with recent greens and/or fruit on a daily basis. And be sure you’re conscious of the hidden dangers to your pets that are in your house.

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Authorized questions

One large query to reply to earlier than adopting your unique pet is that if it is even authorized in your state or city. Many states ban unique animals that would injury the ecosystem if launched or if they can breed with native species. Bringing residence a pet and bonding with it, then having your pet confiscated, maybe each traumatic and expensive.

Dimension and lifespan

The typical grownup measurement of your pet and its lifespan is a different vital concern when deciding whether or not to undertake a unique pet or not. A tortoise adopted while you’re a baby can’t solely outlive you; however, relying on the breed can develop to a number of hundred kilos. Many species of reptile and chicken can stay over 50 years, so preparations have to be made for care within the occasion of your demise. House owners of long-lived pets incessantly add clauses of their will to offer for his or her pets.


Individuals with weak immune programs also need to be cautious of adopting unique pets, as some, like reptiles, carry salmonella of their intestine. Correct handwashing is of paramount significance, as is conserving the animal’s enclosure clean. If youngsters or older adults will probably be dealing with the pet, excessive care ought to be taken to make sure correct hygiene.

Different pets

One different vital consideration is the presence of different pets within the residence. A house with indoor cats might not be the fitting place for a sugar glider as an illustration. Making certain that outdated pets are appropriate with new pets is likely one of the most vital elements in adopting a unique pet. Numerous exotics are rehomed or deserted yearly due to issues with different pets.

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