Are you thinking of getting an unusual pet? While dogs and cats are by far the most popular choices, other creatures such as ferrets, reptiles, lizards, and birds may also be excellent animal companions.
For example, with their huge bulging eyes, gnarled claws, and leathery skin; reptiles are growing more popular nowadays, despite the fact that they don’t have the characteristics most people seek when picking an animal friend.
Exotic pet species have the same living requirements as they would in the wild. As a result, meeting their environmental, nutritional, and behavioral demands might be difficult.
Bearded dragons, royal pythons, corn snakes, and leopard geckos are some of the most widely kept reptiles. Before deciding whether or not you want to care for an exotic pet, be sure you’ve done your homework. The Animal Welfare Act requires owners to satisfy the requirements of their exotic animals, no matter how complicated they are.
Things to Keep in Mind before Getting an Exotic Pet
You should consider the following points before you get an exotic animal as a pet.
1. Do Your Research
If there is one golden rule for caring for exotic animals, it is to do your homework before taking one home. Some exotic pets demand specialized environmental conditions, while others necessitate very unique dietary requirements. Be sure to understand what your pet requires to be happy and healthy.
2. Avoid Impulse Buying and Be More Responsible
Exotic creatures may be highly attractive and intriguing to observe and it’s easy to get attracted by their interesting appearance. However, pets should never be purchased on a whim. If you’re thinking about obtaining an exotic pet, give it some thought before making a final decision.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the exotic pet industry has the best interests of their animals at heart. Trade shows and even some pet stores occasionally sell creatures that have been taken illegally directly from the wild, including endangered species.
This makes for a disgruntled animal, as well as a hazard to fragile ecosystems. Ensure that you get your pet from a reliable breeder or pet retailer.
3. Being Able to Provide Them with Proper Food and Shelter
Ensuring your exotic pet has a proper habitat is one of the more difficult elements of exotic pet care. This may entail investing in specialized equipment to guarantee that your pet’s environment has the proper lighting, terrain, humidity, and temperature, among other conditions.
All exotic animals require nourishment. While some exotic pets may be fed commercially, others require extremely specific diets such as Dubia roaches. Make sure you’re feeding your pet the appropriate kind of food in the right amount. Also, never introduce a new food to your pet without first conducting research or professional advice to ensure that it is safe.
The Proper Way to Look After Your Exotic Pets
Anyone thinking about getting an unusual pet should learn as much as they can about the animal’s demands.
1. Provide Them with What They Deserve and a Suitable Environment
The irresponsibility of owners to provide proper care for exotic pets is the main cause of a large percentage of the animals’ health issues. Meeting the demands of an animal that is native to a different habitat, from a rainforest to a desert, can be difficult. Consider whether you can adequately care for an exotic pet before deciding to acquire one.
Even experienced pet owners may find it difficult to maintain the health of reptiles in captivity. Make a comprehensive examination of your pet’s requirements. Websites and pet store staff can be useful sources of information in some situations, but they are frequently out of date on the optimum degree of care. In cases of emergencies, it’s wise to contact a vet.
Many exotics require a carefully regulated habitat. They may, for example, require specialized heating and lighting to stay healthy. Natural behaviors like digging, climbing, and sunbathing must be allowed in the habitat.
2. Repeatedly Monitoring Their Health
We must be on the look for symptoms of sickness in our exotic pets at all times. A few sneezes, a decrease of appetite, or a day spent hiding might be our exotic pets’ sole warning signs before they become gravely ill. Another technique we may use is to keep track of our exotic pets’ weight.
A gram scale, such as a kitchen scale or a postal scale, can be used to precisely weigh our tiny exotic pets once a week. Young animals should gain weight all the time and never lose it. Most species will reach adulthood and maintain their weight, with only small losses or gains throughout time. Some exotic animals such as reptiles may acquire weight slowly over the course of their lifetimes.
All patients, including exotic animal species, should have their vital physiological parameters checked, such as heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and depth, body temperature, and mucous membrane color.
Monitoring equipment is helpful, but it can’t replace good old-fashioned hands-on monitoring. We strongly advise that your pet has an annual physical checkup and fecal analysis from an experienced veterinarian.
Weight loss, reduced appetite, irregular feces, tremors/seizures, inability to shut the mouth correctly, limb swelling, masses/lumps, discharge from the eyes and/or mouth, trouble breathing, or wounds/cuts/scrapes all should be evaluated and treated by a reptile veterinarian.
3. You Must Visit the Vet in Cases of Emergency
If you see something unusual and are worried, contact or email your veterinarian before arranging an appointment; a visit may or may not be necessary. Even emailing a photo or video of what you’re seeing might be useful in some instances.
Exotic pets are frequently more anxious than regular dogs and cats when they see the veterinarian, and the benefits of seeing a veterinarian must be balanced against the anxiety they may feel when they leave their usual surroundings.
Just like any other pet, your exotic one also needs proper care and attention. Sometimes they need it even more than a “regular” pet. With proper care, they grow healthy and happy.