What is an Exotic Pet?

What is an Exotic Pet?

Every pet should have the right care and attention, but keeping an exotic animal as a pet can often cost more, initially at least, to ensure that specialist living conditions are provided for it and it is able to exhibit its natural behaviour. Finding veterinary care for an exotic animal can also pose a problem, as should they become ill, it is necessary to have them treated by a vet who is familiar with the species.

Types of Exotic Pet

Keeping exotic pets has become popular over the past decade and the below are becoming quite common as pets:

  • Tarantulas and other Spiders
  • Snakes, Iguanas, Geckos and Chameleons
  • Chinchillas, Chipmunks and Gerbils
  • Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders
  • Tortoises and Terrapins
  • Parrots and Exotic Birds

A domesticated species, such as a cat or dog may prove suitable for most people who want pets; however others prefer the challenge of keeping an animal species which is different and unusual, and so the exotic pet trade has grown to provide the need.
The ethical treatment of pets in captivity is crucial and all animals/birds whether domesticated or not, should be kept in conditions suitable to its species and well looked after and cared for. The RSPCA is rescuing thousands of exotic pets each year because their owners have abandoned them or they have outgrown their environment and suffered as a consequence, so the purchase of any exotic animal should be carefully considered.

Pitfalls of keeping Exotic Animals as Pets

Some people are tempted to buy their new exotic pet from newspaper advertisements or online; this is strongly discouraged as these animals have specials requirements and needs and it is imperative to do some research before purchasing your first exotic pet.
Buying a young animal is always exciting, but do you know big it will grow? How long it will live? What special diet it requires? What environment it needs to be kept in? And any particular special care you should provide? - All these questions need answers before you take your new pet home, so buying from a reputable dealer, who knows the species and can provide you with all the correct information is vital.
It can be illegal to keep some animals, so anyone wanting a pet which is considered 'exotic' really needs to obtain information from an expert to ensure they are not breaking the law in any way. Never by an animal on impulse, it is always better to wait a while before making the purchase, as then you can find out the legality of keeping it, the cost implications of keeping it, the size and age it will grow to and everything about how you should look after it and feed it correctly.