There are so many aspects to owning and caring for legal exotic pets, you need to be certain about your ability to provide for your pet before you plan to adopt probably more than for any other pet, before you buy a legal exotic animal, you should do a lot of preparation. Small mammals, reptiles and birds can make excellent additions to the family, but they are very different from dogs and cats.

Before you bring your new pet home, be sure to research their husbandry needs. Food, supplements, temperature and humidity can make all the difference in your animal’s health. Some animals, like pocket pets only live a few years, but reptiles and birds can live over 50 years.

Feeding
Ensuring that your exotic pet receives a balanced diet, which provides all the nutrition it needs is vital. On the whole, exotic pets, which eat whole vertebrates, are less of a worry as they get all of their nutritional needs from their prey. Insect or fruit-eating pets may need extra vitamins added to their diet.

The key, once again, is good, solid research. Find out what diet your pet requires and how often it should be fed.

Environment
The first thing to consider when adopting an exotic pet is their housing. Some animals require very much more effort to house than others—requiring a greater commitment from you.

Reptiles: heat source, lighting, terrarium, habitat
Birds: cages and toys
Small mammals and rodents: special housing equipment, some animals, like ferrets, need litter boxes
All these requirements should be already done before you bring your pet home so you have a perfect enclosure ready for them on arrival.

 

Behavior
If you are looking for a snuggly pet to cuddle up in your lap than a bearded dragon may not be the best choice. Likewise, if you spend 60 hours a week at work and are rarely home, a social animal like a parrot is not the pet for you. Understanding your pet temperament, behavior and enrichment needs is very important in ensuring a high quality of life.

Vet Care
Not all veterinarians care for all types of animals. Exotic animal vets are less common than small animal (dog and cats) vets. Also, many small animal practitioners don’t have equipment required to do extensive treatments on exotics. When deciding the best exotic pets for you, make sure you have access to a vet who treats them.

If you already have an exotic pet the most frequent asked question is: What signs of illnesses should I watch for in my exotic pets? If your exotic pets are showing signs of respiratory distress, bald patches or hair or feather loss, diarrhea or runny eyes and nose, you should bring your pets to the vet clinic for a full physical examination and course of treatment.