Should You Adopt an Exotic Pet?

Sugar Glider

Exotic pets are usually defined as anything other than the typical domesticated animals. Exotic pets include snakes, lizards, weasels, tropical birds, wild animals and more. If you’re thinking of adopting an exotic pet, here are some points to consider:

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Advantages of owning an exotic pet

  1. Exotic pets are unusual and unique and you can be the only one in the neighborhood who owns such a pet.
  2. Exotic pets and humans can have very interesting and sometimes intense interactions.
  3. Some of these animals have been pushed out of their natural habitat or abandoned by previous owners and you can provide a homeless animal with a loving home.
  4. Sometimes it is possible to raise an orphaned or rescued wild animal and release it back into the wild.
  5. Wildlife can be fascinating and learning more about wild animals can foster love for animals in general.
  6. A wild animal may cost less in initial investment than a pet from a pet store.
  7. Wild animals often give back a lot of attention in return for the attention they are shown.

Disadvantages of owning an exotic pet

  1. Exotic pets require specific care and if not cared for properly will become ill or die.
  2. Not all vets are trained in the health and care of these animals and it may be hard to find a vet experienced in dealing with these pets.
  3. Exotic pets may be torn away from their habitats and family units in a non-humane way.
  4. Many species are illegal in certain countries because they pose a danger to people. It is important to check the federal and local laws regarding the species you wish to adopt.
  5. Some exotic pets need to be fed frozen or live animals which can be off-putting to some people.
  6. The cost of accommodation, food and vet bills can be expensive.
  7. Some exotic pets carry diseases such as salmonella.
  8. Exotic pets may bite or scratch and be natural enemies to other pets in the home.
  9. Some species are endangered and are illegal to own.

Animals that make good pets

Animals that don’t make good pets

  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Reindeer
  • Bears
  • Alligators
  • Cougars
  • Wolves
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Badgers
  • Birds of prey (usually illegal to own)
  • Monkeys

Video: Two owners of rare pets explain their fascination

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