Exotic pets, such as snakes and lizards, are not typically kept as pets. Although exotic animals can make unique and fulfilling companions, there are some significant factors to consider that you must bear in mind before taking one home.
What You Should Know About Exotic Animals Before Buying
Here are some essential facts concerning exotic pets that you should take into consideration before purchasing one:
- They typically require specialized care.
Exotic pets can have challenging needs, such as certain diets and temperature levels, that must be maintained to keep them healthy. For instance, a snake may require a warmed cage and special substrate, while a lizard may need to be kept in a habitat with different humidity levels than you would keep a regular pet.
You should research the animal’s particular needs before you get it to ensure you provide it with everything it requires. This also means you should find a vet clinic or hospital that caters to exotic pets, such as Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital.
- They may be illegal in your area.
Many states have laws that govern the possession of exotic pets, which means some species might not be permitted where you live. For example, bears, large cats, alligators, and geckos are illegal to own in Hawaii. On the other hand, North Carolina doesn’t have a statewide exotic pet mandate, but it empowers its cities and counties to pass laws regulating which species can be kept. Also, the majority of states require getting authorization to keep exotic pets.
- They can be difficult to handle.
Some exotic animals can be hostile or unpredictable, so they may not be suitable for handling or snuggling by kids. There is always a threat of being attacked or scratched, so you must be aware of the animal’s temperament before taking it home. Fortunately, some species are social and appreciate engaging with humans, so you must search for the character of the individual animal before you make a decision to get one.
In addition, some exotic animals may be aggressive and territorial when they get to sex-related maturity and throughout their mating and breeding season. This signifies that you require training in looking after the animal.
- They can be costly.
Lots of exotic animals require special diets, habitats, and vet treatment that regular pets do not need. Some exotic pets also necessitate buying specialized instruments and food to take care of them appropriately. For instance, an arboreal species, such as a chameleon, requires having suitable branches and plants in its cage to climb up. Similarly, a snake needs a particular substrate and heating system to keep its environment at the right temperature.
- They can be time-consuming.
Exotic pets require frequent upkeep and care, which can take much time. Feeding them, cleaning their enclosure, and providing adequate care require commitment. Some exotic pets also need more time to be taken care of and interacted with than cats or dogs. For example, reptiles like snakes may not need daily handling, but they should still receive attention a minimum of 2 or 3 times per week. On the other hand, discover the benefits of cat wellness plans by discussing them with your veterinarian. You can also inquire about the wellness program your vet may provide for exotic pets.
- Exotic pets need special veterinary care.
Not all vet clinics or vets provide veterinary services to exotic pets. This suggests you need a qualified vet specializing in these species, which can be expensive. You should also ask if they provide emergency services, as some exotic animals can become sick unexpectedly and call for urgent medical attention.
Like cats and dogs, exotic pets can also catch various illnesses requiring surgery, medications, and therapy. For instance, if there is cold laser therapy for cats and canines for treating joint pain and arthritis, there may also be a similar therapy for exotic animals.
- Exotic pets often require a large space.
Depending on their size, exotic animals may need a large enclosure to be kept in. For example, large snakes and lizards may need an outdoor or indoor habitat that is big enough to move around freely. Some species also need different environments during specific times of the year, such as when they are shedding or breeding.
Before getting one of these animals, there should be enough space in your house or yard. Aside from that, you must consider the life expectancy of the animal prior to acquiring it. Exotic animals can live for many years. Some even outlive their owners.
- Exotic pets may also need companionship.
Some species become lonely and stressed out if they do not have other animals of the same varieties to engage with, so you may need to purchase more than one. Additionally, some exotic animals, such as parrots, call for routine interaction and communication with human beings to stay healthy and well-balanced. If you intend on getting an exotic pet, be informed and prepared for the responsibility.
Caring for exotic pets can be satisfying and enjoyable, but they require much attention and devotion. Ensure that you look into the laws of your state or district prior to obtaining an exotic pet, as some species may be prohibited from having one. Also, ensure you have sufficient time and space to give the animal the suitable habitat, veterinary care, and friendship it needs. Ultimately, choose a qualified exotic vet familiar with the species you want to get and who can offer emergency services.