Exotic pets are becoming more and more popular with adult pet owners as well as kids. If you’re thinking about adopting an exotic pet, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of some of the most common types so you can tell whether or not they’re right for you.
Read through the information below to get a good general idea of what to expect from some of the most common exotic pets. When you’re finished, you should be able to figure out which direction you want to go in as you dive deeper and learn more.
Hamsters are one of the most popular go-to exotic pets, and with good reason. Most hamsters have pleasant personalities and will allow humans to handle them with just a little bit of practice and socialization. They are great for kids since they tend to be gentle as well as interesting to look at.
Understand, however, that hamsters need more space than you may realize. Many commercial hamster cages are simply not safe for these exotic animals and may lead to injury or escaping. Take time to learn what you need to know before adopting a hamster.
Some people may be afraid of them, but rats make excellent pets. They are one of the most widely recommended exotic pets for a variety of situations. Additionally, although they are mistakenly associated with dirt and grime, they are very clean animals.
Rats need a lot of space to run, climb, and jump. They also tend to do better when adopted in odd-numbered groups, so you might need to plan for multiple rats. Rats also require a special food blend to keep them healthy and reduce the risk of respiratory illness, which they are prone to.
Guinea pigs are cute, cuddly, and easy to take care of. They are popular for adults and kids both, and they can be housed on their own or in groups. Most guinea pigs are extremely docile and almost never bite.
It is important to keep in mind that you will need a lot of room for guinea pigs. They cannot have tall cages, as they cannot climb, so they must have a lot of floor space to run and play. The more you have, the more room you’ll need. You will also need to keep up with trimming their toenails.
Although less common than many of the other animals on this list, hedgehogs are growing in popularity as exotic household pets. They are cute and interesting, and they require much of the same setup as guinea pigs or rats, so they are accessible as well.
Some states do not allow hedgehogs to be kept legally as pets. It’s important to check with local laws before adopting a hedgehog. Additionally, hedgehogs have sharp spines that they will use to poke humans who handle them too roughly. Because of this, they are not good pets for kids.
Lizards can be a fun addition to any household, and they are good for kids and adults alike. They come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can choose the type that best fits your needs. Go with a large iguana if you want a long-lived, big lizard, or stick to anoles if you want something small and delicate.
Most lizards require a spacious terrarium with a heating lamp and a humidity gauge. Although the initial setup may be pricey, they are relatively cheap to maintain throughout the rest of their lives.
Like rats, snakes tend to have a bad reputation, and some individuals would never consider keeping a snake for a pet. However, depending on the type of snake you choose, you could easily end up with a pet you’ll love. Different snakes have very different temperaments and needs, so take this into consideration when choosing.
If you’re looking for a good beginner-friendly snake that is great for kids, try a ball python. If you want something a little more interesting to look at and have older kids or only adults in your household, a hognose or corn snake may be a better solution. None of these snakes are venomous to humans.
Talk with an Exotic Vet
Did you find the right type of exotic pet for your needs? Each type of exotic pet has strengths as well as flaws, and it’s important to consider which one might work best for your individual needs as well as your household’s.
Remember, too, that you should always look for reputable exotic vets before bringing home an exotic pet. You can book an appointment with Kryder Veterinary Clinic’s exotic vets by calling (574) 277-6533. This way, they can help you care for your pet and you’ll know what the game plan is if your pet becomes sick in the future.