Is owning an exotic animal right for you?

February 6, 2014

Pet reptiles are increasingly popular. Here are a few things you should know before adopting one of these exotic animals.

Lizards don’t welcome their masters home with a shake of their tails, turtles don’t play fetch, and snakes’ eyes don’t light up when you pet them. So, why would anyone want to bring home one of these exotic animals? The answer is simple: they are endlessly fascinating. Pet reptiles can’t be tamed like cats and dogs, but enthusiasts will tell you what wonderful creatures they are to observe.

How to choose the proper reptile

Don’t set your sights on just any reptile. These exotic animals are all different, and you’ll need to consider several factors before bringing one home. The first and most important step is to learn about which species are permitted by bylaws. Then, do your homework on the reptile you want to adopt and ask yourself the following questions.

  • How big will it be as an adult? Some tiny exotic animals at the pet store can become gigantic when they reach maturity. A green iguana can grow to almost two metres in three years and can live for over twenty years! Will you be able to keep such an imposing pet?
  • What should you feed him? Is your reptile a vegetarian or a carnivore? Does it eat insects or live prey, such as rats and mice?
  • What type of temperament does it have? Calm, nervous or aggressive? Can it be handled without any danger?
  • What care will it require? Does his maintenance in captivity require special care? Depending on the animal, you may have to supply a habitat where the temperature and humidity levels can be carefully controlled.

Exotic medicine to the rescue

The craze for exotic animals has brought about a huge increase in veterinary hospitals specializing in this niche market. High-quality veterinary care is no longer reserved for dogs and cats; now your local veterinarian and veterinary technicians can take proper care of your unconventional pets.

If you have questions regarding the care, diet or behaviour of exotic animals, don’t hesitate to contact an animal health professional. It is also recommended that you have your exotic animal examined as soon as it is adopted so the veterinarian can make sure it is disease-free.

Will you be a good exotic animal owner?

In spite of what you may think, owning an exotic animal is not that easy. It can be even more complicated than owning a dog or a cat. One thing is certain; you will be a good master if you don’t buy your exotic animal on a whim, if you are well informed about the animal, and if you are committed to satisfying its requirements for survival in captivity.

Is owning an exotic animal right for you?
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