Exotic pets, from birds to small mammals, can be excellent pets as long as their owners understand that they have unique needs when to comes to daily care, health needs and nutritional requirements. Here, our Apple Valley vets list some of the most popular exotic pets and explain what to consider before buying one.
What are the best exotic pets?
For owners looking for something unconventional in their companions, small exotic mammals, reptiles and birds may be a challenging and rewarding alternative.
The bond that can develop between humans and these special creatures is certainly unique.
With attentive care from a knowledgeable owner and regular visits to a qualified vet, exotic birds, mammals and reptiles can all be excellent companions for owners who are willing to invest the time and resources in order to provide the right environment for these wonderful mammals.
Popular pets in this category include ferrets, parakeets, turtles, hamsters, budgies, rats, lizards, pigs, rabbits and more.
Is it a good idea to get an exotic pet?
Making the decision of whether or not your family is ready to care for an exotic pet requires some serious consideration and objective assessments of your commitment and capabilities. These pets can become stressed and injured when handled by the hands of an overexcited child or when subjected to improper conditions for very long.
For example, hedgehogs roll themselves into tight balls. They can easily be injured if they are attacked by cats or if children try to “uncurl” them.
Diligent research is always key when deciding which pet is right for both you and your family. This is doubly true when you are considering exotic pets.
Well before you purchase, you’ll want to research the animal’s needs when it comes to facilities, food, supplies and other elements, and ensure you buy from a reputable source.
It's also very important that you check your municipal, county and state laws about exotic pet ownership. Some places require special permits or licenses depending on the specific kind of exotic pet you are thinking of welcoming into your home. Contact your local and state departments to discover whether or not your animal companion will require a permit and if there are required inspections involved.
How do I get an exotic pet?
The answer to this question can widely vary depending on where you live, the kind of pet you are considering and what resources are locally available to you.
Some pet stores, rescues, shelters and breeders sell these small exotic mammals. Purchase from a reputable, knowledgeable and conscientious seller, and ensure the pet you choose is healthy.
What kind of care does my exotic pet need?
Exotic pets often have very unique dietary, nutritional and environmental needs. The owners of these creatures should also remember that since exotic pets are very often prey species in the wild, they may hide the signs of illness affecting them until their health condition is in a very advanced stage. Because of this., preventive veterinary care is critical.
Soon after you welcome your exotic pet to your home, you should take him or her to a vet with specialized training in caring for exotic animals, so they can have a first full physical exam.
At Apple Valley Animal Hospital in Apple Valley, we are proud to provide dedicated and skilled care to exotic animals, from birds and mammals to reptiles and amphibians. We have the training and the experience that is required to provide care to these unique creatures and will be able to give you the information that you need to keep your small companion healthy and happy.
Whether you need preventive care or your pet is not feeling well and specific health concerns must be addressed, we are here to help. Our staff is highly skilled at restraining pets without causing additional stress. It’s our goal to provide you - and your pet - with a stress-free visit.
During a routine appointment, we will perform a thorough physical exam and recommend appropriate preventive care. We will also take time to answer any questions you may have about your pet’s health.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.