Caring for an exotic pet like a parrot, snake, or hedgehog can be a rewarding experience. Things can go wrong quickly, though, if you’re not prepared for what you’re getting into. Exotic pets come with a host of responsibilities far beyond the care of a more traditional pet. Here are several exotic pet tips to consider before making the commitment to care for one of these animals.
Consider its adult size.
While a baby iguana measures just a few inches, an adult iguana can grow to be several feet long! Consult with an expert to determine how big your animal will get and whether you’re prepared for its adult size.
Consider its habitat.
Your exotic animal will likely need a specialized cage or housing area, which can set you back several hundred dollars. Large birds need cages that are strong and escape-proof, while snakes need a habitat that provides just the right amount of light, heat and moisture. Think about how and where this new pet will fit into your household.
Plan ahead for changes.
What will you do with your exotic pet when you go on vacation? What if you move, get a new roommate or have children? It’s unfair to get an exotic pet on a whim without considering the long-term consequences. In fact, serious problems have come about as a result of exotic pet abandonment, including a python infestation in Florida’s everglades. Though you may have the perfect situation to care for an exotic pet now, think about how that might change over several months or years.
Prepare for vet care.
Some animals require a specialist for medical care; many local veterinarians won’t even see exotic pets because they don’t have the means to treat them. If you’re planning on bringing home an non-traditional animal, find out if there is a specialist in your area who will be able to see them in case of a medical issue.
Do your research.
The best way to prepare yourself for an exotic pet is to learn everything you can about the species and its care before getting one of your own. By arming yourself with the proper knowledge and making an informed decision, you’ll be well prepared for a positive experience caring for an exotic pet.