Owning a cat or a dog is one thing. But having an exotic pet at home is a different ball game altogether. It requires a lot of research, planning, maintenance, and other things that can ensure your exotic pet lives a comfortable life. Other exotic pet owners will testify to our claim.
There are many dangers associated with keeping exotic pets. For example, most exotic pets, like snakes and iguanas, are territorial. They can harm the other pets in the house or even the owners. Owners are also at the risk of contracting salmonellosis, herpes-B, and other zoonotic diseases. Similarly, if you don’t take the right care of your exotic pet, its health may deteriorate and lead to premature death.
Thus, to help you out, we have provided easy exotic pet ownership tips to ensure that your pets are cared for correctly and live a long, healthy life.
Understand Their Housing Requirements
Exotic animals don’t require the same space as other pets. Their space requirement needs are unique, according to the species. Some may require a small cage, others may require a large terrarium, and others might not even need an enclosure.
For instance, a snake may require a terrarium that has more width than height. On the other hand, an exotic bird needs a cage that has more height than width. Moreover, you will also have to pay attention to the setup and purchase different materials, such as bird or reptile supplies.
For example, if you have an exotic reptile at home, you will need to create a terrarium bedding of reptile sand and gravel. You will also have to add heating mats, terrarium pebbles, or clay bedding. This will provide your exotic pet with a natural habitat to live in. This, in turn, will help with their growth, development, reproduction, and other functions.
Thus, carry out adequate research to understand your exotic pet’s space requirements accurately to provide them with relatable and best-suited living conditions.
Find Out About Their Food Requirements
Not all animals eat the same food. Even a slight variation can hurt their health. Thus, you need to have accurate and beforehand information about your exotic pet before you bring them home. This ensures they get the specific nutritional requirements and live a healthy life.
Also, research about their eating habits, such as how frequently they eat and how they prefer to eat their food. For example, snakes like to hunt live prey. Thus, even if you have a dead mouse to feed them, you will need to move it so that the snake feels it is alive. Only then will it attack the mouse and eat it.
Similarly, they should have a clear understanding of their water requirements. For example, an iguana requires about 20 ml of water per kg of body weight. Moreover, they also use water for bathing, soaking, and misting. Thus, buy a large-sized water bowl from a reptile supplies provider to ensure that your iguana always has access to water.
Get to Know About Their Behaviors
Every exotic animal exhibits different behavior and social needs, be it a spider, iguana, snake, parrot, guinea pig, or tarantula. You need to understand them before you bring an exotic pet home.
For example, if you have a guinea pig, it is advisable to pair him with another guinea pig. Moreover, sand boas like to burrow, so it is best to create reptile sand bedding that enables them to do so.
Similarly, learn about dangerous behaviors that might affect you or your family. For example, reptiles are known to be aggressive. Aggression can cause them to attack humans. For instance, there have been countless incidents of pet snakes attacking their owners. Similarly, if your exotic bird is obsessively plucking its feathers, it can indicate stress or anxiety. In such cases, you need to remove any stressors impacting the bird.
Understanding the exotic pet’s behavior will help you create better living conditions and take better care of your pet while ensuring your and your family members’ safety.
Think About What Will You Do When You Travel
You might require to travel due to personal or professional commitments. This might mean there would be no one to take care of your exotic pet. So, have a clear answer about what you will do in such cases.
The solutions will vary depending upon your travel duration and the exotic pet species. For instance, if you have a pet turtle at home, if possible, you can take them with you on your domestic trip. You can follow the guidelines mentioned here to ensure they are transported safely. Alternatively, you can also leave the turtle at home. In such cases, ensure that their basic needs of food, water, and basking, are taken care of. You can refer to this guide for tips on leaving your turtle at home.
However, the solutions may not be as simple every time. You might have to ask your family members, friends, or pet sitters to take care of your pet in your absence.
Buy the Appropriate Pet Toys
Certain exotic pets may require toys to play with for physical and mental enrichment. Thus, you need to have a clear understanding of the same. For example, if you have a hamster or guinea pig at home, you can buy an exercise wheel. Similarly, if you have a bird, you can buy chewable toys like branches, pinecones, and rawhide.
Moreover, it is also important to understand how the pets manage their playtime outside their cages. Most animals and birds enjoy human interaction, love, care, and playing with their owners.
Look for an Exotic Pet Veterinarian in Your Area
Even after proper care, your exotic pet might fall ill. However, you can’t take them to the regular vet in your neighborhood. Thus, you need to ensure that there is an exotic animal veterinarian who has experience in caring for and treating your pet species. They will be able to detect and diagnose the issue correctly. This, in turn, will guarantee that your pet gets the correct and best medical assistance when needed.
Moreover, an experienced exotic pet vet will advise you with the best tips to keep your pet and you healthy and live a rewarding life.
Bringing an exotic pet at home brings along its unique set of challenges. However, with the right preparation, you can ensure that the pet is taken care of in the best possible manner and lead a healthy, carefree, dignified, and rewarding life.
We hope the tips mentioned in the blog will help you take care of your new family member. Remember, you make a difficult commitment when you get an exotic pet. Ensure that you fulfill it in the best manner possible. Your pet will thank you for your efforts!