You may have come across some of these more unusual pets, but you might also be shocked to learn that some of them make very good pets for certain households (and could be a good pet for your household, too).
The type of exotic pet that suits you best will depend on several factors including your lifestyle, budget, personality, tolerance, etc. Some of these types of pets are very low maintenance and are quite easy to take care of while others may require large amounts of attention, time and/or money. No matter what type of rare pet you decide is right for you, cultivating the bond between pet and pet owner will take time and effort.
If you’re looking beyond cats and dogs, consider these fun pets:
Ferrets are very amusing pets. They are a lot of fun to watch and play with. A little known fact about ferrets is that they sleep for a large part of the day. Ferrets require a good size cage and plenty of toys. Ferrets also have a high metabolism and require food every 3 to 4 hours. While ferrets are generally very playful and have personalities of their own, they also tend to be very quiet animals.
Guinea pigs are popular pets because they have great attitudes and are playful and amusing. Guinea pigs are social animals that very rarely become aggressive. Guinea pigs do come with some requirements that you may find to be costly. For starters guinea pigs require a large cage and ample room for the cage. In addition to the cage, guinea pigs need plenty of exercise outside of the cage. You will need to invest in wood shavings or sawdust for your guinea pigs’ cage. These furry friends also require a diet rich in vitamin C and roughage.
Iguanas are a very popular type of lizard that people consider exotic pets. Iguanas can sometimes be found at pet stores, especially young ones. Many times young iguanas at the pet store are very small and very cute. They may inadvertently give the false impression of being manageable and easy to take care of. Iguanas, like other reptiles, have very particular cage and feeding requirements. Also, iguanas tend to grow very rapidly and can turn out to be much larger than expected. Growing iguanas can be somewhat aggressive and difficult to tame.
There are several types of snakes that make good pets, even for beginners. The best breeds for smaller spaces and for more inexperienced snake owners are king snakes, ball python, milk snakes and corn snakes. Keep in mind that you will need to feed your snake either pre killed or live prey so if you are squeamish, a snake may not be the pet for you. Also, you must be very careful that your snake does not escape its terrarium, as this can lead to a very nervous household!
Parrots are popular exotic pets because of their unusual beauty and personality. Most parrots have glossy bright green feathers with colorful patches of red, yellow and blue throughout. Parrots are known for talking. That is, they actually learn to imitate sounds so well that they sound like speech so that the parrot appears to be speaking. The upper half of a parrot’s beak is hinged and movable. Because of this, serious wounds can be inflicted and special care must be taken in dealing with a parrot that is not comfortable around you yet. Many different factors should be considered before adopting a parrot as a pet. Make sure you discuss bird care with a reputable parrot breeder before taking the first step.
Adopting an exotic (or unusual) pet carries even more special considerations than adopting a typical pet, such as a dog or a cat. As with any pet, you must realize that the decision to adopt an animal is a long-term commitment and must be taken seriously. You must examine your lifestyle and be honest about whether or not you will have the time, energy, focus and funds to provide adequate care for your animal.
You must ask yourself questions such as, “Can I afford monthly/weekly groomings?” and “Who will care for my pet when I travel?” If you live in a household with children or other pets, consider how your new animal will fit into the family. Try to think about any possible drawbacks and consider the cons very carefully. If a dog or a cat doesn’t work out in your home, it is not very difficult to find a new owner ready to adopt. With exotic or unusual pets, it is far more difficult.
Finding the Perfect Exotic Pet
The first place you should look when you’re searching for an exotic pet is your local Humane Society or SPCA. If your local organization doesn’t have the type of pet you are seeking for adoption, they should be able to refer you to other regional rescue organizations for the type of animal you desire. Way too many exotic animals end up in animal shelters or rescue groups because people didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into! (Which is also true about dogs and cats, sadly.)
Contact the animal rescue organizations that are most likely to come across the pet you want and ask them to contact you if they come across a ferret (or snake, parrot, etc.).
You should also contact local breeders, though this route will prove to be more expensive. The upside of dealing with professional animal breeders is that you will receive accurate information and you will know that your pet has been cared for adequately and so on.
And finally, don’t forget to check your local newspaper and/or online classifieds. You can search through online classifieds in your area by typing the type of pet you’re looking for into the search bar. You may also consider placing a classified yourself, reaching out into the local community for the type of pet you are looking for.
JR Ulderport says you can find typical pets for sale, such as cats and dogs, or more unusual pets like parrots, ferrets and all kinds of pet gear online at PetLeeg Pet Classifieds.