Seven Things To Consider For Exotic Pet Care


First of all, to all the pet lovers out there, kudos to you for deciding on getting an exotic pet. However, caring for an exotic pet is not an easy feat. Even if you want a low maintenance pet like a squirrel, chipmunks, ferret, or prairie dog, you need to learn how to take care of them. And if you want a wild feline, canine, or even a reptile in your home, you should have in-depth knowledge about their nature and how you can care for them. Read on to learn what you need to consider for taking care of an exotic pet.  

What Counts As An Exotic Pet?

When we say exotic pets, it doesn’t mean wild lions, bears, or tigers. However, the term ‘exotic’ doesn’t have any strict implication. A rat might come across as exotic for a person who has never seen any pets other than cats and dogs. But in general, pets that are rarely domesticated or unusual are regarded as an exotic pet.

In that term, you might argue that ferrets or guinea pigs are common in pet shops, but still, they are considered exotic. However, one way to define if a pet should be considered exotic is the pet law that your region follows.

In order to get an exotic animal as a pet, the pet has to be legal for keeping in domestic settings. If something is not legal as a pet in your area, you can’t keep it. So it is recommended that before you commit to a specific pet species, make sure it is legal in your area.

Things to Consider For Exotic Pet Care

Exotic pets have both physiological needs and psychological needs. Along with regular nutrition, housing, and healthcare, you need to provide love, care, and stimulation. Here we have explained these to you.

Foods and Nutrition

Different species have different dietary and nutritional needs. For instance, reptiles like to eat insects. If you happen to get a chameleon as a pet, you can check out for Dubia roaches because chameleons love Dubia roaches.  There are also carnivorous (animal eater), herbivorous (plant-eater), and omnivorous (plant and animal eater) reptiles.  

You might have had several incidents of recurrent death of goldfish in your childhood. If you didn’t, consider yourself lucky. It is really easy to overfeed or underfeed your pet unknowingly, and before you know it, they have already fallen ill. And it is also hard to resist buying every pet food item that you see on store shelves.

However, not all pet foods are healthy, even if they claim to be so. Besides, store-bought food can hardly make up for the natural nutrition that your pet needs. Always try to find natural sources of food that match the original diet pattern of your pet.

Health Monitoring

One of the downsides of having an exotic pet is that you wouldn’t notice right away if there is something wrong with their health, especially so, if it stays dormant most of the day. One of the critical indicators for an exotic pet’s declining health is that it will refuse to eat. But for pets, losing appetite or even overfeeding can be deadly. To prevent any health issues, make sure your exotic pet receives enough nutrition- calcium, vitamin D, E and A,  and thiamin.

Ensure you know how often your pet needs hydration and what minerals it needs to reduce fur loss or skin decay. Ensure proper vaccination for your exotic pet. Pay regular visits to the veterinarian for health checkups.  

Housing Your Pet

Your exotic pet’s home needs to be a replication of its natural setting. Know the temperature or humidity it is accustomed to and regulate them accordingly. Weather is extremely crucial for their survival, metabolism, physiological and skin health. For instance, most pet reptiles and amphibians are ectotherms, unable to keep themselves warm; they need a constant exterior temperature from 70-85 °F.

Behavioral Stimulation

Pets need simulation for healthy living, even if it is the laziest lizard or a reptile that loves to slumber all day long. As a pet owner, you should ensure a proper stimulative lifestyle for your exotic pet. For starters, make sure they have enough room in their enclosure or tank to move around. If you have rodents or birds, make sure they have pet toys that they can play around with.

Reptiles, fish, and rodents typically like hiding in dark corners where they can laze around and feel safe. To provide this, make sure the tank or cage has enough dark crevices that they can use as a hideout.

Veterinary Care

Pet needs grooming just like you need your hairs or nails trimmed from time to time. Birds need their wings, nails, or even beaks trimmed. Small mammals and rodents need their claws and teeth trimmed.  If you are unsure about grooming your pets at home, take them to a veterinarian who can take care of them for you.


Exotic pets come from various backgrounds. If you are aware of their history and background, it will be easier for you to take care of them. Learning about whether they were born wild or a rescue, how they interact with other animals and how they behave in their natural setting will help you ensure proper care for them.

Provide Love

Confining an exotic pet within an enclosure with little to no human interaction is not the right way to care for your pet. Exotic pets need company and love as much as a dog does. It might not follow you around like a shadow wherever you go or greet you with excitement as your dog does, but they do need attention all the same.

It might take some time for them to get used to a new setting when you first bring them home, but with time, they will reveal their nature or playfulness to you. Without love and attention, you might be able to keep it alive, but it will not live a good life.

On a final note, knowledge is vital when it comes to caring for an exotic pet. You need to know every bit of information about the species. For any pet-related emergency, keep your pets veterinarian’s number on your speed dial. Not every veterinarian knows how to care for an exotic species, and you might want someone knowledgeable for your pet. If you can ensure all these, having a pet will be a memorable and fun experience.

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