Is An Exotic Pet Right For You?

Is An Exotic Pet Right For You?

An exotic pet is a pet that is not typically found in homes as a companion animal, such as a dog or cat. Some examples of exotic pets include reptiles, birds, small mammals, fish, and invertebrates. Exotic pets can be fun, but like dogs and cats, they also require a lot of care. Before you decide to get an exotic pet, please do your research and make sure that you're prepared to meet their needs.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if an exotic pet is right for you:

Your lifestyle: How much time can you dedicate to caring for a pet? Are you able to provide the space and environment that the pet needs?

Your budget: Exotic pets can be expensive to buy, care for, and feed. Don't forget to factor in food, bedding, toys, and veterinary care costs.

Your experience level: If you're a first-time pet owner, you may want to consider a more traditional pet, such as a dog or cat. Check with additional pet care guides to learn more about what is involved.


Types of Exotic Pets

Popular exotic pets include:

  • Reptiles: Lizards, snakes, turtles, and tortoises
  • Birds: Parrots, macaws, cockatiels, parakeets, and finches
  • Small mammals: Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats
  • Fish: Freshwater, saltwater, and tropical fish
  • Invertebrates: Spiders, scorpions, insects, and snails



Reptiles are a popular choice for exotic pets. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're considering getting a reptile as a pet:

Reptiles are cold-blooded (or ectotherms), meaning they need an outside heat source to regulate their body temperature. You will need to provide your pet with a heat lamp or a heated mat to keep them comfortable.

Reptiles have different dietary needs, so research the specific needs of the species you are interested in before you bring them home. Some reptiles are insectivores, while others are carnivores or herbivores.

Lastly, reptiles can be long-lived, so you should be prepared to commit long-term if you choose one as a pet. Some species of reptiles can live for 20 years or more!


Small Mammals

Small mammals are popular as exotic pets because they're easy to care for and can be very affectionate. Rabbits require a lot of space. They should also be let out to exercise for several hours a day. Hamsters are solitary animals that are relatively easy to care for. They should have a wheel to run on and plenty of toys to keep them occupied and content.

Guinea pigs require a lot of attention and do best when they have a friend to live with. Despite their reputation in the movies, rats are intelligent and social animals that actually make great pets. Be sure to add toys and hiding places like caves and wood shavings in their cage to keep them happy.



Birds can be very social and entertaining pets. However, they can also be loud and are messy eaters, so be prepared to clean up after them. Birds typically love a variety of toys and perches to prevent them from being bored. Birds are omnivores, so they should be fed a diet of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and insects, plus have access to fresh water at all times. Birds can be very intelligent and trainable, so they can make great companions. However, they require a lot of attention, so they may not be the best choice for everyone. Some birds have long lifespans, so keep that in mind as well.



Fish are often seen as a low-maintenance pet, but without specific knowledge and experience can be challenging. Different types of fish have different requirements, such as salt water/fresh water or a particular water temperature that may require a heater, so it's important to do your research before you set up a fish tank. Ensuring proper water quality is a huge part of having fish; getting the balance correct is often challenging. Some of the most important factors to consider when setting up a fish tank include the size, the type of filter, the type of substrate, and the type of fish. Once you have set up your fish tank, you will need to maintain it. This includes changing the water, cleaning the filter, and feeding the fish. Fish can be very peaceful and relaxing to watch. In fact, scientists have learned that you can lower your blood pressure by watching fish swim. They can also be a great way to learn about the underwater world.



Invertebrates are a group of animals that includes insects, spiders, snails, and worms. Spiders are pretty easy to care for and interesting to watch. Be sure to give them plenty of hiding places like plants or logs and access to a water dish.

Insects can make great pets for children and beginners. They are easy to care for and can be very fun to watch. Some popular insect pets include crickets, mealworms, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

If you decide an exotic pet is right for you, we can help when you need to be away. Our pet kennel takes exotic pets for boarding services. We're dedicated to providing your pet with the best possible care. Contact us today to learn more about our exotic pet boarding services.

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