It’s widely believed that a family pet can greatly improve quality of life, and many animals are very easy to care for if you know what you’re doing. As long as you know the best dog food for English Bulldogs is different from the best dog food for German Shepherds, for example, then you’re good to go if you’ve got either of those breeds. If you know that cats only like being stroked from the head down and a wagging tail means they’re annoyed, you’ll get on like a house on fire. Some pets, however, are a bit trickier. I know a lot of parents, both moms and dads, who’d been given the frights of their lives by their children having brought home some rather exotic animals and asked to keep them as pets! The most frightening of these stories I’ve heard was that of a neighbour’s son who’d somehow managed to catch an entire cobra which as we’d later go on to find out had escaped from a nearby zoo and he asked if he could keep it as a pet!
Of course the answer was no and the boy was given a serious scolding about never to mess with venomous snakes and the like, but this swiftly brings into focus our discussion about what we can probably all agree to be exotic pets. They’re really not that bad and they can definitely be housed and kept in check.
I think it’s only fitting to discuss snakes first since we’ve already touched on how venomous snakes like cobras should never be allowed to be kept as pets. Something like an albino rock python makes for a great exotic pet, not to mention just how beautiful this creature is. It can get massive though, but if trained and reared right from its “childhood” then it won’t be any trouble at all – at least not any trouble like what some thriller snake movies may suggest.
Other snake varieties that can be kept as pets include the likes of a brown house snake – I mean the name says it all, doesn’t it? There are plenty more, but you should never keep venomous snakes, ever!
I think lizards perhaps top the list as the most popular species of exotic pets, collectively. There are different kinds of lizards which make for some great exotic pets because of how “exotically” beautiful they look, sometimes freaky. I mean where do I even begin?
You have the bearded dragon – is there a cooler customer than a bearded dragon, especially with the colour varieties they come in? Head on down to Australia and you’ll find so many more lizard species which make for exotic pets, but remember that not all of them can actually be exported as some on the list of endangered species. When it comes to feeding, bearded dragons are omnivores and you can feed them small mice. Check Adorablehomepets or other similar pet based blogs to learn more about feeding lizards.
Otherwise geez – chameleons also make for great exotic lizard pets, although they’re more common in a lot of places around the world. In summertime you barely need to feed it since it catches insects itself…
How exotic are they, really?
Officially an exotic pet is one that is of an animal species not indigenous to the location where it is kept as a pet, but in the broader sense, it’s really just an unusual or rare and unusual animal. For example, people keep rats as pets and other rodents aside from hamsters, while the smaller species of monkeys are also quite popular as pets.
The list goes on and on and we can write an entire book about exotic pets, but otherwise, all it takes is a little bit of specialised care to keep exotic pets and perhaps some expensive visits to the vet.
How to Take Care of Unconventional Pets?
Taking care of unconventional pets at home requires a unique set of considerations, responsibilities, and a genuine commitment to their well-being. Whether it’s a reptile, amphibian, arachnid, or any other non-traditional companion, the key to successful care lies in understanding the specific needs of each species and creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat.
Firstly, extensive research is crucial before bringing an unconventional pet into your home. Different species have diverse requirements when it comes to diet, temperature, humidity, enclosure size, and social interactions. For example, reptiles may need specific lighting and heat sources to replicate their native environment, while arachnids might require a particular substrate and humidity level. Being well-informed about your pet’s needs is the foundation of responsible pet ownership.
The habitat or enclosure is a critical aspect of unconventional pet care. Ensure that the size and structure of the enclosure are appropriate for the species. It should provide enough space for the pet to move, hide, and explore. Proper ventilation is essential, and the enclosure should be escape-proof, as unconventional pets often have unique behaviors that may lead to accidental escapes if not properly contained.
Temperature and lighting are key factors in creating a suitable environment. Many unconventional pets are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. It’s vital to maintain the correct temperature gradient within the enclosure, including a warm basking area and a cooler zone for thermoregulation. Additionally, some species require specific UVB lighting for proper calcium metabolism and overall well-being.
Feeding your unconventional pet is another critical aspect of care. Research the specific dietary needs of your pet and provide a balanced and nutritious diet. Some may require live prey, while others can thrive on a diet of commercially available food. Proper supplementation, such as calcium for reptiles, is often necessary to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Regular veterinary care is essential for unconventional pets, just as it is for more traditional ones. Find a veterinarian with experience in treating your specific type of pet to ensure they receive appropriate medical attention. Some unconventional pets may be carriers of zoonotic diseases, so routine check-ups, and preventive care are crucial not only for their health but also for the well-being of the entire household.
Enrichment and mental stimulation are often overlooked but are equally important for unconventional pets. Create an environment that encourages natural behaviors and provides opportunities for exploration. For example, reptiles may benefit from climbing structures and hiding spots, while certain arachnids may enjoy a substrate suitable for burrowing. Regular interaction and observation will help you understand your pet’s preferences and ensure their mental well-being.
Maintaining cleanliness is a fundamental part of unconventional pet care. Regularly clean and disinfect the enclosure to prevent the buildup of bacteria and parasites. Remove uneaten food promptly to avoid contamination and maintain a hygienic environment. Water quality is crucial as well; ensure your pet has access to clean, dechlorinated water at all times.
However, hygiene doesn’t stop at the enclosure; it extends to the overall cleanliness of your home. Unconventional pets may have specific requirements that demand extra diligence in keeping living spaces tidy. This includes regularly cleaning the immediate surroundings of the enclosure, checking for any potential hazards, and maintaining a clean and organized living space to minimize the risk of contamination or accidents. If all these seem to be overwhelming for you, then hiring one of the most laborious maids in Atlanta Georgia, or wherever you are located could be beneficial.
Education and responsible ownership go hand in hand. Stay informed about the latest research and advancements in the care of unconventional pets. Join online forums, attend local reptile or exotic pet expos, and connect with experienced keepers to exchange knowledge and advice. Continuous learning is essential for providing the best possible care for your unconventional pet.
In conclusion, caring for unconventional pets at home demands dedication, research, and a deep understanding of their unique requirements. Creating a suitable habitat, addressing their nutritional needs, providing mental stimulation, and ensuring regular veterinary care are all integral aspects of responsible ownership. By investing time and effort into proper care, unconventional pets can thrive in a domestic setting, bringing joy and companionship to their owners while fostering a sense of responsibility and respect for the diverse world of non-traditional companions.