Exotic animals can include just about anything that isn’t a cat or a dog. Small mammals, birds, reptiles, tortoises, they’re all going to take extra steps to care for, and not all veterinarians have the training required to manage exotic animal needs.

If you just love iguanas, parrots or sugar gliders and can provide for them, then the tradeoff is more than worth it. Just know that you’re going to have to do a little more legwork than you would with a German shepherd or a calico.


Ensuring a Comfortable Environment

Dogs often thrive on bustling, busy environments. If you’ve ever been in a hardware store where the owner’s dog just hangs around in the aisles, greeting customers, it’s because they love meeting new people. This isn’t always the case with exotic pets. Guinea pigs, birds, and lizards tend to feel unsafe in chaotic environments.

Selecting the right veterinarian office is important for this reason. The waiting room is one of the first things you should look at in any animal hospital. A crowded, brightly lit waiting room is bad for a parrot’s nerves. There aren’t many animal hospitals like Young’s Animal Hospital, where an exotic animal’s sensitive disposition is taken into account.

Proper housing is likewise important. Not all animal hospitals are equipped with the equipment needed to keep an exotic animal comfortable. Animals that require heat lamps and other special considerations might not receive the care that they need in a facility that does not specialize in exotic creatures.


Before selecting an exotic pet, anyone who hopes to care for one should make sure to do some extensive research before making a purchase. Too many pet owners find that they’ve bought more than they bargained for and are not prepared for the level of care that their new friend demands. Some exotics are easy, but you won’t know that until you do your research. A guinea pig is not like a fish, it won’t be happy simply being left in a cage indefinitely.


Ultimately, the deciding factor for many pet owners is cost. A parakeet is cheap, all of their toys and special dietary needs might not be. Floor space is one reason you see more African grays in gated communities than in apartment buildings, but cost is another. A dog is relatively inexpensive to care for, an exotic bird might not be. Be careful not to outspend yourself when selecting an exotic pet.

If you have the time and patience, if you make sure to buy an animal within your budget, an exotic pet can be a great addition to your family. Just make sure that you know what you’re signing up for.