Your First Exotic Pet
While dogs and cats may be what comes to mind when you think of pets, exotic pets have wonderful perks and can be a great companion. Whether you have a small living space, want a starter pet for your child, have an allergy, or just think lizards are cool—there is an exotic pet out there for everyone. But how do you decide on your first exotic pet?
There are many types of birds you can have as a pet, from the smallest finch to the largest parrots. These gorgeous flying animals are fun to take care of because some of them can have the brain capacity of a toddler. They love to play, take baths, and interact with their owners. Their personality is almost as bright and colorful as their feathers!
Things to consider with your first bird
Birds are some of the loudest exotic pets you can own, so if noise is ever an issue, keep this in mind. They squeak and squawk, ruffle their feathers, and need constant stimulation with toys and their environment so they don’t get bored. Depending on the bird, they may need a companion to be happy, which could mean a bigger cage. They also might need time out of their cage to stretch out their wings. Some birds become attached to one person and dislike other people in the household, so they may do better with singles. Birds can make as big of a mess outside of their cage as they can inside, so a thorough cleaning should become a weekly part of your routine.
Reptiles and Amphibians
While these scaly, shelled, or creepy critters may not be for everyone, these animals are unique, quiet, and a neat conversation starter. If you love plants, a tropical chameleon could turn a corner of your house into the rain forest of your dreams. If you love water, maybe a turtle is more your speed. Either way, these animals are usually docile, patient, and content going through the day without stimulation or attention from their owners.
Things to consider with your first reptile or amphibian
All reptiles need a source of heat, as they are cold-blooded and need to bask in their artificial sun to digest their food. This can lead to an increase in your electrical bill and added heat in your living space. Some reptiles need baths at least once a week to stay hydrated, while others need a constant spray of water leading to added humidity. If you are squeamish towards bugs and mice being snacked on, these may not be the pet for you; However, as long as there are fresh veggies and a supplement for that protein supply, you need not avoid these types of pets. While these animals may seem easier to take care of because of their limited movement and lack of noise, you need to create the environment they are used to living in and ensure their diet is diverse and properly full of nutrition.
From the cutest little mouse to the largest rabbit, these little animals can have just as much of a personality as a cat or dog, with the added convenience of living in an enclosure. Contrary to popular belief, small mammals are very smart, and training is not out of the question. They can also be friendly and a great source of responsibility for a child. Be sure to always supervise their care, because while these mammals are small, the responsibility for any pet is always large!
Things to consider with your first pet mammal
Poop will be everywhere. Even though these animals live in cages, their scurrying, burrowing, jumping, and digging will spray their feces and bedding throughout the room. Cleaning their enclosures will become a part of your weekly routine, and their smell might encourage you to clean it more often. While you may think pellets and hay are all these mammals need, they also need fresh veggies and attention to keep them happy. The toys and burrows you provide are not always enough for these furry little creatures, and they might attempt to escape to more exciting parts of the house.
Floating and gliding through the water, fish are mesmerizing and graceful creatures to help liven up a home, a restaurant, or even an office. The trickle of a water filter can add a peaceful noise to your environment, and you can decorate their home with live plants or figurines. Because there are a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, it shouldn’t be hard to find the perfect aquatic pet for you!
Things to consider with your first fish
Some fish have short life-spans and their health is difficult to read, but with proper research and care they can live happy and fulfilling lives. Aquariums can be very heavy and difficult to move, so keep this in mind. There are different breeds of fish—from saltwater to freshwater—and not all of them can live in the same enclosures. Fish can be very temperamental and bully others, so you have to make sure you do not put the wrong ones together. You should clean their tanks frequently even if there are filtration systems. Fish come in a variety of sizes, some growing to the size of their environment, so they can get sick and die if they do not have a large enough tank.
Exotic pets are wonderful additions to any family, as long as you take the time to learn about their needs and what it takes to give them a fulfilling life. While some may not last as long as a cat or dog (and some may outlive a human), the time they spend with you is rewarding and cherished. Click here for more information on the services we offer to help you provide the best care for your exotic family members.
Remember to research the animal before adding them to your home and contact us if you have questions. While your first exotic pet may only be part of your world, you are their entire world!