Dr. Laurie Hess discusses all of the reasons why it's great to be an exotic pet!
Exotic pets are all those animals – birds, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and some more unusual species, like sugar gliders, hedgehogs, pot-bellied pigs, and some others – that fall in the realm of “exotic” because they are not dogs and cats but can make great pets if kept properly. While some people may argue that some of these species should not be kept as pets, owners who take the time to learn about these animals and their needs before getting them can actually be great pet parents to these animals. We all know how much dog and cat owners dote on their pets and how lucky pampered pooches and coddled kitties can be to have great homes, but most of us don’t realize that exotic animals can be kept happily in households, as well.
In fact, being a well- cared for exotic pet can be great because:
- Since you are, by definition, an “exotic” animal, you are, without a doubt, more interesting than your average dog or cat.
- As a (bird, ferret, rabbit, rodent, reptile, etc.) with very specific lifestyle and nutritional requirements, your family will stop at nothing to ensure that your environment looks better than any other (bird, ferret, rabbit, rodent, reptile, etc.) on the block.
- You can poop/pee/vomit on the floor, and even after cleaning up after you, your family still thinks you’re cute.
- If you refuse to eat your regular meal, everyone freaks out and offers you a dozen different delicious treats to try to entice you to eat.
- You can sleep 17 hours a day if you like, and no one minds. Additionally, if you’re nocturnal, and you make noise all night long digging in your cage or running in a wheel, your family doesn’t complain – you’re supposed to do that!
- No matter what the time of year, the climate of your family’s house is set to whatever is comfortable for you, regardless of what everyone else in the house needs.
- Whenever you do something silly or smart, even if it’s unintentional, everyone “oohs and aahs” and comments that you are the brightest animal of your species, ever, anywhere…
- Every time your family has to go out of the house for a prolonged period, they feel guilty leaving you alone, so they shower you with treats and toys when they return.
- Your family constantly takes photos of you while you are performing your run of the mill daily functions like eating, bathing, grooming and sleeping that are really no big deal but that they and their friends think are just adorable.
- Your family members are so concerned that you’ll be bored in your cage that they get you all the latest and greatest exotic pet paraphernalia - new toys, hideaways, hammocks, bedding, etc.; it’s like your birthday all year round.
- Your family is so concerned that you’re spending too much time alone in your cage that once they get home, you come out, run around, wreak havoc, get into trouble, and they still love you!
Do you own a pampered exotic pet? Is so, what kind, and how exactly do you spoil him/her? Please share your story!
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.