Why Choose an Exotic Pet?

Image by Jason Murphy

Image by Jason Murphy

Exotic pets are more popular than ever before and this upward trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The possibilities are virtually endless, and with so much choice there’s guaranteed to be an exotic pet that would be perfect for you, although there’s a chance you’ve never even heard of it before! But why choose an exotic pet anyway – why not stick to the standard dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs and goldfish? Here are just a few of the many reasons to buy an exotic pet…

1. Avoid allergic reactions.
Many people would absolutely love to have a pet or two, but can’t because of allergies to fur, feathers or similar things. Exotic pets are a brilliant alternative, especially amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles. Snakes don’t have fur and scorpions are feather-free, so if an allergy is your problem then your solution is here.

2. Companionship.
Everyone knows that dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but there are less widely-owned creatures that offer the same amount of love and interaction as any dog. Get an African Grey Parrot and you’ll have a lifelong friend you might even be able to have a two-way conversation with. Sugar Gliders are almost unbearably adorable and want nothing more than to be with you – they both need and crave your company, love and attention.

Image by Richard Adams

Image by Richard Adams

3. You don’t need much space.
Of course this depends on the animal in question (clearly a large 200lb tortoise won’t work), but there are popular and exciting options for anyone who doesn’t have enough space for a cat or a dog. Many pets will happily live in a small tank, and some (like praying mantises) will actually struggle to cope with a large tank. Insects, frogs and smaller snakes will generally take up very little room, and even the smallest apartment will probably have space for them.

4. You don’t need much time.
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t spend much time at home but still wants a pet, something labor-intensive like a dog just won’t work. Luckily there are many exotic pets that require very little attention; some prefer never to be handled at all and are much happier when left alone. Some of these creatures only need feeding on a weekly basis or even less frequently, so there’s plenty of potential for even the busiest person. Creatures that don’t need to be fed often are also ideal for people who travel a lot for either business or pleasure.

Image by Matt Cunnelly

Image by Matt Cunnelly

5. They’re fascinating.
As exotic pets tend to be much less studied and understood than ‘normal’ pets, just keeping one and watching it grow provides a wonderful insight into a little known world, complete with unique behavior and individual variations to keep you on your toes. If you keep more than one animal then the social interactions are worth watching too, but a single pet is equally interesting – whether or not you want to watch, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from a snake swallowing a mouse!

6. Exotic pets are just plain awesome.
This shouldn’t be the only reason you buy an exotic pet, but it’s why most people become interested in the first place. Scorpions and tarantulas, lizards and tortoises, parrots and frogs – they’re all amazing in their own unique ways, and while just liking the idea of keeping one of these fantastic creatures as a pet won’t cut it alone, the enthusiasm is absolutely necessary and it’s the best possible place to start.