Sure, a Golden Retriever is super cute, but it’s a pet next door that you often see in parks, strolling around the block and in almost 80% of dog videos on the Internet.
If you aren’t a dog person, the next “viable” option for adoption is a cat. But again, they might just never appreciate your company or worse, treat you like you don’t exist.
If that’s not what you want to sign up for either, here’s a list of 7 exotic pets that make a great companion to humans.
But first, you must know that specific legal regulations govern the whole process of exotic pet adoption and may vary from state to state.
Bringing an exotic pet home and having to give it up later can be costly and traumatic. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your exotic pet can be legally domesticated in your state. Also, you must factor in their adult size and unique dietary needs before making the final decision.
With all that aside, let’s get started.
#1 Ball Python
A Ball Python is one of the most popular exotic pets in the US and is suitable for first-time owners. Ball Pythons are legally imported from West Africa and are widely bred in captivity across the US.
The temperament of a captive-bred Ball Python isn’t hard to deal with. They are docile – often perceived as well-behaved – but can get stressed easily. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with a conducive environment where they can live and grow to their maximum potential.
A ball python can grow up to 5 feet long with an average life expectancy of 25 years. While it’s not feasible to recreate their natural habitat in your living room, they can do well in a 30-gallon enclosure, preferably made of glass so that you can watch them doing what they do best.
#2 Hyacinth Macaw
Birds as pets is not a rare sight, but it takes a special household to pet a Hyacinth Macaw. It was popularized as an exotic pet a long time ago, but then petting a Macaw comes with big responsibilities and even bigger expenses. They require a large cage to perch and need someone to socialize with. They can easily get bored, which is the last thing you’d want to happen as a caring owner.
Among many of its striking characteristics, the bright yellow ring around its eyes appears quite prominent in contrast to the stunning cobalt blue colour all over the body. Macaw is one of the largest species of parrot and the fact that they are considered endangered accounts for their high ownership cost.
A dog may be man’s best friend, but if you are looking for a true companion for a pet, you won’t regret bringing home a Chimpanzee. While it’s not legal to own a chimpanzee in most US states, you can obtain a special license to own a chimp in a few states, including Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
A chimpanzee can live for 50 years, which means you are signing up for a long-term commitment. In case your chimp outlives you, there has to be someone who can take good care and provide for your adorable pet after you are gone.
Chimpanzees like to socialize and may pick up a few humanly habits along the way, which sometimes amuse or surprise you.
#4 Fennec Fox
A fennec fox brings the energy and playfulness of a dog while maintaining a headstrong stance like a cat. This particular breed is the smallest among its clan, making them one of the best exotic pets to have in the US, except for a few states, like Washington, Missouri and Nevada, where you may have to struggle for the license to own these adorable fur-balls.
Fennec Foxes can be trained to live in harmony with other pets, and feeding them is not a hassle at all. They can get their nutrition fix from cat and dog food, and adding raw meat to the mix will certainly make them happier.
#5 Bearded Dragon
If you can look past their intimidating appearance, Bearded Dragons are quite calm and easy to provide for. No wonder they are commonly seen in households across the US. While they may appear quite small as babies, they can grow up to 2 feet as adults. Therefore, suitable housing arrangements should be put in place beforehand.
A bearded dragon is an easygoing pet and deemed safe around kids. But as much as they love to be held and caressed, you will want to wash your hands after making contact with them.
Cat lovers out there who are looking for an exotic breed will surely find a great companion in Serval – a wild cat from Africa that can easily pass off as a leopard at first glance. As a pet, Serval is legal in some states or can be owned after obtaining the license. But you will still want to check with your local registration before bringing one home since it’s illegal to own a Serval in over 20 out of 50 states.
While it can be a bit difficult to train a Serval, it can pretty much get along with humans without having to surrender their natural survival instincts.
We have been saving the last spot for dog lovers out there. Now that you have come this far, here’s an exotic dog breed from West Africa that’s one of the most sought-after breeds not only in the US but also around the world. Azawakh, as they call it, can be easily distinguished from its canine relatives. Thanks to its long legs and lean physique, Azawakh can be surprisingly agile.
If you are raising an Azawakh or any other exotic pet on this list, you will want to buy pet insurance to have all their medical needs covered. It would help if you did because:
1. It requires a specialized vet to treat exotic pets.
2. The medical expenses can quickly shoot through the roof.
Just like any other prized possession, getting your exotic pet insured is a wise move. If you wish to learn more about how to care for an exotic pet read our blog best way to transport exotic pets