Analysis: Do You Really Need An Exotic Pet?

A monkey is being held on a woman's head.

We recently came across an article from the Western Advocate titled, Do You Really Need An Exotic Pet? The report was – to put it lightly – staunchly against the concept of having exotic pets in the home. The piece cited information from the World Animal Protection Agency, which found that approximately 25 percent of exotic pet owners performed no research before buying. Half of the Australian pet owners didn’t realize that their pet was, indeed, exotic.

The article also cited information from the Australian Department of Environment and Energy, which stated that the “illegal import of wildlife is known to be cruel and cause serious harm.” The study found that animals suffer:

  • Dehydration
  • Starvation
  • Stress

While we understand the sentiments expressed in this article, we feel that they’re a bit overblown. Exotic animals can make fantastic pets. Many people have begun using exotic pets as an emotional support animal because of the bond they have with the creature. Below, we’ve addressed some of the primary points in the article and things to consider if you wish to bring an exotic pet into the home.

Do Your Research

First and foremost, if you wish to bring an exotic pet into your home, you should perform due diligence and considerable research. While the same is true about any pet, including cats and dogs, it’s especially true for exotic animals. An exotic pet will require you to pay more attention to things such as:

  • Dietary restrictions
  • Supplements
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

Additionally, exotic pets can far outlive traditional domestic pets. For instance, while dogs tend to live up to 15 years, perhaps 20 if they’re particularly healthy, certain species of birds and reptiles could live up to 50 years!

Furthermore, you should make sure that you find a vet in your area who is willing to care for the animal before you bring it into your home. Exotic animals often require care from specially-licensed veterinarians.

Obtain The Pet Legally

Ownership of an exotic pet is not worth it if it’s not legal in your area. No matter how hard you try to conceal the fact that you own an exotic pet, someone will eventually discover your secret. Not only could you face penalties and fines, but you could potentially face jail time as well. We recommend making sure that an exotic pet is legal to own in your jurisdiction before proceeding.

Furthermore, make sure that you obtain the pet from a licensed vendor. We don’t recommend purchasing an exotic pet from eBay or other third-party sites. Check with your vet or local government officials, who could have recommendations about where to buy your pet.

Set Up A Habitable Environment

Lastly, before you bring an exotic pet into your home, you’ll want to make sure that you provide a habitable environment in which it can thrive. For instance, pigs require a lot of time outdoors. Owners should provide them with a fenced-in area in which they can roam. They also love mud and shallow waters, so you’ll likely want to give them a pool. Have your vet check your proposed layout beforehand to ensure it will be safe and comfortable for your pet.

Is An Exotic Pet Right For You?

If you’re willing to commit the time, money, and resources needed to care for an exotic animal, then the results could be outstanding. While we feel that the Western Advocate article is too drastic in their recommendations, their points are somewhat valid. Bringing home an exotic pet should never be an impulse decision. You should take time to research the animal and ensure you have a proper system in place so that it thrives under your care.

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