Dog and cat owners, who have enjoyed the company of their fur kids for quite some time, often look into caring for other pets to accompany their existing ones. Most of them adopt another cat or another dog but some become curious about how to care for and keep exotic animals.
The world of exotic pet keeping is limitless! From amphibians alone, there are a lot of options to choose from. The only question worth asking here is that if you are ready for an added responsibility. While it is true that exotic pets are harder to keep because of their different needs, falling in love with them and accepting the duty as a whole is just as easy.
We have come up with 5 suggestions for your first exotic pet!
Most of us are afraid of the idea that our beloved pets will leave us someday. After all, their lifetime is shorter than ours. However, caring for a tortoise can remedy that fear. When attended to properly and completely, a healthy tortoise can live for more than 50 years!
Unlike cats and dogs, tortoises are considered shy and prefer to roam in solitary. They are curious about their surroundings, so keeping them as a pet would mean that you should have a fairly vast, but safe, area outside your home where they can wander. Tortoises are land dwellers and are important that they have a place to get sunshine and to also dig. YES, dig.
Torts feed on fruits and vegetables. You have to ensure that they are served a high-fiber, low-protein diet.
If you are a 90’s kid, you are familiar with this blue video game character with spiked hair and runs extremely fast. You will be surprised to know that our dear Sonic is a hedgehog! Though he may not physically look like it, other than his semi-spiked hair, he also curls to a ball that real hedgehogs do.
Hedgehogs are exceptionally active animals. They should be kept in a large, multi-level cage so they can run around and climb to their heart’s content. They eat small insects such as super worms and crickets. If you have a cat at home, they can also share cat food.
A hedgehog’s quills may look intimidating but they are not really that sharp. It is not that necessary to wear gloves when handling them. Just gently scoop them from the belly and give them ample time to calm down and get used to your scent.
3. Bearded Dragon
With its soft spikes and rough texture, the Bearded Dragon may look intimidating when surprisingly, they are the most passive and obedient reptiles around. They are also easy to tame and read.
Caring for them may be a little technical but having them around other pets poses no problems. You just need to ensure that their habitat is warm by having a heat emitter and heat pad. They should also have proper fluorescent and incandescent lights.
When it comes to food, they eat insects and vegetables alike. They would appreciate branches and places to hide inside their terrarium so never miss that!
4. Dwarf Pig
There had been a time when owning a dwarf pig or miniature pig was trendy. This resulted in over-breeding and a number of these adorable angels abandoned in shelters. If you feel that you are up for the responsibility, it is high time to rescue one
Pigs are known to be highly intelligent and can bond well with humans. They need mental stimulation often and need to avoid being bored or they can wreak havoc in their surroundings. Pigs are social creatures too so the chances of having them interact and get along with your existing babies are high.
If you will choose to have a dwarf pig, you should have a comfortable space for them to move around. This species is known to be scavengers and they will root around because of their instinct. Digging is natural for them and will not cease even if they are kept indoors. This is something you would have to be ready for.
5. Fennec Fox
Fennec Foxes are adorable creatures that seem like a combination of both cats and dogs. In the wild, they mostly fall as prey that is why they are overly cautious and sensitive. What’s great about Fennec Foxes aside from their cute, large-eared appearance is that when they are trained in captivity, they are easy to understand. They are very vocal and have a wide range of sounds that they produce depending on their moods and needs.
If you live an active lifestyle and enjoy adventures, having a Fennec Fox is a match made in heaven. Although they are nocturnal, they enjoy leashed walks, climbing on surfaces, and digging. Their enclosure would be better if it is outdoor with enough area for enrichment activities but safe enough to guarantee that their natural tendencies will not get them in danger.
There are a lot more options to choose from if you would choose an exotic pet as a company to your cats and dogs. You just have to bear in mind that whatever animal you go for should have a good synergy towards your existing fur child. Decisions should be made as well so it is only proper to involve not just your dog or cat, but the whole family in choosing your exotic pet. Most importantly, as with any pets, acquiring one is a life-long responsibility. You have to choose a pet that you are more than positive that you will not abandon if the going gets rough.
With that being said, which exotic animal do you think you would go for?