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The Top Reasons Why It's Great To Be An Exotic Pet!

Posted December 18, 2014 in Small Animal Health & Care

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:

  1. Since you are, by definition, an “exotic” animal, you are, without a doubt, more interesting than your average dog or cat.
  2. 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.
  3. You can poop/pee/vomit on the floor, and even after cleaning up after you, your family still thinks you’re cute.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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…
  8. 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

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Laurie has more than 15 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified bird specialist and exotic animal veterinarian as well as a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.