A pocket pet wearing a small hat

Dogs and cats will probably always be the most popular pets, but exotic animals have been rising in popularity in recent years. Exotic animals are defined as those who haven’t been domesticated and are relatively uncommon as pets.

Many people assume that certain exotic pets are easier to care for than a dog or cat due to their smaller size, but this isn’t always the case. Exotic pet care can range from relatively simple to highly complicated, so it’s always best to do your research before making a decision.

Low Maintenance Exotic Pets

Lower maintenance pets will have relatively simple needs in terms of housing, diet, and socialization. Examples include:

  • Bearded dragon lizard – These popular reptiles are gentle, social, and have relatively simple care requirements in comparison to other lizards. Bearded dragons sleep at night and are awake during the day, so you have lots of opportunities to interact with them.
  • Hedgehog – Besides being absolutely adorable, hedgehogs can rapidly bond with their human family (as long as you put in the time and effort to hold and play with them). They prefer not to be housed with other hedgehogs, and their dietary and bedding needs are pretty straightforward.
  • Madagascar hissing cockroach – Cockroaches don’t make cuddly pets, but insects can be fun and fascinating to observe and handle.
  • Fish – Certain fish, such as zebrafish, barb fish, and bettas, make excellent pets for kids due to their beauty and ease of care. Many fish enjoy interacting with humans and with decorative items placed inside their tanks.

High Maintenance Exotic Pets

The majority of exotic pets have very specific needs when it comes to diet, housing, and environment.

  • Fennec foxes – With their huge ears and friendly demeanor, it’s easy to see why fennec foxes are becoming extremely popular exotic pets. Fennec foxes require very large, multi-level enclosures and need a lot of owner interaction and playtime each day in order to thrive.
  • Geckos/chameleons – Geckos, chameleons, and certain other lizards have extremely specific requirements in terms of temperature, humidity, light levels, and nutrition.
  • Parrots, macaws, etc. – Larger birds tend to retain more of their “wild” traits than smaller species (parakeets, finches, etc.) and tend to make much more demanding pets. Large birds also live significantly longer than smaller birds.
  • Sugar gliders – These popular pets need to be housed in pairs in a very large enclosure. They have rigid daily dietary requirements and need plenty of handling and playtime. Sugar gliders may not be suitable for children.

Exotic Pet Care

Although exotic pet care differs from traditional pet care, one thing remains the same: the need for veterinary care in the form of annual wellness exams. The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center have the tools and training necessary to care for a wide variety of exotic pets and small mammals. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet.