Looking to Purchase an Exotic Pet? Here are the How-Tos to Get You Started

By on March 14, 2023

A quick start guide that will help you get going.

You’ve had cats and dogs, but now you’re ready to branch out into the world of exotic pets! The term “exotic pet” is broad but generally refers to any rare or unusual animal considered a wild rather than domesticated species.

Choosing Your New Pet

The list of exotic pet types is as long as a lizard’s tail, including everything from rodents and insects to birds and reptiles. The initial step in acquiring your exotic pet is research. With hundreds of species possibilities, you’ll need to start with personal research first, meaning what kind of pet you want in your home. The options are endless, from crocodiles and hedgehogs to foxes and sawfish.

After you’ve chosen your desired exotic species, your pet investigation will continue. Therefore, it’s crucial to research the topics below before selecting your exotic pet:

  • Research the needs of the pet you are considering; this includes housing, food, care, space, environmental conditions, social needs, and general welfare.
  • Research the legality of owning that pet in your specific State or County. Each state has its exotic pet laws.
  • Research the availability of the pet in your local area.

Before you decide to buy your new pet, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you and your family prepared?
  2.  The commitment of owning an exotic pet? Like domestic pets, their exotic buddies are living beings who require attention and care, often even more than your cat, Mr. Fluffers.
  3. Is the pet likely to thrive in its new environment? For instance, if you have an active home with much noise, will that negatively impact your new pet?

Finding & Buying Your Pet

Now it’s time to find your pet!

Conduct diligent research on breeders and sellers to ensure your pet comes from a safe and reputable source. Start by gathering recommendations for sellers from friends or family members who have experience with exotic pets. If you plan on buying locally, visit any stores in person to see if they’re clean and if the staff is knowledgeable. If you plan on buying online, read buyer reviews and call the store/breeder for a voice-to-voice conversation. Always ask sellers/breeders for references. Any reasonable seller will be happy to share.

Before you make the purchase final, remember these three tasks:

  1. Request a health certificate for your new pet.
  2. Ensure the pet is of legal age to be sold.
  3. Check the animal for any signs of illness or distress.

Caring For Your New Exotic Pet

This is when pet ownership becomes fun:

  1. Create an ideal home for your new pet.
  2. If you have kids or grandkids, turn this into a family project and use it to teach them about biology and habitat. Each species requires an appropriate habitat, and it’s up to you to determine your pet’s needs and then construct accordingly. Aspects to consider are heating, lighting, ventilation, access to water, plants, etc.
  3. Ensure the habitat is secure because you don’t want your pet to go on a walkabout in your house!

You’re a rare breed; it’s time you choose a pet as unique as you.

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