Creature Feature
The pros and cons of having exotic pets

Dr. Dan Meakin
When most people think about exotic pets they think about animals like snakes, lizards, tropical birds and wild animals.

Before you buy an exotic pet you need to consider the pros and cons of caring for exotic animals as it related to both you and the animal.

Pros of Having Exotic Pets

The most obvious pro of having an exotic pet is that they are unusual and unique. Many people like exotic pets because they are the only one in their neighborhood that has one.

Exotic pets are also very interesting to interact with and in some cases they can produce very intense interactions.

Another advantage of having exotic pets is that you may be the animal’s last chance for a good home.

If the animal has lost their territory because of civilization encroachment or if they were previously kept by people that were not caring for the animal properly and you have the expertise and appreciation of the animal to give it a good home, then the animal is probably better off with you.

Cons of Having Exotic Pets

There are a few good reasons to have exotic pets, but there are also many cons to having exotic animals as pets.

Many exotic pets are taken from the wild, often in less than humane ways. This causes the animal, in certain situations, extreme stress and trauma.

Another drawback of keeping exotic pets is that they require very specific care to stay healthy and happy.

Many people that purchase exotic pets, like lizards and tropical birds, don’t understand this and as a result the pets die or become very ill. This leads to another con of keeping exotic pets, lack of knowledgeable veterinary care for specific exotic species.

Since most local veterinarians only deal with domesticated animals or farm animals, many do not have the experience required to deal with health and husbandry issues that exotic pets may develop.

Should You Have an Exotic Pet?

The decision to get an exotic pet needs to be one that is based on the reality of your ability to care properly for the animal. If you are dedicated to providing the right environment, food and medical care that the animal needs then you are a most likely a good candidate for an exotic pet.

If you are buying an exotic pet to be cool or if you are buying one on a whim then you need to take a step back for and really think about the purchase and make sure it is right for you and for the animal.

At All Creatures, we are passionate about exotic animal health.

Many species pass through our doors. You may not even be able to name them all, but to us they’re just as familiar as cats and dogs. We proudly offer experienced care from check-ups to surgery for just about any animal that you call a friend. However, we don’t want these pets to fall into the wrong owner or home.

Feel free to check out our ‘Exotics’ page on our website. There you will find Exotic Pet Care Guides for many species and we will be adding more on a regular basis.

Dr. Dan Meakin is the owner of All Creatures Animal Hospital, 1894 Ohio Pike in Amelia. Call (513) 797-PETS.