The term ‘exotic’ can be ambiguous but for the purpose of this article, we are using the loose definition of an exotic pet to mean any animal kept in a domestic household which is generally thought of as a wild species and not typically kept as a pet. There are a lot of valid concerns regarding exotic pet ownership which center around legality, ethics and appropriate care. However, if you do your research and are properly informed, there are many good arguments in favour of owning an exotic pet. Here are just a few:
- You can find the right pet to suit your personality
By broadening the scope of pet options beyond dogs, cats and goldfish you have a higher chance of finding the right pet for you. Finding the ideal housemate is no easy undertaking and this is one area where you want to be armed with the knowledge and tools to choose wisely. Animals commonly display characteristics and behaviours unique to their species or type so find one that complements your personality.
For instance, energetic and fun-loving individuals who thrive on interaction and excitement would enjoy an active and social pet like a guinea pig or ferret who they can play with and handle. And for the introvert who appreciates a quiet and serene environment, a slower moving, independent and curious creature like a turtle or small reptile might be the way to go.
- The opportunities for learning and discovery
Cats and dogs have been domestic companions for centuries. There is already a vast bank of information on their behaviour, likes, dislikes and essential needs. However, investing in an exotic species can be a fun and unpredictable challenge because they have not been studied as pets extensively or for as long. Animal behaviour is fascinating and you learn heaps by observation and trial and error. Of course, always consult a vet specialist to get important guidance on matters of health, nutrition and care but there is still a wide scope to experiment and discover interesting facts about your exotic pet.
- Many exotic species are low maintenance
Maybe you don’t have a lot of room or are time poor and reluctant to commit to a pet that requires regular check-ups, walks and lots of attention. The good news is there are many exotic species that are low maintenance. Certain species of birds, lizards and even small mammals like guinea pigs or rats can adapt quickly to their new environment and learn to be self-sufficient. Although it’s important to ensure your pet has the right environment for its needs and access to all the essentials, keeping a pet that can feed, groom and entertain itself definitely takes the stress out of pet ownership.