Choosing the Right Exotic Pet

Maybe you’re an out-of-the-box, wild-and-crazy type, or maybe you just want something a little different than the standard cat or dog—if so, an exotic pet might be the choice for you. However, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Here, a Stafford veterinarian advises on choosing an exotic pet for your household.


Keep in mind that not all exotic pets are even legal in every area. Check your local regulations to ensure that it’s legal to keep your pet where you live. Also remember that some apartment or condo complexes may not allow pets at all, especially exotic animals. Ask your Stafford vet about these laws and where you can find out more about them.


Don’t just consider the size your exotic pet is now—he or she might be three times as large when they grow up. Iguanas and other lizards may be rather small as youngsters, but grow to several feet in length. Are you prepared to keep and care for an animal of that size, and share your living space with it?

Feeding and Housing

Take note of the housing and feeding requirements of the exotic animal you’re considering. Do they eat unusual food that may be hard to get in your area? Do the pet stores around you even sell that animal’s food? Ask your Stafford vet what kind of food your potential exotic pet eats and if it is readily available.

Large animals will need large living enclosures. Make sure you’re aware of the housing structure your pet will need.


Some exotic pets are just plain expensive to purchase or adopt. In addition, food, toys, bedding, cages, and other items will be a long-term financial investment. Make sure you’re ready to invest the money to keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come. Your Stafford veterinarian can help by giving you some estimates of possible costs.

Long-Term Circumstances

Consider your own circumstances in the future—will you be moving? Will you have children that won’t necessarily agree with the pet’s interests? Will you go away to school? Make sure you’ll be able to keep and care for your pet regardless of any major life events.

Have a conversation with your Stafford veterinary professional before you make a big decision on owning an exotic animal. If you’re prepared, you’ll be investing in a loving and unique pet that will bring joy to your household for years to come!


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