Exotics and Birds
An Introduction to Exotic Pets
Exotic pets are becoming increasingly common. These days people own iguanas, lizards, a variety of birds, snakes, spiders to name but a few. Sadly too many people have little idea of how to care for an exotic creature.
Do your research before taking on an exotic pet – look for a good book on the subject, check the internet for specialist organisations and speak to the experts first to find out exactly what is involved. Many exotic pets need specialist equipment such as vivariums, heat lamps etc and feeding the correct diet is essential.Image
If you are thinking of homing more than one exotic pet, have you checked to find out what is safe to house together?
Before housing more than one exotic pet together, you need to consider whether the animals would have similar surroundings in their natural wild habitat and whether they would naturally prey on each other. For instance it would be unwise to house a Kingsnake with a smaller snake since in the wild they eat them.
Desert species should not be in the same vivarium as tropical rainforest species since they require low humidity rather than high. Snakes of the same species (eg. Boa constrictors) can often be kept together with little problem though it is as well to keep them from being hungry by regular feeding.
Before introducing a new animal into a large vivarium it is as advisable to keep it in a separate, smaller vivarium for a few weeks to make sure it shows no symptoms of disease or parasites that it could pass to the others.
Regular cleaning and disinfection of a vivarium becomes more important when there are more than one species sharing it. Herbivorous lizards (eg. Iguana iguana) are relatively safe to keep with snakes.Image
Vets will be happy to give your new exotic pet a general health check. However, exotic pets sometimes need more specialist treatment and it would be wise to find out where your nearest exotics specialist is based.
Many exotic pets are expensive and it would be advisable to speak to your vet about having them microchipped just in case they escape.
An exotic pet is not just a fashion statement – an exotic pet needs just as much care and attention as a dog or cat. As with any pet, make sure you are taking on the right pet for the right reasons.