When we speak about a pet, we usually imagine a dog, cat, fish, bird or hamster. But for some people, any old pet will just not do. They seek out more unusual and exotic pets because they are a source of interest, fascination and wonder. Following are some of the more unusual types of pets people choose to own.
The main types of crocodiles kept as pets are the Dwarf Caiman and the African Dwarf crocodile. Keeping a crocodile requires a large space for them to grow, swim and bask. It also requires some upfront money in the region of $500 plus ongoing costs for care and food. Only experienced and skilled handlers should keep crocodiles as pets. Remember that crocodiles grow quickly and live a long time. Always make sure you can commit to the proper care of a pet crocodile.
While monkeys are cute and human-like in their behavior, they are naturally intelligent and mischievous, which may make them difficult pets to keep. Besides being expensive to house and feed, monkeys live a long life and cannot easily be left with other people while you go away on vacation. They also need a lot of time and interaction, just like a young child, or they will develop psychological and behavioral problems. Monkeys are also messy pets that require regular cleaning.
Check if the law in your state allows monkeys to be kept as pets and if a license is required. Also be aware that some diseases can pass from monkeys to humans and vice versa. Sometimes, finding vet care for a pet monkey can be difficult.
Spiders are quite a popular choice of pet because they are quiet and do not take up much space. Popular species to keep are the Chilean Rose, the Costa Rican Zebra, the Mexican Redknee and the Curly Hair Tarantula. Prospective owners need to do some research about the spider’s habits, diet and find out if it is venomous. The hairs on a spider can be irritating, so good hand washing is important. Female spiders live longer than males, up to 20 years in fact.
Ants are easy to keep and fascinating to watch. All you need is a good terrarium that is escape-proof. The best way to start is by buying an ant farm. Other popular species for a terrarium are millipedes, stick insects and scorpions. They are all reasonably easy to care for but some varieties can be poisonous or irritant so adequate information should be sought beforehand. Check the expected adult size of the insect, the required diet and any special requirements in its environment such as humidity levels.
Though perhaps more familiar, raccoons are a wild animal that are sometimes kept as pets. They are very curious and possess hands that can manipulate most latches, handles, or knobs. These nocturnal creatures make good companions for insomniacs.
While these wild animals are not really suitable to be kept as pets, there are an estimated 6,000 tigers being kept as pets in the United States. Besides presenting risks to health and safety, these animals fail to thrive in captivity because they are better suited to roaming large territories and eating a varied diet.
Zebras are in the same family as horses and require the same enclosure and diet. A large paddock of suitable grass, supplemental feed and lots of water are needed. Since wild zebras travel in herds, they also need a companion.
Before choosing to own an exotic pet, always check the laws in your state. Many exotics require a permit. Be sure you have the space, resources and knowledge to look after your pet properly and safely.