Exotic Pets: This year’s "do" or "don't"?

Although we might hear about others owning exotic pets, is it right for you, and for the pet?

Some popular exotic pets are pet sugar gliders, poison dart frogs, flying squirrels and bearded dragons.  And giant pet pythons have made the news lately, especially in Florida. While it is possible to buy these different animals as pets, should you?

The typical dog or cat respond well to your human affection and interaction. Exotic animals, however, do not do as well, no matter how good-hearted we might be. Owning an exotic animal can be unhealthy for the animal and the owner alike. It can also be unhealthy for the environment. For example, Florida wildlife experts say that pythons, possibly abandoned into the wild by their owners, have been devastating the native wildlife. The increase of pythons and anacondas there has resulted in the almost complete loss of raccoons, opossums and rabbits. Even deer and bobcats have gone missing!

Since most of us do not understand the unique habitats that exotic animals need, it’s harder to provide them with an adequate home. For example, in their natural habitats, tigers and monkeys cover vast distances and exercise a lot. Most pet lovers would not be able to give them the amount of space that they need to stay healthy. Another problem is that exotic vets are very hard to find, so disease rates are very high for these pets.

Finally, owning an exotic pet can be dangerous for the owner as well because exotic animals are rarely domesticated. This means that their behavior can be very unstable. This could result in bites and injuries to an owner or others.

So, before you choose an exotic pet, check out the amazing number of other pets who would enjoy your love and attention.

Do you have an exotic pet? What type? Tell us about it in the comments!

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