We love cats and dogs. We love goldfish, ferrets and finches. We love mice and rats and guinea pigs. So why do people love to get exotic pets when there are so many native species to have as pets?
First of all, they’re different. And that brings with it an array of different challenges that you have to learn to be a competent pet owner. Indeed, you can keep a dog and so long as you feed and walk it, you’ve got a dog. On the other hand, keeping an exotic pet requires education, dedication, and wisdom. Most people who keep unusual pets rapidly become experts in the unique needs and care requirements that their favourite creature has. Exotic pet keepers become a community of like-minded owners sharing advice and experiences, and offering information to other people who are interested in buying one of the special pets that they love.
Exotic pets are also often very long lived, especially if they are cared for properly. In nature animals very rarely die from old age. But once they are taken out of an environment where predation, disease and environmental factors are removed, exotic animals often stay healthy for a very long time. This makes them a great investment, both in terms of money when you buy the pet and all the equipment that your pet requires, and in terms of emotional investment. Once you fall in love with your pet, you can expect it to live with you for many years.
They’re lazy. Or rather, they often don’t need a great deal of exercise which makes them perfect for people with issues surrounding mobility, young children and people who work unusual hours. Animals which are nocturnal can be good for children and people who work all day. As they’re asleep all day, they don’t require any attention until people start getting home so they can care for them in the evening.
Finally, exotic pets have very different personalities and habits. Getting to know not only how to care for your pet, but the things that make it unique as an intelligent creature can be really interesting, fun and rewarding. Everyone knows that cats are aloof, dogs are loyal and goldfish are supposed to have an 8 second memory (they don’t. They need stimulation and enrichment, just like any other pet), but who knows what the character of a bearded dragon is? If you’ve got one, you already know, if you don’t though, it can be a lot of fun finding out.