For people with a passion for the nonstandard, an exotic pet can be an appealing choice. However, exotic pets require a level of care that can be quite complex and specialized. Owner education and commitment play a significant role in the health of these unique companions.
The Basics of Exotic Pet Care
Whether your exotic pet is furry, feathered, or scaled, it’s important to recognize the same things that make exotics fascinating are also what make their care so unique. To provide the best for your pet, familiarize yourself with the following aspects of his or her health:
Consistent veterinary care – Establish a good relationship with a veterinarian who understands exotics. Knowing how healthy your exotic pet is can be difficult to gauge, as changes can be quite subtle. At BEEVET Animal Hospital, we have expertise in providing medical care to birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for your one-of-a-kind animal friend.
Appropriate housing – Providing your pet with the right enclosure is a fundamental necessity. This includes using the recommended bedding for your pet and keeping it clean to prevent illness and infection (change bedding at least once a week). Cages should be roomy enough to allow for exercise, while secure enough to prevent escape.
Diet – Along with housing, feeding your pet the correct diet is foundational to health and wellness. Because exotics require specialized food, even slight deviations from the recommended diet can be harmful to your pet. Depending on your companion, he or she may also require supplements. Consult with our team if you have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs.
Enrichment – Psychological and behavioral enrichment is necessary for all animals. An important component of health and quality of life relies on the ability to carry out normal behaviors. For pets in enclosures, the trick is to keep their surroundings interesting by adding elements (wheels, tubes, mirrors, etc.) and places to hide.
Along with these aspects of exotic pet husbandry, it’s important to learn proper handling techniques, temperature/climate requirements, and appropriate psychosocial needs (some pets thrive on companionship while others do better on their own).
The Importance of Exotic Pet Education
Because the needs of exotic pets vary greatly, pet owner education is essential, especially for first time owners. Before becoming a pet guardian, we suggest researching the species in question. Some pets may be too complex or costly, and these considerations can help guide your search for the perfect pet companion.
No matter which pet you choose, it’s important to provide the best level of care possible and shower him or her with lots of attention and love.
For assistance with decision making or to learn more about your exotic pet, please contact us. We’re always here to help!