Ball Python Care

The shed cycle of a Ball Python is an amazing and wonderful process. I have been keeping Ball Pythons for more than ten years and am still excited every time I see a perfect shed.

When I was a child I was very interested in animals. Regardless of the type of animal, I tried to mimic the natural environment as best I could for my pets. My hamsters didn’t have wheels, they had burrows. My Fish didn’t have skulls blowing bubbles; they had grass, rocks and a current to swim against. So naturally when I purchased my first Ball Python I tried to mimic the natural habitat as well. So I went to my local pet store and asked as many questions as I could think of about what to get my new snake. Several hundred dollars later I walked out of the store with a huge fishtank, a log, lots of mulch and a couple of heat lamps. Eventually I even added another Ball Python because I was told that the snakes would be fine sharing a fishtank this large. Then, shed after shed, both of my snakes had eye caps and skin stuck to their bodies. I did exactly what all the “Answers” sites say to do. I bathed my snakes, I picked off the eye caps with tweezers and damp Q-tips, I even put them in damp towels for twenty minutes at a time so they could get the skin off. My poor snakes!

Shedding is a simple chore for a human, but a lot of work for a snake. Your Ball Python will use a large amount of stored energy to shed its old skin and replace it with fresh new skin. All you, the owner, need to do is provide the correct environment for your Ball Python.

The shed cycle will occur over a seven to ten day period. There are four steps to the process, which we will go over.

The first step you will notice involves two changes. Your Ball Pythons skin will become dull and dark and the belly of the snake will become pinkier than normal. The second step occurs three to five days later when its eyes glaze over. This is the most obvious step and often the one a novice Ball Python owner will see first. Your Ball Python’s eyes will appear a milky white colour. During this time your snake’s vision is very impaired and it will likely be on edge and defensive, so you should avoid any contact with your Ball Python until the shed cycle is complete. Also, during this time avoid feeding your snake. Digesting takes a lot of a Ball Python’s energy and during a shed cycle the snake is already using a lot of its stored energy therefore it will not be able to digest properly. Two to three days after the eyes have gone completely white they will turn clear again, which is the third step. The eyes clear very quickly, with the whole process taking a day to complete. The final step is the best (in my opinion). One to two days after the eyes have cleared; you will walk into your snake room and find two things in your enclosure. First you will find a rolled up wad of snake skin and second, a high gloss Ball Python. If you get to the skin in time you can carefully roll it out and keep it as a memento. A Ball python, zero-two years old will shed an average of five to seven times a year and an adult will shed an average of four to five times a year. Also, females will always shed before laying eggs. Your Ball Python will appear much brighter and more colourful after it has shed its skin.

Now, that is how a Ball Python shed cycle is supposed to go. Depending on the type of enclosure you use, obtaining these results will vary. The best would be to use ball python cages.

Regardless of the type of enclosure you use for your Ball Python, you will need to raise the humidity to 70% during the shed cycle. If you keep your Ball Python in a fishtank you can obtain these results simply by spraying down the substrate in the fishtank about thirty times over the shed cycle. The reason you’ll need to spray so often is because a fishtank has an open top. An open top will allow the warm humid air to escape the fishtank leaving your Ball Python too dry to have a good shed. If you keep your Ball Python in one of our Ball Python enclosures you can obtain the same results with only three or four sprays. The difference between our Ball Python enclosures and a fishtank is that our enclosures have been designed for Ball Pythons, whereas fishtank’s have been designed for fish. Therefore the moral of the story is that no matter how nice your fishtank looks, it is still a fishtank and will never function as well as a Ball Python enclosure.

Tips to Prevent Spiders in Your Home

Spiders scare a lot of people.  Often they are suddenly spotted climbing up a wall or across the floor in your home.  While many homeowners would be perfectly happy to never see a spider again in their home, there is actually good reason to have spiders in the home.  I am not talking about a spider infestation, that’s not good for any homeowner. Rather, I am referring to the few spiders a year that you see in your home or the few more during spring time when may spiders like to enter into warm homes. The reason why spiders are helpful is because they eat other bugs!  Flies, beetles, small roaches, centipedes and more… spiders eat them and keep them from scaring you.

There are ways to prevent spider infestation or to prevent spiders form laying eggs in your home which would possibly create an infestation. Here are 5 tips to prevent spider infestation:

1. Get the Clutter Away! Believe it or not, spiders are attracted to piles- piles of papers, piles of clothes, piles of shoes and more.  If you do your best to keep clutter to a minimum then you could help reduce the amount of spiders around your house or at least the amount of spiders that you see.  The last thing you want to do is step into a shoe with a spider in it.  So keep your closets organized too and it will help.

2. Dust those webs away- Keeping your ceiling and corners of the ceiling 9and floors) dust and spider web free will eliminate webs, thus eliminating spiders from living in your home and harvesting spider eggs. Invest a few dollars into a good duster- one with an extendable arm so that you can get to those hard to reach places.

3. Repair windows and screens and seal cracks and holes around the house on the inside and on the exterior- it will help keep spiders out.

4. Remove cardboard boxes- Spiders love living in and around cardboard boxes.  it’s best to get rid of these and replace them with dryable plastic totes, carts or containers.  These carts can last a lifetime and won’t attract as many spiders- if any at all.

5. Have your house sprayed by a professional exterminator once a year.  This once (or in some areas twice) a year treatment will help with some of the common household pests such as spiders, centipedes and silverfish.

Follow some of these tips and it could help reduce the amount of spiders you see in your home!

Blue Buffalo Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Cat Food is one of the products on pet food market which is made by Blue Buffalo Company. It is one of the better products available on the market because it doesn’t have toxic elements which can lead to cancer in cats. Actually the company was found for the reason that owner’s dog Blue passed away because of cancer.

All of the products have real meat – let that be fish or poultry. Alongside meat come wholesome cereals, healthy fruit and vegetables. Blue Buffalo is the only company that puts something special into their food – dark kibbles that are generally a mix of nutrients (vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals). Those are known as LifeSource Bits and are designed to improve cat’s immunity mechanism, guard them from damaging environmental impacts and support their specific life phase needs. None of the products contain any meat by-products at all. All foods also are without any corn, wheat, soy and synthetic additives.

Blue Buffalo Cat Food products come in different sizes and shapes. They’re available in dry and canned formulas. Bags weigh from 2.5 to 12lb.

Products are arranged into various food lines based on cat’s body weight, age group and sensitivities.

Blue line is organized into several age categories – for kittens, for adult cats and for older cats. Food in this line is made of white meat, garden greens, fruit and whole grains.

Blue Longetivity line is meant to prolong cat’s life. Additionally , it reduces obesity given that calorie intake is way lower than concurrent products. It provides antiaging nutrients like omega3, garden vegetables and fruits, grains,… Those provide plenty of vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene and B Complex. This line is broken into age groups.

Blue Basics is a line designed for cats at risk of food sensitivities.

Blue Wilderness is dry cat food and is advertised as high protein and low carbohydrate cat food. It is designed for outdoor cats because it contains complex carbs which are alternative to raw food diet. 45% of protein is guaranteed.

There’s also Blue Healthy Gourmet line that is said to be cats “fine dining”. It is canned food. A few of the products as an example are: Flaked Chicken, Flaked Salmon, Flaked Tuna, Flaked Turkey,…

All round Blue Buffalo Cat Food is among the finest out there. It’s not the lowest priced but it is guaranteed premium quality. Nearly all customers don’t have anything but good to say of Blue Buffalo Cat Food products. Recent survey revealed a very high rating of 9.4/10: 8.5 for price, 9.5 for availableness, 10 for ingredients and 9.5 for flavor.

Tips Grooming For Long Haired Dogs

For most dogs with long hair fall brings the second heavy shed of the year. Dogs such as the Belgian Sheepdog with it’s jet black coat can be strikingly beautiful if maintained with the appropriate dog grooming supplies.

You will notice during dog grooming that the coat of longhaired dogs is double, with a soft, dense inner coat and a longer, slightly coarser outer coat. The coat on the Belgian for example, is medium long with noticeable fringes on the legs and tail as well as longer and thicker hair around the neck in the ruff and chest area.

While dog grooming a Belgian take note of any white on the toes of the back feet, which can extend between the pads, any white on the front feet is a serious fault in the show ring. The muzzle can have a slight amount of white or gray coloration. In some areas, the coat may fade to a slightly reddish tinge and this is not a fault if it is due to the environment and not to the actual coloration of the dog.

The Belgian Sheepdog as well as all longhaired breeds of dogs “blows” their coat in the spring and fall. This means that the winter and summer coat is lost in a very heavy shed twice a year. Longhaired dogs actually have two coats; the outer coat is thicker, coarser and designed to provide protection and waterproofing. The inner coat is softer, shorter and denser, adding insulation for the dog.

When shedding the inner, softer coat often becomes matted or tangled with the longer, outer coat resulting in thick, knots of hair that may need clipping to be removed. Daily dog grooming with a quality dematting tool will prevent matts and tangles. Also during the shedding season, a bath with FURminator dog shampoo will loosen the hair and make dog grooming much easier. Remember to use only dog specific dog grooming supplies, as human products will cause skin irritations and other issues.

Bathing your longhaired dog in the heavy shed times of the year in your own bathtub will leave a mess. If you choose to do the bathing yourself, it is best done outside in a dog bath tub. This way all of the hair can be collected and discarded without clogging your drains. Using FURminator dog grooming supplies will keep your house hair free for about four to six weeks. To accomplish this goal you will need to really work up a lather when bathing and then immediately brush your dog when the bath is over.

Always groom the outer coat first using a stiff bristle dog brush or dog combs. After the outer areas, including the fringe on the legs and the longer hair on the ruff is completely knot free, use a dog-grooming rake or pin brush to brush the inner coat. Simply and gently, push the longer outer coat up and groom the inner coat downwards in the direction of hair growth. Using these dog grooming supplies daily, especially during the shedding season will prevent most knots and mats from forming.

Using dog grooming scissors, clip the hair around the feet and between the pads to prevent balls from forming between the toes. These balls of hair and debris can cause severe lameness and infections between the toes. Clipping the long hairs on the ears and plucking or pulling any long hairs, in the outer ear area will help prevent infections in the ear itself.

Lastly, your dog grooming sessions should include a brushing their teeth. This component is something some dog owners forget. Dog are just as susceptible to the same tooth and gum diseases as us humans. Grooming your dog should be fun for all. By using the appropriate dog grooming supplies, you will enjoy a cleaner house and beautiful looking dog with fresh breath ready for those sloppy kisses.

Pet health care and its approaches

unduhan-6Pets are one of the best peers in our lives and looking after them is quite pivotal as looking after you. For numerous individuals caring for a pet is part of their own health care. It is obvious that the pets of yours are very much prone in getting infected with a parasite that is equally harmful for you. The pet becomes quite an important member of the family. The gush of emotion and tender feeling make you arrange almost each and every thing that allows them in leading a healthy life.

 

The pet care involves regular veterinary care who can surely make the beloved pets gain health effectiveness whenever they are in need. Listed below are some services which are commonly being provided by the Vet clinics.

 

Entire medical care– Almost each and every vet clinic provides quality medical services for the pets. This is nothing but complete medical services that do not just includes providing consultation but it also involves cross examination and ultrasound facilities along with blood test mechanism, X-rays and so on.

 

Thereby, it is can be denoted that providing a particular owner with all the services at one particular place will help in saving the tour to different facility unit and allow in avoidance of physical exertion as it has been said by individuals providing hypoallergenic pet food in Langley.

 

Facilities relating to grooming– In some cases it have been seen that the pets are in need of medicated bath and the pet owners seek opinion of the official and professional grooming individuals in carrying out the job. A medical bath requires an owner to be more and more concerned since it is not the normal mode of making your pet take a plunge in water. Apart from medicated bath the grooming session also involves haircut along with trimming which will surely make them get an elegant look.

 

Dentistry and tooth care– As it is known pets cannot brush their own teeth and they too develop plaque around their gum as humans does. It has often been seen that their teeth often turn yellow, when you notice these symptoms it is certain that the pets are in need of oral care. An in-time oral cleaning will keep your pet away from possible dental problems. It will also help in development of healthy gum as it has been said by individuals providing Canadian naturals pet food in Langley.

 

Surgery– A well to do surgery is quite important if the pet suffers from any sort of internal damage. It should be carried on with care and utmost dedication. Majority of the ailments can be treated and healed only after carrying out the surgical approaches.

 

Some vet practitioners have advised some approaches which can be termed as natural pet health care remedies for soothing sore muscles.

 

Glucosamine Hydrochloride– It is an important supplement that can be added to diet of the pets and helps in rebuilding the cartilage.

 

Methylsulfonymethane (MSM)-One of the supplements found in some plants which include the rank of horsetail. It acts as an important antioxidant and allows in reducing inflammation in the joints.

5 Tips To Stop Dog Growling

To make the task of stopping a dog from growling easier, we ought to understand why the dog growls in the first place. Growling is considered to be an assertive behavior which is triggered by any unfamiliar event, person or even another animal. Thus a dog would growl when an unknown or sometimes known entity comes his way. This is his way of saying that he wants to be left alone or he does not approve what he expects would follow.

In other words, he feels threatened. As soon as the approaching person or animal moves away, this would be interpreted as showing respect to the dog and soon the animal should stop growling. Anyone who has a pet dog at home should understand many such myriad ways in which canines communicate so that there could be safe co-existence between the dog and the rest of the family.

This is especially important when the household has children, who are known to be particularly affectionate towards any pet. What happens when someone ignores the growling and continues to approach the dog casually? The dog treats the situation as threatening and expects adverse events to follow. Therefore he may start barking, or even snap and bite the approaching individual or animal as the case may be. Having briefed you so far on the reason why a dog growls, let me provide you with 5 sure-shot tips to stop the dog from growling:

1. It is recommended that you should never punish a dog for growling. Your punishment or reprimand may stop the dog from growling temporarily, but he would develop a latent behavior where he bites or snaps at people, without any warning in future. So the best solution under such circumstances is to respect the animal and let him be. He would stop growling as soon as he realizes that there is nothing disturbing his peace any more.

2. Explain to your children why a dog growls and if the dog starts growling suddenly, they should immediate stop doing whatever they were doing as it is obvious that the dog is getting irritated with their activity. Ask them to simply move away gradually from the dog’s vicinity. Tell them to never run away from the growling dog as it irritates him further. Such incidents must always be
reported to the parents, as then you could focus more on this area while training.

3. It must be understood that dogs growl when intimidated by some one. Sometimes sheer size is perceived as a threat and the dog starts growling. So when a huge man approaches a dog, however kind his intention may be, the dog thinks him to be a threat. In such cases the man should squat and bring himself at the same level as the dog. Then approach him gently with extended hand – palm facing up. Then talk to the dog in a calm and gentle voice.

4. If you find that the dog is growling for no apparent reason and is snapping at every thing, it might be right for you to get a medical check up done for the dog. Your vet could do some tests to check hormonal balance, neurophysiologic functions and allergies, if any. You never know, there could be underlying causes for his growling, which when corrected could stop him from growling.

5. There are some dogs which growl when he is eating and someone gets close. The reason for this is that he is simply possessive about his food and scared that this person might take his food away. To correct this behavior, choose an adult who the dog loves most. Let this adult start feeding the dog and stay close to him while he is eating.

To start with, simply stay with the dog and talk to him with a reassuring and calm voice. Once the dog is used to this, then let the adult approach the dog while he is eating, go on reassuring him with his gentle voice.

Once the dog is used to this habit also let the adult touch the dog with slow and gentle movements while he is eating. Though this procedure to stop him from growling could take a long time, but this happens to be one of the sure-shot ways to reassure a dog and take away the threat element, which makes him growl in the first place.

Basic Training For Dogs

unduhan-7Obedience training dogs has much to do with understanding how they think.

Dog training mistakes are often owner mistakes rather than the dog’s . It’s not on purpose. Many owners make mistakes without realising – often because of bad advice, maybe reading or watching something somewhere, because that’s how they trained the dog when they were kids, or even through behavior perhaps they are not aware they’re doing. Frustration and annoyance can set in when puppies “make little mistakes” in the house, or adult dogs won’t come when called or are over-enthusiastic with people for attention, . Whichever specific dog training course you subscribe to, here are a number of easily made mistakes that, if avoided, will make the training process far more effective, enjoyable and fun for !

1. Let’s say your dog is well behaved enough to come to you when he is called, he then gets a an experience he doesn’t like.

Your dog has been having loads offun at the park you call and he comes to you and you reward his good behavior by putting him on a lead and taking him home. Is it surprising that your dog no longer comes when called?

A good way to to avoid this mistake is to occasionally call your dog to you while he is playing, reward him and give lots of praise to him and send him back to play again. By doing this a few times, your dog will learn to come to you when he hears his name and won’t automatically think there is a negative reason.

2. Rubbing your dog’s nose in his poop or pee while toilet training.

You don’t actually have an issue with your dog “spending a penny”. You just have a problem with the location. Rubbing his nose in his mistake or whacking him with a rolled up newspaper will only confuse your dog. This can result in your dog going to the toilet where you won’t find it; behind the furniture or in another hiding place. Your dog could even drink his pee or eat his poop (this is called coprophagia) because he fears your reaction.

Never correct a dog going to the toilet in an inappropriate place after the fact. Correction will only be taken on board by the dog if it is done when a dog is caught red handed. It will not accomplish anything by hitting the dog but firmly say NO! or OUTSIDE!, and straight away take the dog outside. When you get the dog outside, it is imperative to stay with the dog and then give lots of praise when he has finished.

3. Ignoring unacceptable behavior such as jumping or aggression.

Unfortunately, many owners either think their dog will out grow this bad behavior or, sometimes, do not see it as an issue but, rather, think that it is normal. jumping up, chewing and aggression are not normal phases in a dog’s development, but bad behavior which should not be ignored. Teach your dog that this is unacceptable behavior by reinforcing him the correct behavior in social situations.

4. Bringing your dog in as soon as he has finished his toilet.

Its raining and your dog needed to go out to use the toilet but he is just trotting round sniffing, doing doggy stuff and genrally taking an age to decide where he wants to go. In the meantime you are waiting and getting angrier by the second. Partly this is normal. He is reading the scents he is picking up these will help him decide where best to spend his penny as a territory marking excercise as well as something he bodily needs to do. He will also take his time, however, if he has learned that as soon as he has finished he is whisked inside again. Yes, dogs can be sneaky! the solution is; be more sneaky! Make sure that letting your dog out to use the toilet happens before you do somthing the dog enjoys – play or a ride in the car for example. That way you will get your dog to go out to the toilet almost on cue.

5. Letting your dog control you.

You need control. Establishing your authority is perhaps the most important thing you are advised to do when obedience training dogs. However it may bother people of a sensitive nature, an owner/dog relationship can never be an equal one. You need to establish yourself as boss and your dog has to accept this. In fact, a dog is always happier when his place in the pack is well defined. If you enforce this, you will end up, having a very fraught life with your dog and, at worst, a nasty, bad tempered animal with sharp teeth that you have no control over. A simple ritual to implement from the start is making your dog sit before you give his food. He then starts to see you as the alpha pack member. There are many other ways to ensure that you dog is below you in the pack pecking order. It is vital to implement this training sooner rather than later.

Essential Tips to Prepare Your Pet for a Hurricane

For most pet owners, pets have become a vital part of their family, and they can’t even begin to imagine life without their companions. So, like your preparations for the safety of yourself and your family, it is important to have the required information and a plan for your pet as well.
TAGGED UNDER: Pet Care

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has launched its disaster preparedness app for pet owners. It will help with what to do in case of a natural disaster. It can also save medical records, and will help making life-saving decisions during natural disasters.

It is preferable that your pets are wearing collars and have identification tags. The ASPCA recommends micro-chipping your pet. A microchip can be read by scanner at most animal shelters. However the anyone other than some one from a shelter may not be able to scan the chip so it is important to have a tag as well. Put your important contact information on your pet’s tag.

It is important to decide where you can take your pets in case of an emergency. The red cross is not allowed pets in disaster shelters due to health and safety laws. Only service animals are allowed. You can:
Ask your local shelter or vet if they provide emergency shelter
Find hotels or motels that accept pets
Ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to care for your pet
Visit websites like Dogfriendly or Petswelcome to find accommodation for your pet

This kit should be easily accessible and strong
Detailed medical records and a two-week supply of medicines
A one week supply of food
Drinking water for one week
Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
Disinfectant, soap, a wash cloth and paper towels
Disposable garbage bags
A Feeding bowl
A Flashlight and Blanket
Recent photos
An extra collar or harness

As far as possible keep your pet with you at all times. Try to evacuate them when you are being evacuated. Evacuate as early as possible. Often disaster shelters cannot keep pets. Also pets can become scared and disoriented during disasters, making them more difficult to manage. Get them out before things get out of hand.

The ASPCA recommends using a rescue sticker with details of types and number of pets. In case you are able to evacuate with your pets please mention “EVACUATED” on the sticker so emergency workers are well aware.

Please ensure that someone who has met your pet is able to carer for them in your absence. Your pet should be comfortable with them. It should be someone who lives in close proximity and has a set of keys. They should be aware of where your pet would hide and how they would behave when nervous.

Ensure pets are indoors and secure at the first sight or trouble. Pets can become disoriented during natural disasters.
Try to use canned food as that supplements there water intake as well.
Have newspaper ready as they may be unable to step outside for a “loo” break.
Even though pets get along, try to keep them separately during this time.
Seal of openings or inaccessible holes like vents, pet doors etc.
Remove unsafe items like tools and chemicals.

Birds
Birds should be in a cage
In cold weather, you should cover the cage with a blanket
In warm weather, spray your bird regularly to keep it moist
Ensure your bird has a leg band for identification
Reptiles
Snakes can be transported in cloth bags or pillow cases only temporarily
Keep a large bowl in which the entire reptile will fit and or any other temperature control device like a hot water bottle
Small Animals should always be transported in secure strong carriers.

Exotic Animals and Pets

While the experts may advise against it, the trend of keeping exotic animals as pets is fast becoming a rage across the world. Interestingly, the list of exotic animals which are sold as pets today includes some species which you must have never imagined in your home.
TAGGED UNDER: Exotic Pets

INDEX
Birds
Animals
2.1 Mammals
2.2 Rodents
2.3 Cats
Amphibians & Reptiles
3.1 Iguanas/Salamander
3.2 Frogs
3.3 Snakes
3.4 Lizards/Geckos
3.5 Turtles
3.6 Tortoises/Chameleons
Insects/Arthropods/Others
4.1 Spiders/Tarantulas
4.2 Hermit Crabs/Scorpions/Others
4.2 Others
Animals are wonderful companions to have as pets. An animal gives us unconditional love, which cannot be compared to anything else in this world! Dogs and cats are the obvious kind of domestic pets one would love to have around the house. When a dog gives a loving lick or a purring cat sits in your lap, the feeling is simply out of this world! However, there are many who prefer to have exotic animals and birds as pets, rather than the normal domestic species. This could be for any reason. Either they really love the exotic creature and so want to own one and take care of it, or they may want it as a status symbol, to show off.

Exotic animals and pets are generally domesticated either for the fun/status element, or bred in captivity to protect the species, in case it is on the verge of extinction. There are many animals and birds out there that we have never even heard of, which are already on the verge of extinction. Just getting to know the variety of species out there is an experience!

Exotic pets are those creatures which are rather unusual to have as pets. They could include various species of reptiles, rodents, birds, etc. There are many exotic pets that are not considered truly wild in nature. They can be trained to adapt to a domestic lifestyle, and become pets. Such exotic animals need proper care and diet, so that they can have a healthy life. Many even share a beautiful relationship with humans. But it may not always be the case. That being said, it is always best that an animal is allowed to thrive in its natural environment.

There are many issues pertaining to the domestication of exotic animals. For example, there are many laws in place, which do not allow the export, sale, and hunting of animals which are considered threatened/endangered, and those which are listed as priority animals. These laws are issued to prevent the sale of such ‘pets’ around the world. But these laws are very poorly enforced and while being transported or smuggled, the animals suffer a lot. The law can only do so many things. What feels right and what does not is left to us.

Here is a list of exotic animals, some of which are suitable as pets, others which are best left alone. This list includes animals that are unusual to have as pets as well as those that cannot be legally kept as pets.

Birds

Parrots include most of the birds shown above. They are a vast species. The macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, amazons, lovebirds, lorikeets, parakeets, sun conures, etc., are all different types of parrots. The African Gray Parrots, which are mainly found in the rainforests of Africa, have become a popular choice for pets because of their sweet and gentle nature. They love mimicking and talking.

Eclectus parrots are mainly famous for their brilliantly colorful plumage. Males boast of a bright green plumage, while the females are red and blue/purple/dark brown. Of all the parrot species, eclectus’ are the most sexually dimorphic. But they are also considered pests, since they eat fruits off trees.

Lorikeets and parakeets are medium-sized arboreal parrots which love feeding on sweet fruits/flowers full of nectar. The ones with the long tails are lorikeets/parakeets, while the ones with short tails are called lories. The budgerigars and sun conures featured above are also classified as parakeets. Conures refer to really small parakeets.

Finches, buntings and motmots are passerine birds and are really small. Their diet consists of small berries and seeds, and they too, love nectar like the lories. Buntings are very similar to finches due to which they are usually put in the same category, but the Painted and Indigo Buntings shown above are classified into the Cardinal Family. In recent years, the incidence of smuggling of these birds has increased greatly because of the appeal that they hold as exotic pets.

The Cockatoo is a protected species, and white cockatoos are kept as pets more than black cockatoos. They are pretty finicky creatures though, and it is difficult to cater to their needs. Cockatiels are a small version of the Cockatoo, which are native to Australia. They are easier to care for.

Lovebirds are extremely popular pets and famous for their affectionate and monogamous nature. They are really small parrots and make for beautiful pets. It is always better to get them in a pair though, since they do not like being apart from their mate. They feed on fruits, vegetables, seeds, grass, etc.

Macaws are also a type of parrot, and shown above are blue macaw, blue-yellow macaw, scarlet macaw, and the red fronted macaw. The Hyacinth macaws are the ones with the largest length and wingspan. Macaws are relatively large parrots and are classified as exotic pets.

Pelicans, flamingos, toucans, avocets, and crowned cranes are not pets but can be classified as exotic birds. Toucans are characterized by large, colorful beaks, while flamingos stand out because of their beautiful color, and long, slender and graceful necks. Avocets are very close knit and get extremely hostile and aggressive if any other species tries to get close to their group and nest with them, while pelicans are gregarious and known for their throat pouch. The crowned cranes are now classified as endangered species, since they are reducing in number due to the loss of their natural habitat.
[ Top ]

Animals
Mammals
Monkeys

Featured above are some rare and exotic species of monkeys. Monkeys are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals, and are not usually kept as pets. There are pretty few instances of monkeys being kept as pets.

The Patas/Wadi/Hussar monkey feeds on insects, fruits, tubers, etc., which is pretty unbelievable for a creature of its size! They generally stay on the ground, and live in missions. They prefer open grasslands to dense forests, and reproduce heavily. They are very closely related to the Vervet monkeys.

Vervet monkeys are diurnal, and are characterized by their black face, white fringe of hair, and their gray body. They eat vegetables, eggs of small birds, fruits, flowers and small animals, bread and crops. The young ones who give wrong calls for predators are punished by the mothers.

Proboscis monkey is classified as threatened by the IUCN. This species is also known as the Dutch Monkey. They have a really big belly and a long, hanging nose. They live in groups, are fairly laid back and relaxed, and feed mainly on leaves and fruits. They too, are known for their vocalizations.

The colobus monkey contributes to the eco system by having bad eating habits! They disperse the seeds due to the way they eat. Colobus is a derivative of the Greek word Kolobos, which means ‘maimed’, and the colobus monkey is so called because they have no thumb, only a stump in its place. They live in small groups and everyone in the group pitches in to take care of the young ones.

Tarsier monkeys are not suited to breeding in captivity. Their population is dwindling fast and the IUCN listed it in the world’s 25 most endangered primates list in 2008.

Squirrel monkeys are omnivores, are fast and agile, and unlike most monkeys do not use their tails for climbing, instead using it to serve the purpose of balancing themselves. They are very useful in areas of research as well, since they are used as stand ins for humans illnesses.

Spider monkeys are proven to be the most intelligent of all New World Monkeys, as like squirrel monkeys they are used in labs to study malaria since they are very susceptible to that particular disease. They are also the largest monkeys and very social creatures. They also have quite a repertoire of vocalizations in their kitty, including ‘barks’.

Saki monkeys have hooded heads, small bodies and long, bushy tails. They are mostly on trees and very rarely come on land. They are mainly frugivores, diurnal, and they are also really shy creatures.

Black howler monkeys are pretty large, and one of the laziest species of monkeys. They sleep or laze around for most of the day, and only ever come on the ground for water. They are famous for their vocalizations and their tail doubles up as a fifth limb, thus making them very agile.

The blue monkeys stay in matrilineal societies. They are extensively hunted for bushmeat. They are sometimes found in groups of the colobus monkeys or red-tailed monkeys. They are extremely territorial, and get aggressive when defending their territories.
[ Top ]

Foxes/Wolves/Others

Wolves are also on the list of exotic animals and pets. The wolf-dog hybrid is a subspecies of this category. However, it has always been a matter of great debate to have wolves as pets.

Foxes also feature on this list of exotic pets. Well, the Fennec Fox is the only species of this category that can be considered to be ‘safe’ as pets. These active animals need plenty of space to move around. There are many legal issues when it comes to owing a Fennec Fox.

Lemurs are extremely popular as pets. Their maintenance is pretty hard work, so you have to be prepared to make a lot of changes in your house and lifestyle to accommodate a lemur in your home. But people who have lemurs as pets, simply cannot stop raving about how adorable and fun they are.

Llamas and Alpacas are both camelids, and are domesticated for various purposes. They are usually referred to as beasts of burden, and their fur is used for many purposes like making handicrafts, rugs and garments. Llamas are extremely social animals and generally live in herds. The Alpaca is a smaller version of the llama, and some are notorious for spitting. The wool obtained from these animals is lanolin free and very soft.

Wild dogs, specially the Indian Wild Dog, are now classified as endangered and hence feature in this list of exotic animals. They are very social, hunting animals and contrary to popular belief, do not always harm humans, but are in fact quite scared of them, The African Wild dog, too, is endangered. African Wild Dog hunts have a success rate of almost 80%, which is much more than that of lions (only 35%). They are also really considerate creatures and after feeding, they come back to their pack and regurgitate food for their young ones, and for those who were left behind.

Pukus are classified as threatened by IUCN. They are crepuscular antelopes and the males are known to be really chivalrous and protective of the females. They mark territories and try to coax the females to stay within them.

Koalas are currently a priority species as listed by the Australian Government. They are herbivorous in nature, with extremely slow metabolism. Their slow metabolism is also the reason they spend most of the day sleeping. Koalas are arboreal marsupials and love eucalyptus leaves.
[ Top ]

Others

Sugar Gliders can be bred in captivity, and a large number of these species are sold legally as well as illegally. They are a protected lot in Australia, where it is illegal to keep them or capture them without a license. Capturing a Sugar Glider is allowed only for research.

Prairie Dog is native to the grasslands of North America. Because many of these animals are captured for exotic pet trade, it can be illegal in the United States to keep it as a pet.

Kinkajous are playful animals and are often kept as pets. These are now a protected species.

Wallaroo closely resembles a combination of a kangaroo and a wallaby. Most Wallaroos display some typical traits to the earlier mentioned species.

A pet skunk is definitely a rare pet but does belong to the list of exotic pets. These intelligent animals are highly curious and playful in nature and so make wonderful pets. But keeping a pet skunk is not a child’s play. They require a lot of maintenance, and lots of healthy diet foods and an equal amount of attention and play from their owners.

There are 16 species of hedgehogs in Asia, Africa, New Zealand, and Europe. These are distinctive because of the spines on their back. The most common domesticated species are the White-bellied Hedgehog and the North African Hedgehog. They are useful pets to have in the garden, as they act as an effective way of pest control.

Pot-bellied Pig is a domesticated variety of pig that has its origins in Vietnam. These pigs are often kept as exotic pets in the United States of America. They are intelligent but they do not like overtly affectionate humans.

Ferrets are mostly found in New Zealand. They need to be trained at a young age. Initially, ferrets were kept as exotic pets by celebrities. In the recent times however, there is a restriction in terms of keeping ferrets as pets.

Raccoons are not usually considered ideal to have as pets, therefore, there are many countries where this may be prohibited. In some areas, one would need to have a special permit to keep a raccoon as an exotic pet.
[ Top ]

Rodents

Flying Squirrels do not actually fly, they glide. These are often bred in captivity and have been kept as pets since the US colonial Era.

Rats as pets have been popular since the 18th century. They can be trained just like dogs, and make for cute pets, if you like them. Usually, brown rat and its variants are kept as pets, while black rats or pouched rats are rarer as pets. They need to be vaccinated regularly to ensure that they do not pose health risks. They do require attention and exercise. Since they are very social animals and tend to feel lonely if kept alone, it is better to keep them in pairs of the same sex.

Chinchillas are cute little furry creatures that are rather rabbit-like in nature. Chinchillas do not like being held as pets, but if kept as pets, they do show an attachment to their owners. They need ample space to move around, as they are very active animals. You would need to create a mountainous sort of environment to make them feel at home.

Degu is an animal related to the Chinchillas. Degus are growing in popularity as pets and one would need to provide it with a suitable environment so that it feels comfortable at home.

Beavers are family creatures. They mate for life and stay with their partner and kids. But keeping a beaver as a pet requires some attention on the owner’s part. They will burrow, and chew wood, so anything that is made of wood will first have to go out of the house if the beaver has to come in. Else, you will have to keep it caged all the time, which is just not done. That said, beavers make excellent pets.

Squirrels include the ground squirrel, flying squirrel and squirrel glider shown above. They have excellent vision, and an under-developed thumb. These rodents are extremely playful pets and being a little destructive in nature they will require you to give the, supervised playtime. As far as their feeding is concerned, they require food that contains very little cellulose, and lots of fats, proteins and carbs. As pets, squirrels will require you to keep a watch on them, lest they wreak havoc in your absence. While ground squirrels are diurnal, the flying species tends to be nocturnal.
[ Top ]

Chipmunks/Marmots

Squirrels also include chipmunks and marmots. Chipmunks are small squirrels with stripes. They spend almost 16 out of 24 hours a day, sleeping. They are excellent burrowers, and play a very important part in the ecosystem. They are predators to eggs of birds as well as their young ones. They are very, very clean animals.

Marmots are really large squirrels which hibernate during the winter months. They are social creatures and “talk” to each other by making various whistling sounds. They feed on fruits, flowers, roots and grass. They prefer the mountainous areas as their natural habitat. It is advisable to not keep marmots as pets, and in many countries it is illegal to do so anyway. They are best suited to their natural habitat and are not comfortable as pets.
[ Top ]

Gerbils/Hamsters

Hamsters are one of the best species one can have as pets. However, in Australia, it is illegal to breed hamsters.

Gerbils are also known as Desert Rats and are bred selectively. One can find a variety of gerbils in pet stores.
[ Top ]

Rabbits/Mice

Rabbits are really small, adorable mammals which like living in meadows and grasslands. They are herbivores and are playful and need exercise. As pets, they can be potty trained, and fed hay or grass. They make excellent pets for kids, but they need to be handled with care since they are really delicate and fragile creatures. They are also really friendly, so if you have a cat, dog, or some other rodent, then a rabbit would seem a sensible addition since they get along well with these creatures. The Holland Lop is one of the smallest species of rabbits. This is also one of the most popular breeds as it rates very high as a ‘cute’ pet.

Mice are also kept as pets. Although they are considered pests by many, they also have gained a lot of popularity as pets. They are nocturnal mammals, and have poor vision, remarkable hearing, are playful, and like company. This is the reason they are so popular as pets. They are apparently really sweet tempered and loving in nature. But keeping a mouse as a pet will involve a great deal of your attention and supervision, since these little rodents are prey to almost every other living creature bigger than itself.

Dormice are also kept as pets, though not very commonly. Dormice are almost like squirrels. They should ideally be kept in groups. These creatures hibernate for such long intervals that you may well forget that you had a pet. They are omnivores and live in small groups. Although called dormice, they are not really related to mice, and they are more popular as a delicacy in many parts of the world than as pets.
[ Top ]

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are so adorable. Need I say more? But first things first. They are neither real pigs, nor are they from Guinea. Guinea Pigs are native to the Andes. They are a hybrid species and need to be handled well to make good pets. Guinea pigs are pretty similar to rabbits, meaning they startle really easily, and run or hop for cover. They love being in groups of their own species, and lose their sparkle if kept alone, and may suffer from depression and loneliness. They generally do not get along very well with other pets. They love to swim, and hop around when they are happy or excited. Their diet consists mainly of grass and hay, and when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, they can be really fussy and finicky. If they do not get food on time, they tend to chew their hair. If you have a guinea pig as a pet, you have to be really alert and attentive to their health, since they try to hide that they are ill. So you may not know they are in pain or suffering from a disease till it becomes very severe. They need some getting used to, to being kept as pets, but once they get used to their owners, they are really sweet. Like dogs wag their tails, guinea pigs whistle whenever their owners come. They are shy and timid creatures, and make extremely adorable pets.
[ Top ]

Cats

Keeping wild cats is illegal and this act may not really be fair on the animal. However, there are many groups of people who love to have this exotic animal at home.

Ocelot is a wild cat but its appearance is a little like a leopard. It was considered endangered earlier, but of late, several attempts are being made to protect this species.

A leopard cat is almost as large as a domestic cat. This small wildcat is found in areas of Southeast Asia.

The wild cat is sometimes included under the category of the domestic cat. This cat is extremely timid and native to Europe, Africa and western parts of Asia.

Serval is an African wild cat, mainly seen in the savannahs. This beautiful animal is a protected species in many countries.
[ Top ]

Amphibians and Reptiles
Iguanas/Salamander

Iguana is actually a lizard that is found in tropical areas of South and Central America. There are two species of the same, out of which one is popular as a pet – Green Iguana. The Green Iguana is bright in color and is amongst the most in demand as an exotic pet. However, there are many rules being implemented for the breeding of this species. For e.g., it is illegal to breed or import the Green Iguana as a pet, and one can face severe charges if found guilty of the same.
[ Top ]

Frogs

African Dwarf Frogs are native to the Sub Saharan region of Africa. They are rather tiny in size and can be bred with some tropical fish as well.

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is a tiny exotic animal that belongs to the frog species. Often, these frogs are founds as pets and can be recognized due to their bright green color.

American Green Tree Frog is a very popular species of frogs kept as pets. Exotic pet lovers can keep as many as three frogs in a terrarium.

African Clawed Frogs are relatively easy to keep as pets hence their popularity is on the rise. These species are found throughout the regions of Africa.

Newts are quite popular as pets. But due to the destruction of habitat, their numbers are on the decline. Therefore, in the UK, this is a protected species and possessing newts without a license is considered illegal. There are nine of this species that fall under the strictly protected series.
[ Top ]

Snakes

Snakes are also considered exotic pets by many. Often, these are bred in captivity, as they tend to be easier to handle.

Python Reticulatus is a non-venomous snake, found in areas of South East Asia. It is known so because of a very complex pattern on its body. It is not known to attack humans, however, it can do so when it feels threatened. This species is growing in demand for captive breeding.

Corn Snake, also known as the Red Rat snake, is distinguished because of the small pattern on its belly side that resembles a corn. Being rather quiet in nature, these non-venomous snakes are quite popular as pets.
[ Top ]

Lizards/Geckos

Geckos are the only type of lizards which are distinguishable because of the chirping sounds that they make when interacting with each other. They are suited to warm climates and find it difficult to adapt in regions with low temperatures. They have well formed padded feet which allow them to climb even smooth surfaces and walls without any difficulty. One good thing is that geckos love to make their homes with humans since they get the necessary warmth that they require in homes. Also people really do not mind having geckos as pets since they feed on unwanted insects and pests and thus, are very useful. Geckos come in a wide variety of bright colors like purple, green, pink, golden, blue, yellow, brown, etc.

Geckos make for excellent pets since they are docile in nature and easy to tame. They are also easy to care for and maintain, and they do not need you to play with them or walk them either. They are suitable pets for beginners. They are experts in burrowing. They have tails which fall off, so if you happen to grab a gecko by its tail, then you will be left with only the tail. But this is not a cause for worry, since they are also capable of regrowing their tails. Geckos need to be well fed, with plenty of vitamins and calcium to replenish the supply used up during the production of eggs. They love mealworms, baby food, and flies and insects. They get bored of the same diet and need some variety. Overall though, geckos make wonderful low maintenance pets.

Lizards, anoles and tegus also make excellent pets. While anoles and frilled lizards are more expensive to maintain than tegus, and also require a lot more work, all three are wonderful pets. The tegus, specially, are very intelligent, and form great personal bonds with those who care for them well. All of them are bright, and well behaved, and will feed on worms, insects, and vegetables. Just like the geckos, they also need their vitamins and calcium, and if cared for properly, they will give you company for a long time.
[ Top ]

Turtles

Turtles are similar to tortoises as regards keeping them as pets. They have really long life spans, so they can be in your family for generations. It will be cruel if you get a turtle on a whim, and then grow tired of talking care of it, and neglect it. Also, when you get a turtle, you have to remember that you are not just committing yourself to it, but your children too. Besides this, turtles smaller than 6 inches are banned by the FDA. They also pose grave health risks, since they are carriers of the salmonella bacteria. You will have to maintain extremely high standards of hygiene with a turtle as a pet. They require a lot of work on your part if you get one home. Shown above are a few exotic turtles and others which are popular as pets.

Box turtles are distinctive from others because of their dome-shaped shell. It is recommended to avoid having box turtles found from the wild as pets. These species are extremely affected due to changes in surroundings. They need to be handled carefully.

Yellow Mud Turtles are found in the central areas of the United States. Yellow Mud turtles tend to snap at people or bite when kept as house pets.
[ Top ]

Tortoises/Chameleons

Chameleons are a special class of lizards. The most unusual characteristic of chameleons is the ability to change color to camouflage themselves from any perceived threat. They are often kept as household pets. Given below are a few species of chameleons kept as pets.

Fischer’s Chameleon is also known as Usambara two-horned chameleon. They prefer to be housed individually. They require large enclosures and proper air ventilation throughout the cage. The life span of this species, with proper care, is 5 years.

Veiled Chameleons have a decorative growth called “casque” on their heads, that is how they derive the name veiled chameleons. The casque of a male is usually taller than the female’s. They have a life span of about 5 years and make the most hearty pets when compared to other chameleons in the same league.

Parson’s Chameleon is native to eastern and northern Madagascar, and it is illegal to import this species from their native country. However, they are most popular as pets mainly due to their life span which is about 20 years. There are several beautiful color variants, common ones being green or turquoise with yellow or orange eyelids.

Jackson’s Chameleons, also called three-horned chameleons are the primary source for exotic pet trade. Their life span is estimated to be 5-10 years, sometimes longer. Their color is usually bright green with some traces of blue and yellow. It is a striking and beautiful captive, and makes for an excellent pet option for moderately-experienced chameleon owners.

Panther Chameleon, like other chameleons, should be housed individually. They are better to watch than handle. They exhibit bright and brilliant color variants and grow in length up to 15-20 inches. Their life span is estimated to be about 5 years, and can live longer with proper care.

High-casqued Chameleons grow up to 10 inches in length, and their color varies across a range of vibrant hues. They make excellent pets because of their docile temperament.

Tortoises live for a long time (anywhere from 70-100 years), hence they can be thought of as lifetime companions. In fact, they will outlive you, so you have to worry about how they will manage, and who will take care of them after you. They are high maintenance pets and their dietary habits can pose a problem. Different tortoise species vary greatly in their nutrition requirements, hence a thorough research regarding their dietary needs is essential. These exotic pets may not want to cuddle, since they are not fans of overt affections. They are generally reclusive pets. Tortoises are endangered, so they should be bred and raised by specialized breeders only.

It is important you choose a tortoise species based on housing, environmental needs, and most important, its dietary needs. The Galapagos Giant, Hermann’s, Hinged, Leopard, Marginated and Radiated Tortoises make excellent exotic pets. As with all exotic pets, a qualified vet should be consulted when getting any of these species, to confirm its good health or behavioral problems, if any. This is besides checking whether the laws are OK with you keeping any of these as pets. But the general advice is that, tortoises are difficult pets and should be left alone in their natural habitat.

[ Top ]

Insects/Arthropods/Others
Spiders/Tarantulas

Tarantulas are really hairy and large spiders, which make for petty exotic pets. Although their bites can be poisonous, they are treatable and not really a cause of concern. So­me tarantulas have appendages on their feet, spigots, which help in producing silk. Shown above are the desert tarantula, king baboon and orange baboon tarantula, pinkoe tarantula, redknee tarantula, and the zebra tarantula, all of which are pretty spectacular to look at, and will surely throw a few curious and envious glances your way. Tarantulas diet can include lizards, tiny birds and rodents.

Spiders are also kept as pets. The ones featured above include wolf spiders, the brazilian wandering spider, redback spider, black widow spider, and the brown recluse spider. The black widow, specially, is more popular than the rest. Big spiders also eat insects and really small rodents. Spiders cannot eat solid food. They release a digestive enzyme into the animals, liquefy their insides and then drink it.

Letting it known that you have a spider or a tarantula as a pet will add a certain edginess to your personality as well.
[ Top ]

Hermit Crabs/Scorpions/Others

Hermit Crabs are not directly related to true crabs. They are often noticed carrying an empty seashell on their back, which they withdraw into whenever they feel threatened. This empty shell is also a protection for their soft abdomen, which is very vulnerable when exposed. People who have hermit crabs as pets say that these creatures can be very loving. They are without a doubt really fascinating. Their care does require work, so be prepared for it if you decide to get a pet hermit.

Scarlet Hermit Crab has a bright red body. It is one of the most popular species used as an exotic pet. Common Hermit Crab/Soldier Crab, is seen in rocky areas as well as sandy shores and also makes for a really sweet pet.

Scorpions are most feared for their deadly venom. The large Emperor Scorpions shown above are amongst those exotic species which are kept as pets. Actually, scorpions make for excellent pets, since they are pretty harmless until provoked, require less maintenance compared to other exotic pets, and also don’t need too much space. You will have to feed it insects, unless you are allergic to the bite of an emperor scorpion (how would you know that anyway?), they are similar to bee stings – painful, but not fatal.

Snails and millipedes are definitely a curious choice as pets, but they do make wonderful pets. They are both slow, so managing them is no problem. And as long as you have a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, you are set. When millipedes feel threatened, they excrete hydrogen cyanide, so if you happen to be handling a millipede at the time, it can cause your skin to burn a lot. Snails apparently are not good for the ecosystem when they are out and about, but when kept as pets they are said to be really loving. They are also pretty intelligent creatures and appreciate human contact, so maybe you could cuddle up with your pet snail or slug. Besides which, many people think that snails are really cute and adorable (go figure)!

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is another creature that is popular as a pet. Cockroaches in general make for great pets, but the one shown above is specially popular. They make ideal pets for children, since they are slow moving, docile, and do not bite. They are really easy to care for and maintain.
[ Top ]

Others

The Praying Mantis gets its name due to its prayer-like stance. It is legal to have certain types of Praying Mantis at home, which are native to the place, but in case of non-native species, the same could result in a fine.

Assassin Bug is one of the simplest insect to keep as a pet. Out of the thousands of species of assassin bugs found all around the world, the red spotted and the twin spotted assassin bugs are mostly kept by insect hobbyists.

Dragonfly is a winged insect with large multifaceted eyes, an elongated body, and two pairs of transparent wings. Even though it has six legs, it cannot walk properly. However, owing to its strong wings, this insect is known to be one of the fastest insects in the world.

Beetles are not only really cute, but they are also very useful. This insect with two pairs of wings helps in controlling populations of other pests in the surroundings. Keeping it has a pet is not so difficult if you are aware of its needs.

Fireflies are interesting pets to keep and admire. With a short life span, they can give you company only for a couple of weeks. As per the warning released by the APCC, this tiny fly can prove to be fatal for some exotic reptiles. So if you have both of these as pets, make sure they do not see each other.

Cicadas also make for exotic pets. Around 2500 species of cicada are found all around the world. If you live in areas with temperate to tropical climates, this insect will prove to a nice pet because of its adaptability to such climatic conditions. This exotic pet will never fail to grab attention due to its large size and unique acoustic talent.

Spiny Mantis is an attractive species of mantis, native to Africa. It doesn’t like to run around for food and therefore, ample food must be provided if it is kept as a pet. Even though it is quite easy to keep, one must not forget to provide ample ventilation to it because it fails to survive in low ventilated areas.

The Walking Stick Insect is a fascinating, colorful insect which requires low maintenance. It is quite popular as a pet due to its unique appearance. However, it must never be allowed to escape into the wild as it can prove to be a dangerous pest causing ecological problems.

Everything said and done, we are the best judges of whether we can provide the care that these animals and birds require. Everybody has their own place in nature, and everybody will thrive only when they are allowed to be where they belong. Training animals and birds that are not meant to be pets, to be domesticated will kill their spirit and not give you a chance to experience their true nature anyway. Only and only if you can provide your pet with the love, care and attention that it requires to thrive and be happy, should you go ahead and get a pet. Uprooting someone from their natural habitat, specially if it is against the law, just because you want an exotic pet as a status symbol, is really not right! We must live and let live.

Wild Animals as Pets

It may seem quite appealing, but the practice of keeping wild animals as pets is not at all a wise thing to do – neither for you, nor for the animal. In this write-up, we will discuss the ill-effects of this practice.
TAGGED UNDER: Wild Animals

The practice of keeping wild animals – such as lions, tigers, elephants, wolves, alligators and huge snakes, as pets can be traced back to ancient times wherein keeping such wild pets was considered a status symbol amongst the rich. While the practice continues even today, it is no more restricted to the rich as it was back then. Illegal trade, backyard breeding and auction of exotic animals has made it a lot easy to keep them as pets. Right from spiders and scorpions to considerably large primates and even some big cats, the list of wild animals sought by pet enthusiasts is quite lengthy. But is it wise to keep these animals as pets? Wildlife enthusiasts are strictly against this concept, and cite several reasons to refrain from it.

Why Wild Animals Don’t Make Good Pets?

Wild animals are those species whose behavior is such that they cannot co-exist with humans, and that definition in itself is one of the most prominent reasons as to why you should refrain from keeping them as pets. It is very difficult to care for these animals as their basic requirements in terms of food, habitat or other attributes of their life, are quite high. It doesn’t take much time for the adorable young ones of these wild species to grow into large and strong adults. With their instinctive behavioral traits – such as biting and scratching, they can easily end up harming humans even when they don’t intend to do so. There have been several instances of captive bred wild animals attacking their owners or unleashing havoc in the neighborhood. Even animals which are not large in size can demonstrate destructive behavior at times. While monkeys are most sought after wild pets, you get to see a drastic change in their behavior as they start growing. In fact, they don’t even hesitate from biting you when they feel threatened.

Yet another reason to refrain from keeping wild animals as pets is their tendency to carry various zoonotic diseases i.e. those animal diseases which can be transferred to humans. Diseases like rabies, salmonella, monkey pox, marburg virus, klebsiella, etc., which these animals carry are life-threatening for human beings. Salmonella affects thousands of people in the United States alone every year when people come in contact with reptiles and amphibians which act as carriers for this bacteria. It is estimated that somewhere around 77-90 percent of the reptiles act as carriers for salmonella, thus putting humans who choose these reptiles as pets at a serious health risk. It is very difficult to determine if some reptile is carrying this bacterium as these reptiles do not show any symptoms of the same. Similarly, herpes B is quite common in pet macaques and rabies is common in foxes, skunks, raccoons, etc. While all these diseases hurt humans, improper care of this species – especially the young ones, can end up hurting these animals.

Federal Laws

The practice has been under the scanner for legal and ethical issues surrounding it for quite some time now. Even the federal laws, which do very little to restrict or prohibit private possession of wild animals, have been subjected to a great deal of criticism by animal welfare groups and wildlife enthusiasts alike. While the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) does put restriction on possession of warm-blooded animals, it does nothing to keep reptiles off the human radar. Other laws which protect animals from such animal cruelty such as Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do exist, but they aren’t much helpful at the ground level.

While some jurisdictions allow people to keep wild species as their pets under stipulated guidelines, others have put a total ban on this practice. There also exist others which have no rules and regulations on wild pets whatsoever. In the United States, it is illegal to keep wild animals in states like Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, California etc., but the same can be done with a permit from the authorities in states like Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, etc. (Note: This is just a general outline of laws on keeping wild and exotic animals as pets, for the details on the same you need to contact your state authorities.)

If the pros and cons of keeping wild animals as pets are pitched against each other, the cons of this practice easily outweigh its pros. When people keep wild animals as their pets, it is not for companionship as in case of domesticated animals, but for display – which in itself is ethically incorrect. More importantly, we need to understand that domesticated species – unlike their wild counterparts, have evolved over the course of thousands of years to become what they are today. Wild animals will stick to their basic instincts even if you keep them in your home. At the end of the day, it is very difficult to meet the dietary or behavioral needs of these animals when they are kept in captivity, and hence, it is better to refrain from this practice.

PS: Most important of all is the fact that capturing wild animals and keeping them as pets tends to disrupt the balance in the ecosystem as the decline in number of one species has adverse effects on a number of other species dependent on it.