Exotic animals aren’t for everyone. Unlike conventional pets, such as dogs and cats, they usually require specialist enclosures and food. It’s also best to avoid buying an exotic pet unless you have experience in keeping animals, and have the time and money to devote to your pet. However, if you feel you’re capable of looking after them, you’re probably asking yourself “where would I find exotic animals for sale?” Luckily we’re here to help you with some useful information about where to find unusual pets, and the right choices to make based on what you’re looking for.
Considering buying an exotic animal?
The most important thing to consider is what you’re capable of looking after. For example, reptiles make great pets because they’re usually quite easy to look after. As long as they have a heated vivarium, and a good supply of food and water, they should live for years. However, the upkeep can be expensive, as their tanks require constant heating, and most reptiles eat live food.
If you live in a warmer climate, many reptiles can be kept outside during the summer months, and this should help you cut down on costs.
If you’re thinking of investing in an exotic mammal or bird, make sure you have enough room to keep them. Something like a parrot or cockatiel is usually fine to not be kept in a cage, providing you keep an eye on them while your doors are open. Smaller birds will need to be kept in a cage, but make sure you invest in one that is big enough. If you have the space and money, build an aviary outside, as this will give them enough room to fly around and not get bored. Similarly, exotic mammals such as desert foxes and monkeys should be kept in cages, but make sure they have enough room to exercise; otherwise they can get bored and depressed.
Exotic pets for sale
The first thing to do is to see if you can locate a local breeder or pet shop that specializes in exotic animals. Being able to actually see the animals in person is much safer than buying online, as you’ll be able to check their health and condition. You can learn a lot from meeting the breeder too. Visiting a pet shop or breeder allows you to gauge the person who’s raised the animal, and this usually helps you to decide whether the pet is happy or not. Breeders and pet shop owners will be able to answer any questions and help you decide what pet is right for you.
Any breeder or pet shop owner that’s passionate about what they do will put the wellbeing of the animal first. They’ll be aware that buying an exotic pet is a bigger commitment than a conventional animal, and might ask to visit your property to make sure you have the means to care for the pet. Don’t take this the wrong way, or consider it to be intrusive. Breeders only want to make sure the pet will have a happy life and can be cared for. The last thing anyone wants is for you to take on a commitment you’re not able to fulfill.
Finding exotic animals for sale locally is definitely the best course of action. Things like fish and reptiles should be reasonably easy to find wherever you live, as they’ve always been popular pets. If you’re looking for something more unusual though, you’ll have to accept you’ll probably be traveling to get it. Exotic pets are becoming more popular, but not many people breed them still. If you can’t find someone local that specializes in the animal you’re looking for, speak to a local pet shop owner, or find a forum online that is specific to that animal. Exotic pet enthusiasts are usually very keen to make sure you find the right people to deal with.
Exotic animals for sale online
It’s unsurprising that in this day and age you can buy exotic animals online. There are several big websites that specialize in exotic animals, and most will provide care guides and useful information for looking after your new pet. Some websites, rather than supplying the animal themselves, will put you in contact with your nearest breeder. This is a better option for the reasons stated above. You should always be careful buying an exotic animal online, as you won’t know for certain where it’s come from or how it’s lived.
This should go without saying, but avoid free listing websites like Craigslist. Although these are great places to buy everyday items (furniture, clothes, etc.), they shouldn’t be used to buy animals. Firstly, you won’t know the person you’re buying the pet from, or where they got the pet in the first place. Also, there will be a reason they’re getting rid of the pet, and that’s not something they will tell you. It could be as simple as they’re moving house or have had a child, but it could also be to do with the animal’s behavior.
People looking to make a quick sale on an exotic pet won’t tell you that it’s aggressive or smelly; they’ll leave you to find this out on your own. And by the time you do, it could be too late.
People that advertise exotic pets for sale online aren’t the people you should be buying from. Current US laws make it very easy to trade (illegally) in exotic animals, and anyone wanting to own a pet should have high standards of animal welfare. If you do decide to buy online, do as much research as you can. Make sure you’re buying of a reputable site, and contact the site owners if you want more information. If they’re working ethically, they won’t have a problem giving you more information. Check the animal’s history, including where it was born and why it’s for sale. This level of research won’t be as important for smaller creatures like fish or some reptiles, but think carefully if you’re investing in a bigger animal, or one that lives longer.
What exotic pet is right for me?
As stated above, this will depend mostly on your experience and level of commitment. If you’re new to the world of exotic pets, think about investing in a reptile or fish. They’re quite easy to look after, and once you’ve invested in the equipment you can reuse it in the future. Feel free to ask a vet online if you want to understand local laws and recommended species. Consider one of the following exotic animals if you’re just getting started:
- Snake (pythons or corn snakes are the best choices)
- Lizard (Bearded dragons are always fun)
- Tropical fish
- Turtles (either aquatic or land-based)
- Parrot or cockatiel
- Small birds (budgies and finches are great choices)
- Tropical frogs
- Giant African land snails
- Spiders or scorpions
All of these animals require either a vivarium or a tank, which can initially be quite expensive. Bear in mind that cold-blooded animals will need a heat source too, and this can be costly to run all the time. Reptiles (apart from turtles) usually eat live food, such as crickets or worms, so make sure you live near somewhere you can easily buy food. Most reptiles and birds live for a long time, so consider that when thinking which to buy. For example, parrots can live to around 50 years, and turtles up to 100! So just make sure your kids will be happy to look after them in the future.
If you’re more experienced at looking after animals, and have more time to invest, you have more options available. Although you can choose to buy whatever exotic pet you want, consider the animal’s welfare too. It might seem fun to own something like a monkey, but remember that they’ll need loads of space to exercise and plenty of things to keep them entertained. Monkeys are incredibly intelligent creatures and they can get depressed if they don’t have enough stimulation. However, if you want a more interesting pet, consider one of the following:
- Hermit crabs
- Llamas or alpacas
- Small monkeys (macaque, lemur, or capuchin might be best)
- Larger birds (hawks, owls)
If you’re considering something from this list, make sure you have plenty of space. Also, some animals might require a special license to keep, so research this first. Again, any good breeder will inform you of this before selling you an animal. Things like sand cats and fennec foxes can be great pets, and you can keep them like you would a normal cat or dog. They might take a while to acclimatize to living in your house, but they aren’t normal domesticated animals.
Birds are also great exotic pets to own, and more common breeds are easily available nationwide. Smaller birds can be kept indoors in a cage (make sure it’s big enough), but something like an owl will have to be kept in an outdoor aviary. Also, bear in mind that birds are quite unhygienic and their poop can carry some nasty diseases. This is the main reason it’s best not to let birds have free roam of your house, but if you do, just make sure you clean up after them!
The main things to consider when buying an exotic pet
Providing you’re happy to commit to a new pet, and you’ve found a reputable place with exotic animals for sale, make sure you consider the following carefully:
- If the animal is still young, make sure you know how big it’ll get. While that snake might be cute and manageable now, this might not be the case when it’s 15ft long and slithering about your house! Any good breeder will give you this information, but it’s readily available online too.
- One of the most important things to consider. Smaller exotic mammals will have roughly the same lifespan as a normal cat or dog, but some reptiles can live many decades! Make sure you know the lifespan of the animal before you buy, and if it can live for a long time, consider who will look after it in the future.
- Will you need to buy loads of equipment, or will you be able to keep them in the house? Think about what the animal needs to be comfortable, and make sure you can provide it. Cold-blooded creatures will need constant access to a heat source, and many reptiles eat live food.
- Cost of upkeep. Similarly to the habitat, make sure you have the means to care for your exotic pet. A creature that eats live food will have larger upkeep costs than something like a turtle, and you’ll need to buy new food every week or two.
- Your home life. Again, one of the most important things to consider. If you work long hours, don’t buy a pet that needs lots of attention. Something like a snake, lizard, or spider would be a good choice because it can be fed and left. If you’re home a lot though, make sure you spend time with your pet to keep it amused.
If you’re looking for exotic pets for sale, make sure you do thorough research. Most exotic pets require greater commitment than something like a rabbit or a hamster, and it’ll be down to you to care for them. Think carefully about your limits with time and money before deciding which exotic animal to go for. If you want something that needs minimal upkeep, choose fish or a small reptile. However, if you have the time and resources to take on a more demanding animal, then do.
It’s been said a few times but it can’t be stressed enough: only buy an exotic pet from a reputable source. The idea of having an unusual pet can seem interesting, but buying one from a shady online dealer isn’t the way to go. There’s currently a big problem with illegal trading of exotic animals, and if you care about animal welfare, this isn’t a market you’ll want to fund. The rise of interest has led to more exotic breeders, so find one you can deal with in person.