How to care for your exotic pet

Exotic pets, such as reptiles and amphibians, need a lot of specialist care and attention and it is a good idea to read up on what they need before you decide to keep them as a pet.


Picking the perfect place for an exotic pet


Most exotic pets live in a terrarium, a glass tank that is heated and lit to make the best environment for their needs.

It needs to be large enough to keep them happy and healthy, so you need to know how big they will grow to be in adulthood.

Depending on the exotic pet that you have you might need to heat part of the tank with a heat lamp. You shouldn’t heat the whole of the tank as your pet will want cooler and shaded areas to retreat to.

You might also need UV light to ensure that they get the vitamin D that they need and would be producing if they were in their natural sunny climate.

You’ll also need to find out how active they will be as this can affect the size or type of tank that you get. Some exotics like to burrow, will they be able to do this in the tank that you’ve got?

Then you can make the environment in the tank just right for them, with stones, small caves and other objects that recreate their natural environment. A good pet shop that specializes in exotic pets will be able to help you with this.

You should sterilize everything before it goes in to make sure there is no bacteria on anything that might infect your pet.


Not your usual pet food


A lot of exotic pets eat live food. This could be crickets, locusts or worms, depending on the type of pet that you have.

Pet snakes eat dead baby mice, which you can buy frozen and defrost as required.

You need to think about how you are going to order and buy the food as well as store it, as this will affect how fresh it is when you feed it to your pet.


Handling and Behaviour


Some exotic pets are not suitable to be handled. Whilst their owners will enjoy their distinctive look and can observe their behaviour, it is not advisable to handle them.

Others, like lizards or geckos, are calm and docile. They can become quite tame and enjoy being handled.


For exotic pets it is also best to speak to a specialist Vet. For advice on all your pet’s needs, and to speak to a specialist at one of our Best Friends Vet Branches, find your nearest branch.


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