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Is an Exotic Pet Right for You?

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 28 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Exotic Pets Experience Cost Household

Keeping any kind of a pet is a responsibility, but meeting the needs of many kinds of exotic animals can be a bit more of a challenge than looking after the average hamster. While we are all familiar with the famous “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” slogan, we often forget that when some kinds of exotic pets can expect to live two or three times as long as dear old Fido, it can apply to snakes and spiders too!

The pet shop’s tanks of beady eyed lizards and polished tortoises have an obvious appeal, but are they really something you’re ready to look after in the months and years to come? Maybe you know full well that you are – in the which case good luck, have lots fun with your new pets – but what if you’re not entirely sure? How do you know if an exotic pet is right for you?

Well, here’s a little quiz to help you make up your mind. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers, but it should help you decide if you’re cut out to keep exotic pets and just how ready you are to share your life – and your home – with them. Have fun finding out.

1. How much experience do you have with keeping any sort of pet?

  • a) None at all – this monitor lizard is going to be my first.
  • b) When I was a child, I kept all sorts of animals.
  • c) I’ve only kept the usual rabbit/gerbil/cat.
  • d) I keep and breed tropical fish.

2. How do you feel about wildlife documentaries?

  • a) Can’t abide them and I never watch them.
  • b) Watch them all without fail!
  • c) I watch them if they don’t clash with anything else.
  • d) I only really watch them if they’re about something that interests me.

3. Where’s the first place you’d make for at the zoo?

  • a) The cafe or souvenir shop
  • b) The reptile house or aquarium
  • c) The elephant or monkey enclosure
  • d) The insects or the nocturnal house

4. Why do you want to keep an exotic pet ?

  • a) They’re cool and everyone’s getting one!
  • b) Why? I just do and if you really don’t get it, then I can’t begin to explain.
  • c) They’re interesting and a bit different.
  • d) Because they absolutely, positively fascinate me – and they always have.

5. What do you think about venomous snakes?

  • a) Cool! Where can I buy one?
  • b) Great in the wild – but definitely not a pet!
  • c) I’m not all that sure about any kind of snake.
  • d) They’re one of nature’s most perfect designs.

6. What are you going to do when you go on holiday ?

  • a) One of my mates/my mum will look after it.
  • b) I’ve already made arrangements with an experienced pet-keeper.
  • c) I’m going to get some advice about that from the vet/pet shop.
  • d) What’s a holiday?

7. Be honest with yourself, can you afford to house and feed the pet you want?

  • a) Of course; I mean, how much can keeping a python cost?
  • b) Yes; I’ve worked it all out and it’s all budgeted for.
  • c) I don’t really know, but I’m trying to do the sums to make sure.
  • d) Well, if I can’t, I won’t be buying it.

8. Do you have enough space to house the pet you want ?

  • a) Of course; I mean, how big a tank does an iguana need?
  • b) Yes, I know how much space my proposed pet will need, even when it’s fully grown.
  • c) I’m trying to find that out.
  • d) Well, if I don’t, I won’t be buying it.

9. Are you sure that everyone else in the household is OK with the idea?

  • a) Who cares?
  • b) It’s my flat, so it’s not a problem.
  • c) My parents/partner/children say it’s all fine.
  • d) My parents/partner/children are all really interested too.

10. Finally, what would you say was your ideal exotic pet?

  • a) A crocodile or anything else big and impressive-looking.
  • b) A corn snake or a leopard gecko.
  • c) I’m not really sure; I quite like them all.
  • d) A tarantula or a stick insect.

Quiz Results

Mostly As
Is an exotic pet right for you? Well, probably not – at least not right now. It doesn’t mean that won’t change in future, but for the moment you still need to do a bit of thinking about whether you really want to share your life with some of the world’s most fascinating wildlife. Then, if you decide you do, plenty of research is called for to make sure you choose something that will work for you, so have a good look around the rest of this site – you should pick up all kinds of helpful tips.

Mostly Bs and Ds
If ever there was anyone just crying out for an exotic pet, it’s you – but then you probably knew that already! The planet’s weird and wonderful creatures fascinate you and the idea of having one or two of them in your own living room is about as good as it gets, so enjoy the rest of the site, sign up to the monthly newsletter and let us know how you get on.

Mostly Cs
Are exotic pets for you? Yes, they probably are, but perhaps you don’t feel you know enough about them to take on anything too out of the ordinary just yet. If that’s you, then help is at hand – it’s what the rest of this site’s all about! Spend a bit of time browsing the rest of the pages here and you should find answers to most of your questions and a whole lot of ideas, hints and tips to help you feel much more confident about the whole thing. Then, when you feel the time’s come, you’ll be able to make an informed choice about picking the right pet for you.

If exotic pets are right for you, enjoy keeping them. Good luck, whatever you choose!

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