Metro Pets

By Felissa Benjamin

Sometimes special people desire special pets. Yes, cuddly puppies and kitties are always fan favorites but the exotic lizard or bird garners plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” all the time. But before buying anything new or unknown there are certain factors to consider. Here’s a list of what to know before investing in that rare pet.

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Think it through
An exotic pet should never be an impulse buy. You might be dazzled at a pet store by that bright colored lizard or cute ferret but remember something that seems like a good idea at the time might not seem to fit with your life (or your family’s) a day or so later. Always take a few days to decide about any pet.

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Get the home ready
Once you’ve made the decision to open your home to a new (and unique) pet, get ready. Have the right bed, food and supplies necessary for proper care. If it’s a lizard, be prepared to feed it rodents, bugs, etc (yes, EW!) and if it’s a bird, there may be worms involved! So for the squeamish, learning about what a new pet needs is a good way to figure out if you two are a good match.

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Finding the right vet
So vets for dogs and cats are everywhere BUT for birds, lizards, ferrets, etc??? Better check your yellow pages or comb the Internet before you bring home your new pet. Exotic pets do get sick and when they do you’ll need a vet to fix them up.

Figure out the finances
After figuring out all the above, the most important piece of info you’ll need to understand is your finances. Exotic pets cost money – the food, the supplies, the doctors. So before investing in one, look at the big picture and remember just because it seems like a cute idea doesn’t mean it IS a good idea. And think first about your lifestyle and family. Does a new exotic pet fit in?

Whether it’s a lizard, bird, ferret or fish, different kinds of pets need different kinds of care. Before buying one (and never on a whim) go through a checklist of everything that the pet needs – supplies, toys, beds, vets. Most importantly, make sure it fits your life, otherwise stick to a more traditional pet.

Originally published January 2007
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