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Caring For Exotic Pets - A Beginners Guide

Caring For Exotic Pets - A Beginners Guide

Small exotic mammals can make great pets - but understanding the unique requirements of these lovely creatures is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Today, our Mooresville vets list some popular exotics and discuss what to consider before buying.

What are some popular exotic pets?

Are you looking for a pet but a dog or cat isn't for you? “Pocket pets” or small exotic mammals can be an excellent alternative.

With diligent care and regular visits to the vet, small exotic mammals can make great pets for owners committed to providing the right environment, daily attention, and nutrition. Although some of these adorable creatures are more cuddly than others, many people form a close bond with these small mammals. 

Some of the most popular small mammals kept as pets in the US include:

  • Hamsters
  • Hedgehogs
  • Mice
  • Ferrets
  • Chinchillas
  • Gerbils
  • Rats
  • Rabbits

How do I know if a small exotic mammal is the right pet for me?

Deciding whether to get an exotic pet requires objective assessment and serious consideration. An overexcited child or someone without the proper knowledge of exotic pets could cause one of these small animals to become stressed or even injured.

For example, hedgehogs often roll themselves into tight balls and may easily be injured if attacked by cats or if curious children try to “uncurl” them.

Research is critical when deciding which pet is the best fit for you and your family. When considering exotic pets, this is doubly true, and doing prep work is imperative.

Well before buying, research the animal’s requirements regarding food, supplies, facilities, and other aspects. Ensure you purchase from a reputable source.

Don’t forget to check your municipal, county, and/or state laws, as some will require a permit or license depending on the exotic pet you want to purchase. Contact your local and state departments to determine whether you’ll need a permit for the animal, or if there are facility requirements or inspections.

Where can I get a small exotic pet?

The answer to this question will vary depending on which resources are available locally, where you live, and the type of animal you’re thinking of.

Some breeders, shelters, rescues, and pet stores sell small exotic mammals. Be sure to purchase your pet from a knowledgeable, conscientious, and reputable seller, and make sure the exotic pet you choose is healthy.

How do I care for my small exotic mammal?

Pocket pets and exotic mammals have unique environmental, nutritional, and dietary requirements.

Owners of exotic creatures should also remember that because exotic pets are typically prey species in the wild, they often hide signs of illness instinctively until symptoms are quite advanced. Therefore, preventive veterinary care is critical to continued health.

Soon after you bring your exotic pet home for the first time, schedule the first visit with our vets at Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital. Our exotic and avian veterinarian can examine your new pet and provide valuable guidance regarding the overall care and feeding of your new pet.

Our vets provide skilled veterinary care for small exotic mammals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other pocket pets. We have the experience and training required to care for small mammals and can provide the information you need to ensure your small friend stays healthy and happy.

Whether your pet is feeling under the weather, or simply requires preventive care, we are here to help. Our staff is highly skilled at safely restraining pets without causing additional stress. We are equipped to provide you and your pet with a stress-free visit.

During a routine appointment, we will perform a thorough physical exam and recommend preventive care appropriate to their circumstances. There will also be time to ask any questions you may have about your pet’s health.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have a small exotic animal? Contact our Mooresville exotic pet veterinarian today to book an examination for your furry friend.

New Patients Welcome

Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about improving the health of cats, dogs and exotic pets. Book your pet's first appointment today.

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(704) 664-4087