Most of us wish we could own an exotic animal. The species of animal may vary from person to person, but admittedly, we've all dreamed of caring for a pet monkey, dolphin, koala bear, or another unique mammal at some point in our lifetime. It is considered exciting and unique to steer away from traditional domestic pets like cats and dogs in favor of rarer specimens. Rodents like sugar gliders, flying squirrels or Gambian pouched rats recently created a stir in America as more and more families orderd them online. Still, these outlandish animals are not sold in pet stores for a reason. A professor at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Public Health Department states that people should avoid buying animals from outside the United States or purchasing pets with inherent dangers, such as venomous snakes, big cats, or primates.
The American Animal Hospital Association explains that buying and housing exotic animals is almost always a bad idea. Essentially, these animals are wild, and while they may be cute as babies, they will grow up with the desire to fulfill their natural instincts. Trying to tame an exotic animal for your personal enjoyment could turn out disastrously. In particular, primates tend to rebel in captivity at two years of age. Confining wildlife can heighten their stress level, and cause them to go rogue or view you as an enemy. Also, many exotic animals are unable to adapt to domestic surroundings, which can lead to illness or death. A large amount of exotic pets die during transportation.
While exact numbers are now known, it is estimated that there between 6,000 and 7,000 exotic animals held as pets in the United States. These pets normally turn out to be bad companions. They have housing, diet, and special care requirements that the average person does not have the time or money to meet. It takes a trained professional to care for a wild animal, especially a large cat or a primate. While internet websites sell these pets, they never mention that they are illegal in most states, except for in rare cases where licenses are normally required.
If you encounter a pet store that is selling exotic animals, you should research the animal's origin. For example, some store-owners may want to sell captured squirrels or raccoons for money and do not care that these pets will be dangerous to your family. Ask for breeding paperwork on any exotic animal found in a pet store. If the store-owner cannot produce these documents, you may want to contact the local authorizes. Some animals that are termed "exotic" like hedgehogs, ferrets, and chinchillas can be purchased through selected breeders who control the genes and raise these animals in domesticated environments. If these animals are bred and raised according to code within the United States, they are normally safe to purchase. These fuzzy friends come at a high price, so you may want to check your bank account before committing.
Unless you are a rare exception, it is often dangerous and illegal to own exotic pets such as monkeys, tigers, venomous snakes, skunks, and more. If these animals were previously in the wild, they may contain diseases and bugs which could be harmful to your home. When purchasing any sort of exotic animal, learn all you can about it before purchasing. Talk to others who own this pet, and check into the state laws to make sure that it is legal to house this animal. Always purchase creatures that were born into captivity- never catch a wild animal and hold it hostage as a pet. Also, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to inspect your new pet and make sure that it does not have any contagious diseases.