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  • Writer's pictureVillage Veterinary Clinic

Understanding the Needs of Exotic Pets

Exotic pets can be exciting and fun. Many exotic animals, including birds and small mammals, make great pets. However, before acquiring such a pet, you need to ensure that you can properly care for it and meet its needs. Otherwise, you may find yourself overwhelmed. At Village Veterinary Clinic in Burke, VA, our veterinarians care for some exotic pets (limited to small mammals) and will guide you on how to keep your animal healthy.

Exotic Animals as Pets

There’s a reason that cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals are commonly kept as pets. These animals are typically easy to care for and are generally friendly towards humans. Often, exotic pets aren’t domesticated and aren’t as friendly with people. Some are also hard to care for. These attributes explain why exotic pets are rare in the first place. That said, exotic pets, including tropical birds and pocket pets, can make for great companions or interesting animals to watch if you know how to care for them.

Caring for Exotic Pets

As great as exotic pets are, they can develop health complications without proper care. When taking care of an exotic pet, it’s important to understand its nutritional requirements and figure out the proper diet to feed it. A diverse, balanced, good-quality diet is recommended to ensure your pet receives the proper nutrient and calorie requirements. One should also consider the cost of feeding an exotic pet.

Many exotic animals, especially reptiles, are sensitive to temperature. An environment that is too hot or too cold by just a few degrees could cause harm, illness, or death, depending on the species. Lizards and snakes, for example, require heat lamps, a thermometer, and a regulated temperature.

Space, environmental, and behavioral requirements also need to be considered. The pet’s enclosure should have sufficient space for sleeping, feeding, burrowing, and climbing. Other considerations may include the following: What type of bedding is required—sand? pellets? wood shavings? A water bowl or bottle? Places to hide in or structures to climb on? Some pets are also nocturnal and should have a place to rest or hide during the day.

Visit Our Veterinarian in Burke, VA, for Exotic Pet Care

At Village Veterinary Clinic in Burke, VA, the exotic pets that our veterinarians treat are limited to small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, and ferrets. We partner with area veterinarians to provide care for reptiles and pet birds. Call us today to schedule an appointment should your little furry friend need care!

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