What to Know Before Purchasing an Exotic Pet

Small exotic mammals can make great pets - as long as owners understand the importance of caring for their specific requirements when it comes to nutritional requirements, health and daily care. In this post, our Charlotte vets list some popular exotics and explain what to consider before buying.


What are the best exotic pets?

Are you looking for a pet more unconventional than a cat or dog? “Pocket pets” or small exotic mammals can be an excellent alternative.

Humans are certainly able to develop a special bond with these unique creatures. With diligent care from an attentive owner and regular visits to the vet, small exotic mammals can make great pets for owners willing, able and committed to providing the right environment, daily attention and nutrition.

In this post, we'll list some popular exotic pets, provide insight and advice about what to consider before purchasing, and more helpful information.

Exotic Pets, Charlotte Vets

This category includes popular pets such as:

  • Pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Hedgehogs
  • Mice
  • Ferrets
  • Guinea pigs
  • Chinchillas
  • Gerbils
  • Rats
  • Rabbits

Is it a good idea to get an exotic pet?

Making the decision about whether to get an exotic pet requires objective assessment and serious consideration. An overexcited child or someone without the proper knowledge of exotic pets, these animals can 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.

How do I get an 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. Purchase from a knowledgeable, conscientious and reputable seller, and make sure the exotic pet you choose is healthy.

What kind of care does my exotic pet need?

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

Owners of exotic creatures should also remember that because exotic pets are 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 a first visit with our vets at Providence Animal Hospital in Charlotte. We can provide specialized training in exotic animal care. They will also receive a first full physical examination.

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 requires preventive care or your pet is sick and specific health concerns need to be addressed, 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 specific questions about exotic pets or their veterinary care needs? Our Charlotte vets at Providence Animal Hospital are experienced in providing care for exotic pets. Book an appointment today. 

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Providence Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary care for your cherished pets in Charlotte since 1993.

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(704) 542-0049