Answering the question of where one can get an exotic pet depends on so many factors. First, it largely matters which type of animal we’re talking about. It also is dependent upon a person’s location as well as any resources that are available in their area.
To get a new pet, it’s important to do research beforehand. Find out what supplies you need and make sure that they are readily available in your home before getting the pet so that there is less stress on the animal upon its arrival. You should also know about common health problems for pets of this species as well as how much food costs per month. You should also make sure you know how to pick a healthy specimen.
It is important to be careful of what you are getting when adopting a new pet. It’s easy for someone who knows nothing about the animal, its needs and requirements, or how big it will get to fall prey to an unscrupulous seller and end up with false information. This leads them into issues around the pet’s diet or general care later on down the road. There are plenty of good sellers out there though—you just need to do your research before buying so that you know what kind of commitment this decision entails.
There are several sources you can look into when trying to find a specific exotic pet, depending on its rarity. Although depending on the kind of animal, it may be easier or harder for one source over another, they all have their pros and cons which need to be considered before choosing who to buy from.
There are several options for finding a pet. If available, we recommend this as a first choice. Exotic rescues exist all over the U.S., and many shelters take in exotic pets as well; there may be an animal that fits your needs at one of them. These animals will often go to carefully screened homes (with potential adopters providing proof they can provide adequate care). This is beneficial because it provides these pets with loving families. The animals will be slightly older when adopted from a rescue or a shelter, but they will usually be vetted extensively. Make sure the one you want is healthy and ask about any socialization issues before committing.
Unfortunately, many of these animals are abandoned since their owners did not know what to expect or how to properly care for them. Rescues can be a great place to find rabbits, small rodents, guinea pigs, turtles, and iguanas since they often fall victim to impulse sales through pet stores that provide incorrect information about the exotic species. For those less commonly found exotic pets, you might have to look through other sources, as they might be unavailable at most rescues or shelters.
Some exotic pet rescues that have active websites are:
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and many listings can be found on Google if you search for your desired species of the pet along with the word “rescue” or “shelter.”
There are a few drawbacks to buying exotic pets from pet stores. It is often difficult for customers to find out how old the animal is, where it came from (some keep poor records), and too easy to make an impulse buy without knowing what you’re getting into. Some people also think that pet store owners mistreat their animals or give them bad care advice; this makes some people dislike these types of stores altogether.
There are some great pet stores out there that care about their animals, but you need to know the signs of a bad store. For example, if they keep their pets in crowded conditions and don’t clean up after them, it’s likely not a good place to get an exotic animal from. It might be tempting to rescue an animal from such places by buying one yourself – however, this only encourages these kinds of people to get more animals so customers will continue coming back.
To make sure you are buying an animal that is healthy, the best way to evaluate a pet store’s integrity is by thoroughly researching your pets before making any purchase. This will allow you to judge how well they care for their animals and what advice they give about caring for them properly. If a store does not take proper care of its’ animals or gives incorrect information on how you will have to care for them once you take them home, then it should be a big red flag and you should be wary of the pets that are actually sold by that particular store.
Evaluating Pet Stores (Melissa Kaplan’s Herp Care Site): This particular piece of information is aimed at reptiles, but you can use most of the information for any other type of pet.
Pet Trade Issues (Melissa Kaplan’s Herp Care Site): This will give you a long list of problems with reptiles and amphibians and the pet trade.
If you’re looking for more “exotic” pets, then the only place to acquire them is from breeders. However, some breeds can be very rare and hard to find at rescues or shelters, or even pet stores.
There are many types of breeders, but the best ones make sure their animals live in clean enclosures with food and water available. They should also be socialized to humans so they’re not destructive or aggressive when it comes time for adoption. It’s important that dog owners avoid puppy mills because those places only focus on quantity over quality – which means you’ll find cramped quarters filled up teeming masses of pets. A bad breeder will rarely handle the animals, so the younger ones might not be used to being handled at all. This is the type of breeder that will have no interest in your particular situation as a future owner. A good breeder will always want to know as much about a potential buyer, as possible. The type of breeder you want to find will always want to make sure that the new owner knows what to expect from the pet and the steps they need to take to take proper care of it. When talking to a good breeder it might feel like you’re interrogated sometimes, but this is a good thing. The breeder will also be able to offer a lot of materials on how to properly take care of the exotic pet.
Sometimes finding a breeder locally can prove to be difficult, so you will have to buy the exotic pet from a breeder that lives far from you and have it either shipped or transported. This option can prove to be not only very expensive but also pretty risky. Not only you will spend quite a lot additionally on shipping fees, but even more importantly, the pet would usually become very stressed from the travel. Furthermore, you might be hit with limitations on transportation time if, for example, the weather is not decent. If possible, you should make sure that the pet will get to you as fast as possible, with as few detours or stopovers as possible, to avoid undue stress. You should also check the provisions that can be made in terms of access to water during shipping.
From time to time, you will find a pet available in a newspaper ad, or even from a friend. This pet would usually belong to someone that for some reason or another, can no longer take proper care of it or has lost general interest. As long as you know the pet’s history and know for sure that it has been properly cared for, getting it shouldn’t be a problem. You should basically take the same precautions as with all of the other pet sources; you can never know for sure what you will be getting into, but you can ask a lot of questions to make sure that the pet you are getting is the right one for you. Even when getting the pet from a friend, you should try to see the conditions in which it was raised and ask to handle it to make sure it is social enough to live with people. If the pet seems very shy around you, it isn’t necessarily a problem; ask the owner to handle it to see if it gets along with them. You can go for an animal that doesn’t seem all that social, but make sure you are ready for a lot of work and vet bills before you make it friendly around people.
It might prove rather difficult to find a pet, especially an exotic one, but you have to be patient. Put enough effort and time into looking for the perfect animal for you, and you will at some point get it.