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Exotic Pets: The Extra Needs Involved

Tuesday October 27th 2015

Are you a dog person or a cat person, a question that divides entire swathes of pet devotees, for the most part dog and cat owners are so devoted that there’s been a long running debate about which animal is the better pet, while each makes their own side known. What about the animals few and far between? There are a huge variety of pets in the world, while dogs and pets take up a huge proportion of the number of pets, there are a few that avoid the normal, ‘easy’ to look after pet and instead go for an exotic pet.

Laws and legislation
The current laws regarding exotic pets in the UK state that you need a licence to keep animals considered to be wild, dangerous or exotic.

To get an exotic pet licence you have to apply to your local council. A licence is needed for the following pets:
• Wild cats
• Primates
• Wild dogs (Including Wolves)
• Certain pigs, such as wild boar
• Marsupials
• Bears
• Elephants
A full list can be found here

Exotic pets can be very rewarding - but they have very unique needs, which present a lot of work to keep them comfortable in their natural environment. To live long and healthy lives, exotic pets require special care, while all animals need veterinary care; exotic pets will need more specified care, from balanced nutrition, human interaction, and appropriate management of environment.

Each species of exotic pet have its own specific needs for housing, which can range from temperature controlled & humidity controlled, furnished enclosures with other special environment requirements, and each species has different dietary requirements, from live insects to meat, or even specialist dry food that you’ll have to order in.

Let’s take a reptile for instance, you’ll need specific wave length light such as UVA and UVB or cause serious behaviour, physiological, and health issues. Temperature and humidity will have to be controlled to its natural environment or cause serious harm or even death. They have special dietary needs such as live insects for the squeamish people. Even after that, all types of exotic animals require both medical and surgical veterinary care.

Summing the requirements of a single common reptile (It’s best to keep in mind that these are minimum requirements):
• Specific wavelength light
• Controlled temperature
• Controlled humidity
• Appropriate management of sleep schedules
• Special dietary management
• Meticulous enclosure cleaning
• Regular veterinary checks
• Price, energy bills will increase, food can be expensive or difficult to procure, vet costs are expensive with exotic or rare pets, plus the initial cost of buying all the equipment.

While the above are requirements are based on a lizard, it's best to keep in mind that the type of lizard in mind doesn’t require a specialist license, however it is still an exotic animal, which is not native to our country and will require the above equipment and care to be looked after correctly, it’s also worth noting that that animals requiring specialist licences will often require more specialist care.

Unless you can comfortably house, feed and care for an exotic animal it's best to avoid one until you can care for it in the correct manner and have researched the animal and are well aware of all the specialist requirements.

Author Bio:
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.