If your child has been begging you to add a snake to the family, or maybe an iguana or two, review these pet questions to see if an exotic fits into your lifestyle. Plus, take a look at our article on the pros and cons of owning exotic pets for even more information on snakes, tarantulas, hedgehogs and more.
Do you understand what kind of food they eat? And are you comfortable feeding them?
If that tarantula needs regular feedings of crickets, you need to be OK with that. With some exotics, like mice and rats, feedings are simple; others, like reptiles, can be unfamiliar if you haven’t owned one before.
Do you know how much their food costs?
Exotics’ diets can be costly. Even vegetarians may require a lot of veggies to stay healthy.
Do you know the equipment they need?
Iguanas can outgrow their cage, so you’ll have to buy a bigger one. Cold-blooded critters also need specialized heating lamps to keep them at the right temp.
Do you have a veterinarian?
Not every vet can treat exotics. Take time to find the vet closest to your home and ask. Quiz them also about costs for regular checkups and emergency services. Bills for services for exotics are usually higher since they’re more specialized.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2017.