Vet Blog

Do You Have What It Takes? Avian and Exotic Pet Ownership

February 01, 2022

At Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Practice, we love dogs and cats, but it can get a little boring just working with two species.

We understand why our clients are also interested in expanding the species that they welcome into their homes. Avian and exotic pet ownership isn't for everyone, though. Read on to learn if you have what it takes to care for a pet of a different genus.

Considerations for Avian and Exotic Pet Ownership

Before committing to avian and exotic pet ownership, animal lovers should take the time to think about what they may need to offer their new family member. Things to consider include:

  • Time commitment to your species of choice
  • Ability to provide quality nutrition
  • Ability and space to provide a suitable habitat
  • Potential pet lifespan
  • Social and physical needs
  • Other pets in the home that may affect or be affected by your new addition
  • Ages and limitations of family members
  • Potential home hazards and toxins for your new pet (Teflon, essential oils, etc.)
  • Potential human health hazards (Salmonellosis in reptiles, etc.)
  • Access to a veterinary care facility knowledgeable about avian and exotic pets
  • Ongoing medical care needs (beak trims, dental care, parasite prevention, etc)
  • Financial commitments for ongoing care

Understanding your commitment and changes that might need to be made in your home is very important for success. Most times when a pet doesn't work out it is because the owner did not fully understand the care and behavior of that pet.

Taking the Leap

If you have decided to take the leap into avian and exotic pet ownership, the next thing to do is a lot of research. A bird isn't a bird and a lizard isn't a lizard. Each individual species has very distinct and different needs. Knowing a lot about your species of choice can help set you up for success.

There are lots of great resources for learning about exotic pet species. Books, online forums, and rescues often have lots of information. You can also feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you on your journey to avian and exotic pet ownership.

Avian and exotic pet ownership is a little different than having more traditional pets. There certainly is a learning curve and it does carry a big responsibility. With some dedication and a lot of research, though, owning a less traditional pet can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. We hope that we can be a part of this journey for you.