It’s no secret that people who have pets are usually obsessed with them. Dog owners and cat owners are often duking it out trying to prove which four legged creature is better. The truth is, any pet is a great pet – and we’re all right.
Dogs and cats are among the most popular pets, outside of rodents, birds and reptiles. Dogs and cats both come with hefty responsibilities; you have to train them, feed them, let them exercise and even more. Even when you think you’ve got the pet owning thing down, there’s something new to be learned everyday (for both pet and owner).
Going over to a friend’s house and seeing that they have a dog or a cat is nothing to be shocked about at all – but imagine if you go over to a friend’s house and they have a pig or a fox running around? That’s definitely something you don’t see everyday. Believe it or not, people are allowed to own exotic pets – within reason, and with a lot of permits and research. Owning an exotic pet isn’t easy. Not only do you have to educate those around you about the animal, but you also have to convince them that you’re passionate about the animal and not just looking forward to all the Instagram attention. Here are 15 exotic pets that people around the world can own.
Outside of the unusual name, capybaras are extremely unique. It’s not too common to find them as pets, but there’s one woman in Texas who owns one and has a huge internet following – but her goal is to educate people about them. Capybaras are related to guinea pigs, but they are way bigger. They’re the biggest rodents in the world and can reach up to 100 pounds and four feet long. It’s recommended that capybaras are single pets, and not in a home with children, as they have huge teeth and aren’t as forgiving as dogs.
Anybody who has gone through elementary school knows exactly what a stickbug is. Stickbugs are extremely interesting because of their aesthetics. They truly look like sticks but they’re a lot more fun to watch. Stickbugs usually reach three to four inches long and are even able to live several years if they’re given the proper care. Stickbugs need spacious, tall homes and also need companions to be more comfortable.
13. Mini donkeys
Mini donkeys might not seem all that “exotic,” but they sure are fun. Going to somebody’s place that has a mini donkey would undoubtedly be a blast. Even though they have the word “mini” in their name, mini donkeys can be three feet tall and weigh between two hundred and three hundred fifty pounds. Mini donkeys need plenty of area to roam, but they make pretty great pets because they’re great with children and are capable of being affectionate.
12. Sugar gliders
These tiny, cute creatures are a part of the opossum family. Sugar gliders are named so as they are able to glide through the air after leaping. These little rodents are actually very small, usually weighing less than a pound and only a few inches long. Interestingly, sugar gliders are companion animals, so they have to be purchased in pairs or more or else they’ll get lonely.
A wallaby is in the marsupial family, so owning a wallaby is almost like owning your very own kangaroo. Owning a wallaby is something you do when you live somewhere like Australia, but not in the states. The wallaby can grow up to forty-one inches and can weigh up to fifty-three pounds. Wallabies are also companion animals, so they need some friends. Additionally, they don’t house train well so that’s something to be prepared for.
Most individuals in the United States aren’t allowed to own skunks as it is prohibited in a lot of areas. People who do own skunks say that they are really affectionate and are sensitive with interesting personalities. The biggest question is: what about the scent glands? Most domesticated skunks have their scent glands removed at four weeks old so that it’s not an issue. Domesticated skunks are able to live for ten years or more.
Most people cringe at the thought of having any sort of bug as a pet, but it’s even worse when it’s a cockroach. Cockroaches are revered as the dirtiest, scariest bugs – even mentioning that you might have seen a cockroach at an establishment is enough of a turn off to keep tons and tons of people away. However, some people like to keep them as pets. In order to have them though, some states require permits because of how big of a hassle it could become. Cockroaches are considered good pets because they live in small enclosures and do not bite or sting – but they do hiss.
8. Fennec Fox
Foxes are often seen as sleuthy, sneaky animals, but they sure do make cute pets. It’s possible to own red foxes and other variations of foxes, but Fennec Foxes are the easiest in terms of size. They will only grow up to be the size of a chihuahua and are capable of being litter trained, so it’s almost like having both a cat and a dog all at once. This fox is very playful so they require tons of exercise and a human that can keep up with their energy.
People who are cat fans will love the serval, as it is a cat that comes from central and Southern Africa. The servals almost look like mini leopards – or really, really big house cats. This animal is able to live up to nineteen years, so it’s definitely a big commitment for anybody considering getting one. Servals are considered the most successful out of all hunting cats, so it’s important to consider that when looking into buying one.
Rodent fans will certainly love the chinchilla. Chinchillas kind of look like really fat or chunky squirrels, but even cuter. These little rodents are capable of living anywhere from fifteen to twenty-two years, so like any pet, they are a huge commitment and one worth considering heavily. Chinchilla fur is so dense that water often can’t get down to its skin; so to bathe themselves, chinchillas just roll around in dust.
If the name wasn’t already weird enough, then you truly have to see an axolotl in person to see just how weird the creatures really are. Axolotls are an interesting type of salamander, but they live in the water. These amphibious reptiles are from Mexico. Something extremely unique about animals like these is that they are able to regrow their body parts.
Recently, it seems as if more and more people are acquiring hedgehogs. Hedgehogs aren’t exactly exotic, but they sure are cute and rare to find as a pet. Hedgehogs sadly only live three to eight years, so they are a little bit of a lower commitment than some other animals on this list. They are small, spiny mammals and come from Europe, Asia and Africa. While you’d think hedgehogs are all over fruit and vegetables, they prefer bugs – their favorites are worms.
Like the cockroach, tarantulas aren’t exactly widely accepted by everybody. Although they are plenty fuzzy, they aren’t the kind of fuzzy friend that most people like to have as their companions. Tarantulas are capable of living ten to twenty-five years – much longer than your average dog. According to CBS, the longest recorded living tarantula was 49 years old. Tarantulas molt their skin, kind of like snakes, and will grow a new shell over their body that eventually hardens.
Out of nowhere, the internet was taken by storm a few years back with baby sloth pictures. From then on, the whole world kind of became obsessed with the slow animals. Sloths are obviously lazy and low maintenance, but owning one is still a huge responsibility. Sloths often eat different vegetables than the things we can get from the grocery store – most of our common vegetables are too high in fiber for sloths, so there is a bagged food that you can buy them just like any other pet.
Believe it or not, you’re able to own an armadillo in some spots of the world. Armadillos are definitely not the cuddly creature most people grow up wanting, but they definitely are exotic! Unfortunately, armadillos don’t do much. They sleep and burrow for up to sixteen hours a day, and when they are awake, they are eating all different types of insects. These animals have terrible eyesight as well, so they usually just depend on their sense of smell to get them from one day to the next.