Choosing an Exotic Pet

By Michael O Smith  | Submitted On August 14, 2012


The term "exotic pet" covers a pretty broad sweep of animals. For most people it conjures up images of lions, pythons or walruses (well maybe not walruses). In practice it usually refers to creatures much more tame and adaptable as pets. Exotic pets provide diverse and exciting alternatives to your typical household animals. Golden Retrievers and Goldfish for instance. Just typing those words bored me to tears.

Owning an exotic pet isn't without its potential disadvantages. They often require more attention and specialized diets. They may need to be actively socialized or else risk returning to a more feral nature. This can include aggressiveness or self-harming behavior. This article talks about a few species that more and more people are keeping as domesticated pets.

Kinkajou - these lovable critters originate from the rainforest regions of Central and South America. They are closely related to raccoons and ringtails. Of all the species considered as "exotic", Kinkajous are among the best suited as household companions. They are quite sociable and unlike some of the other animals on the list, they are not prone to "wild" odors. Kinkajous are most active during the night so they are well suited for night owls (I mean people who stay up late - not an exotic pet reference). Be warned though - Kinkajous can occasionally display aggressive streaks and sometimes even emit a scream or yell when upset.

Monkey - so pretty much everyone knows what a monkey is. What is less commonly known is that there are several species that can actually make for a domesticated companion. Unless you are a zookeeper by day you should probably stick to the smaller varieties more suited to domestic life - namely spider monkeys and white capuchins. Nothing is cuter than an infant monkey but you must be willing to commit yourself to YEARS of hard work seeing to the rearing and upkeep of these animals. One of the more difficult aspects of looking after monkeys includes their specialized dietary needs which often require lots of preparation time. They also become very attached to particular humans and can react negatively to new people being introduced to the household.

Sugar Glider - nothing ranks higher for exotic cuteness than the tiny sugar glider. These small possums are natives of Tasmania and parts of Australia. These animals possess membranes attached to their toes that enable them to glide short distances through the air (hence the name). Like the Kinkajou, these marsupials are primarily nocturnal. They make great companions for folks who have a lot of time to spend with their pets in the evenings. One important point to mention regarding exotic pets is that many states have very strict laws governing the ownership of many exotic species. Sugar Gliders are among the most widely accepted "legal" species within the United States.

Please note that regardless of the type of pet you choose it is very important to take into account your own capabilities, level of commitment and local regulations regarding the ownership of animals. Choosing to own a pet is an important responsibility and shouldn't be entered into lightly.

5 Pet Birds That Make Great Additions to the Family

By Genie Fletcher  | Submitted On July 26, 2016

Birds are amazing creatures that could be a great addition to your family. When choosing a pet bird, you will want to find the bird most compatible with your lifestyle and living situation. Here are some of the most popular birds that make the perfect pets.

The Parakeet (Budgies)

This is the favorite of all pet birds. These birds are the perfect choice for new bird owners or adults with children living in their homes. Even though the parakeet is not as large as its cousins, it will still require the same type of respect and care as a parrot. Due to their size, parakeets do not require a lot of space and they are easy to maintain. You can choose from a variety of colors, including red, purple, blue and green. Parakeets are smart enough to learn various words and phrases; however, most of these birds are content with whistling and singing. The average life span of a Parakeet is approximately 12 to 14 years.

African Greys

This is one of the most intelligent birds to choose from. African Greys have a very large vocabulary, and once you learn how to care for them properly, these pet birds are easy to train. Due to their intelligence, African Greys can be very demanding pets; this species of parrots become bored quickly when they are not stimulated. When cared for and fed correctly, these birds can live up to three decades or more. If you are looking for a smart and affectionate pet bird, the African Grey is the best choice.

Finches and Canaries

This is a pet bird favorite to choose from. This popular bird measures at five inches or less, and it requires a lot less space in comparison to other pet birds. Finches and canaries have softbills or waxbills, unlike parrots, a species known as hookbills. Since finches and canaries prefer to travel in small flocks, and they rarely pay much attention to humans, this is the perfect bird to choose if you will only be able to provide your pet with minimal interaction. If you provide adequate care for this bird, it can live up to 10 years.


These birds are a member of the parrot family and they are delightful pets to have around the home. Cockatiels are natives of Australia and they are medium-sized creatures. These birds have advanced whistling and singing abilities that your entire family will love. Even though cockatiels have the ability to speak when trained properly, this bird prefers to mimic random and quirky sounds, such as the ringing of a telephone. You can choose from a variety of diverse color options when adopting a cockatiel. The average life expectancy of this pet bird is between 15 and 20 years.


If you want to choose from the parrot species, this is the smallest bird in that family. However, many people prefer lovebirds in comparison to larger parrots that are more demanding. Lovebirds are approximately six inches long and, even though they are small, they have a strong personality and great intelligence. These birds are quiet, making them a great choice for the person who lives in an apartment or condominium. The lovebird has a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

These are some of the most popular birds that pet owners love. Before you take any of these birds home, you should always choose the one that matches your personal lifestyle the most. Choosing a bird that is a good fit for your family is the best way to ensure proper care of your pet.


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