Reptiles, birds, and small mammals can make wonderful pets. Watching them go about their daily lives, interacting with them, and caring for the can be fun, educational, and deeply satisfying.
It’s important to note, though, that while most exotic pets seem easy to care for, it isn’t always the case. These special pets often have specific requirements regarding nutrition and environment, and need regular wellness checkups just like dogs and cats. Learning about exotic pet wellness is essential to providing a good quality of life for one of these small, but amazing, animals!
Exotic Pet Wellness Care 101
Whether you’re the proud owner of a rabbit, ferret, lizard, parakeet, snake, or other small or exotic pet, your little friend will derive immense benefit from regular veterinary care. Some of the most important points of exotic pet wellness include:
- Preventive Care – Certain exotic pets, such as ferrets, require regular vaccinations much like dogs or cats. Your veterinarian can also check your pet’s stool for parasites, and catch signs of illness or other issues before it becomes problematic. Many species are also prone to certain diseases, some of which are zoonotic (transferable to humans).
- Housing – Your exotic pet’s environment is critical to their well being, and many have narrow requirements when it comes to light, temperature, humidity, and bedding. Your Dupont Veterinary Clinic veterinarian is educated in exotic pet care and can help you come up with a plan to make your pet’s living quarters as healthy and comfortable as possible.
- Nutrition – The nutritional needs of exotic species are as varying as their appearances. Your veterinarian will work with you to ensure that your little guy or gal is getting what they need to stay healthy.
- Dental Care – Some small pets need regular dental care to keep their teeth from growing too long, such as rabbits and other rodents. Certain reptiles, like bearded dragon lizards, also benefit from regular dental checkups and cleanings.
- Nail Trims – Lizards, birds, and guinea pigs living in captivity need help keeping their nails trimmed, as this is normally something that happens naturally in the wild. Overgrown nails can cause pain, difficulty walking, and other problems.
- Fun And Games – Exercise and mental stimulation is essential for small pets living in cages and enclosures. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations when it comes to environmental enrichment for exotic pets.