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Surprising Exotic Pet Facts You Should know About

Updated on September 20, 2019
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Robert Fillman is a dedicated pet lover who has devoted his life to researching different animals and how to properly care for them.

A beautiful parrot
A beautiful parrot | Source

Fun facts about exotic pets

1. Some reptiles break off their tails to save their lives

Imagine a predator trailing a lizard and then suddenly grabs it. Some reptiles defend themselves by releasing their tails and running away. This literally means that the tail is left wiggling and this distracts the predator. Meanwhile, the reptile is able to escape safely. Reptile tails regrow after several months of the initial breaking off. Exotic animal experts have however noted that the tail that regrows is usually in a different color and texture compared to the original tail. This is highly surprising to say the least.

2. Rabbits are nasal breathers

Unlike humans, rabbits can only breathe through noses effectively. They are therefore referred to as obligate nasal breathers. If you have a rabbit and notice that it is breathing through its mouth, there is definitely a cause for alarm. The rabbit should be taken to a vet immediately. Excessive mucus, infection and inflammation of the nasal passage in rabbits can cause difficulty in breathing.

3. Guinea pigs need vitamin C supplementation

If you want to keep these exotic pets, it is pivotal that you supplement with vitamin C every single day. Feeding them with foods rich in the vitamin is simply not enough. Because they do not make their own vitamin C, guinea pigs that are deficient will have teeth and gum problems, collagen issues and even dysfunctional blood vessels. With a daily supplement, these problems are prevented effectively.

4. A majority of birds have one ovary

Did you know that most birds function with only one ovary? This is interesting to note as most birds only have the left ovary and left Fallopian tube. Experts say that before the bird hatches, both ovaries are present and just one ovary matures and becomes functional. As alluded to above, a few birds do have both ovaries; a good example being the Australian kiwi bird.

5. Hold a ferret by the scruff of their neck and they will yawn

Exotic pet vets know how to get a ferret to open their mouths for an examination. All they have to do is hang them by the scruff and they start yawning. This is an exciting reflex action that always works. For a ferret owner, this is also a great way to remove any foreign object from the pet's mouth.

An exotic creature
An exotic creature | Source

Helpful tips when thinking about an exotic pet

Exotic pets are certainly not like your ordinary pets like cats and dogs. They are special and they need extra care. To this end, you have to consider their needs starting with diet, housing, health and so on. Temperature is another top consideration and all these things must be perfect for an exotic pet to thrive. From reptiles to small mammals and birds, every exotic kind has its own unique needs. It is also wise to look for an exotic pet veterinarian; for that specialized care.


This is a pet-specific issue and you will have to do a lot of research to know what your pet of choice needs. As mentioned above, for example, guinea pigs need supplementation of vitamin C every single day. Nutrient deficiency will spark health issues and to this end, getting the diet and supplements right will ward off any major health problems. Also, some exotic pets may pose a danger to other pets you might have in your home. Consider this and take necessary precautions. Some pets are vegetarian while others will prefer mice and crickets. It is upon you to provide the most suitable nourishment for your exotic friend.


Just like diet, every exotic pet has their own special needs. Before adopting your pet, consider whether they climb, burrow or use litter boxes. Ferrets for example will need a litter box. Reptiles need a reliable heat source and birds will certainly need a good cage. Their sizes will also determine their housing needs. Some birds are bigger than others and to this effect, you must be very specific to meet the housing needs of your preferred pet. Do some digging beforehand and get expert advice on the best housing in this regard.


Some people are oblivious about the emotional needs of their pets. Exotic pets have varying temperaments and behavior. You need to create the most conducive environment for your pet. If you love to cuddle, a reptile may not be ideal. If you spend some good time at home, a social parrot could be your dream exotic pet. It is all about enhancing the quality of life of your pet and for yourself. Temperament and behavior play a huge role in choosing wisely.

Follow the law

Talking about exotic pets is great but you can only get one if it is legal in your location. There are many restrictions with exotic pets for obvious reasons; to avoid smuggling, to prevent disease, to protect the animals and so on. If you ignore the law, there will be more consequences to grapple with later. If you have no idea about what is allowed or not, take time and do some due diligence. You don't want to spend a fortune and bond with an exotic pet just to have them taken away from you.

Keep in mind

There are many restrictions with exotic pets for obvious reasons; to avoid smuggling, to prevent disease, to protect the animals and so on. If you ignore the law, there will be more consequences to grapple with later.

a rare reptile
a rare reptile | Source

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2019 Robert Fillman


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