More and more people keep lizards, snakes, tarantulas, chinchillas, and tortoises, as pets and there are different challenges of caring for exotic pets. It can be fun and exciting keeping exotic pets at home, however, each type of pet has its own needs. One of the challenges of having exotic pets is to provide the proper environment and food.

In this article, you will find out some common challenges of looking after exotic pets and also how to look after pets that more unusual.

Common Challenges of Caring for Exotic Pets

Here are some of the common issues facing exotic pet owners:

  • Longevity. Some exotic pets can live a long time, in fact, sometimes longer than their owners! For example, tortoises and some parrots can live between 50 and 100 years.
  • Dietary requirements. Exotic pets may have special dietary requirements and it could be difficult to get proper food. Some reptiles need live prey to eat, so you should think about your ability to feed your pets properly.
  • Local laws. There are federal and state laws regarding keeping exotic and wild pets. Some states outlaw owning animals that are caught in the wild. In other states, you may need a license to keep certain pets.
  • Diseases. Many reptiles carry Salmonella bacteria and extra care should be taken when handling these types of pets.

Meet the Challenge of Caring for Exotic Pets

Let’s look at how to meet the challenge of caring of some of the most popular types of exotic pets.


Snakes are very popular pets to keep at home and are very easy to care for. There are many species to choose from and some are very colorful. Snakes are also great pets for people who have allergies. Of course, many species of snake are poisonous and aren’t suitable if you are a first-time snake owner. Remember, that snakes require live prey like mice or insects to feed on.


Chinchillas are great pets for their antics and fascinating behavior. They thrive best in a cool climate with low humidity, so if you live in a southern state, you should have air conditioning at home. To care for chinchillas, you need to provide chinchilla dust for their regular dust baths. However, chinchillas are nocturnal animals and are more active at nighttime.

Tortoises and turtles

If you want to keep reptiles as a pet, then a tortoise or turtle can be a great choice. They are fairly harmless and also bond with their owner. However, it can be a challenge to care for these exotic pets. They need special diets and lighting to keep them warm and healthy. They also can’t be left for long periods of time. Tortoises and turtles also carry Salmonella.


Ferrets are very playful exotic pets and that are easy to handle and rarely bite. However, when it comes to caring for them, ferrets present some extra challenges. For example, male ferrets emit a strong odor that you can’t do anything about. Also, veterinary care for ferrets can become quite expensive if they develop diseases. In some states, it’s illegal to keep ferrets as pets.


Spiders are one type of exotic pet that gets reactions from people. For some people, there can be nothing more frightening than handling a large tarantula. Most spiders are quite easy to keep as pets; however, you should know how to handle them because tarantulas have a venomous bite and cause itching when handled. Depending on the environment where you live, tarantulas may need their cage heated. You should feed them live crickets or other small insects.