When people think of pets, they normally picture a cute little kitten or a dog, or maybe a hamster, even a fish for a change of pace. But more and more, people are opting for exotic animals as pets. The legality is questionable, and the morals even more so, but disregarding that, which exotic animals even make good pets?
Two Toed Sloth: Known for their laziness, sleep habits, and general lack of productivity, these slow moving creatures are actually starting to be taken in as pets. Sloths live for around 30 years in captivity, and can grow up to around 17 pounds. Replicating their toasty natural environment is difficult, so I do not recommend bringing one to Canada, and their diet in the wild may be hard to come by in your local pet store.
Chinchilla: It’s no question that these fluffy rodents are adorable. Their dense, cloud-like fur and bubbly personalities make them very attractive to those looking for an alternative to a kitten. However chinchillas can be very expensive, and potential owners should be aware that they are nocturnal and spend a large portion of the day sleeping.
Fennec Fox: One of the smaller members of the canine family, fennec foxes have caught on as pets due to how absolutely adorable they are. Not much is known about these big eared, energetic foxes yet, though it is said they act somewhere between a dog and a cat. It has also been said that they may be stressed out by being kept in captivity.
Sugar Gliders: These marsupials are becoming popular as pets, mainly due to their cute appearance and how relatively easy they are to keep. They are social animals that live best in groups, and though their diet is relatively difficult to maintain, they seem to make generally good pets.
Hedgehogs: Though undoubtedly cute, hedgehogs generally act about as prickly as the quills that adorn their tiny bodies. Nocturnal, they are rarely awake at the same time as us, and at the odd time that they are awake (generally midnight) they spend the majority of the time running around on their wheels and just making a racket. Hedgehogs also have to be watched constantly when not in their cage. Every time you put one down on a table, within a minute they will try to walk straight off the edge. In all, hedgehogs are overpriced, aggressive, not cuddly in the slightest, and mostly make horrible pets.
Tea Cup Pigs: Pigs as pets is a very recent trend. Tea cup pigs are sold as babies with the promise that they will stay extremely small and adorable. However, pigs that actually stay between 40 and 50 pounds are few, and they generally grow up to 100lbs. Pigs can make great pets, as their intelligence makes them easy to house train. However, potential owners should be aware of what they are getting into, and be sure to do a lot of research.
Bearded Dragons: Native to Australia, bearded dragons are an interesting choice in exotic pets. Though not exactly cuddly, these lizards are relatively low maintenance and are good exotic pets for those with allergies. They live around ten years, grow to about 18-24 inches, and eat a variety of insects and vegetables.
Scarlet Macaw: These colorful parrots are probably what most people picture when they think of a parrot. They are very large birds, and are extremely loud and talkative. They are also exceptionally colorful and can be aggressive. Before buying one, make sure you are aware of their long lifespans, as these birds can live upwards of 50 years.