7 Great Options for An Exotic Pet

Dogs and cats are common pets to have. However, some people may want something different and unique that may be a bit out of the ordinary.

If you want an exotic animal as a pet, you must refer to your state laws regarding the ownership of such animals. Sometimes you need a license to keep these animals. The best exotic pet to have is one that is suitable to your preference and lifestyle and safe for you and your family.  

Having an exotic animal as a companion is a liability, and you must be ready for it. Look over this article if you would like to know more about seven great options for exotic pets.

best exotic pets clifton park ny

What Exactly is an Exotic Pet?

An exotic animal is a pet that is not commonly kept as a domestic animal. Most people have cats and dogs. However, there is an entire group dedicated to the out-of-the-ordinary and unusual. This group of creatures is described as exotic pets. Many exotic pets do not take up much space and may even be suitable for people with allergies.

What Are Some Great Exotic Pets?

Exotic animals can be fun to have as pets. Having an exotic pet can be a good learning experience, as they are rare or uncommon and may involve a different level of care. The following include some great exotic pets:

1) Hedgehog

do hedgehogs make good pets

A common misunderstanding about hedgehogs is that they come from the porcupine family. However, hedgehogs are part of the Erinaceinae family. In fact, the hedgehog’s closest relatives include moonrats, shrews, and moles. The only similarity between a hedgehog and a porcupine is that they both have quills.

There are various explanations why hedgehogs are uncomplicated to care for. The most significant explanation is that they are not social animals. They do not need another hedgehog to be happy, and they do not experience separation anxiety. They also have a simple diet, which is comprised of fruit and insects. Many pet stores sell food for them.

The hedgehog’s personality is challenging to pinpoint, as their temperament depends mainly on their interaction with humans. Proper handling can help with socialization, which is essential for bonding.

2) Prairie Dogs

All five varieties of prairie dogs have a place in the squirrel family. Prairie dogs got their name due to them barking like dogs. However, they are considered rodents. Their other relatives include:

  • Groundhogs
  • Chipmunks
  • Marmots
  • Woodchucks

Believe it or not, Prairie dogs can be affectionate, social animals. They have a tendency to develop bonds with the individuals who raise them. However, you should be cautious of their territorial nature. They may not respond well to strangers but are active and playful little critters. Their diet consists of hay, grass, fruits, and vegetables.

3) Savannah Cat

Even though a Savannah cat is a cat, they are gorgeous and uncommon animals. They have long legs and spots, and they resemble the African Serval, which is their ancestor. Since Serval cats are purely wild and should not be kept as pets, the Savannah cat is the next best thing.

When kept as a pet, the Savannah cat is more like a dog, as they like to play fetch and enjoy walking on a leash. You can even train the Savannah to do tricks. These animals also love their humans, especially if they raise them from an early age. The Savannah cat requires more taurine than the typical housecat, and their diet should be specialized.

4) Guinea Pig

A guinea pig is not a swine and belongs to the rodent family. They are often thought of as great first pets for children. They are highly social animals and do their best when living with other guinea pigs. They can be quiet; however, they will often squeak or whistle when they are about to get a treat or human affection. Some of the extraordinary personality traits of the guinea pig include:

  • Curiosity
  • Energetic
  • Gentle
  • Outgoing

Guinea pigs form bonds with their humans and can become very attached, and many shelters have guinea pigs for adoption. These animals eat pellets, hay, fruits, and vegetables. If you want to give them a special treat, roll oats into their pellets, and they will be sure to love it!

5) Cockatoo are cockatoos good pets

The cockatoo belongs to the parrot family called Cacatuidae. Cockatiels are the smallest representatives of the Cockatoo family. Cockatoos are lovely birds that appear to be sporting little mohawks. They are generally black, gray, and white. Cockatoos are extremely social; in the wild, they will feed in flocks as significant as 100 birds. The Cockatoo enjoys having plenty of attention and will have hurt feelings if they do not receive it.

If you have a cockatoo as a pet, you must devote as much time to them as feasible. Cockatoos are incredibly affectionate and form strong bonds with their human. They are also clever and spirited birds and can simulate almost any sound, including words.

The speaking ability of the cockatoo depends on how much they learn from their human and their particular species. Long-billed and Galah sulfur-crested cockatoos tend to speak better than other cockatoos. These birds eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, although pellets are also acceptable food for them. You should offer fresh fruits and veggies to them every day.

6) Ferret

Ferrets are in the weasel family. Their associations consist of polecats, ermines, and stoats. Domesticated ferrets likely originated from the European polecat. Ferrets are carnivores, and they eat only meat. A good snack for them would be a piece of chicken or some turkey.

Ferrets can also eat dry kitten food with adequate protein, but they cannot digest fiber. Due to their fast metabolism, ferrets have about 8 to 10 small meal times daily. Some of the personality traits of ferrets include:

  • Endearing
  • Intelligent
  • Mischievous
  • Playful

The ferret personality is unique to each ferret. Some ferrets are affectionate and cuddle with their humans, and some do not. As far as caring for your baby, if you take excellent care of your ferret, they will return the favor. Make sure that if you have kids, you supervise them while they are with your ferret, as they tend to bite.

7) Sugar Glider

sugar glider flying squirrel good pets

Sugar gliders are from a section of the marsupial family and are related to kangaroos and koala bears. Sugar gliders can make excellent pets and bond closely with their human as long as they are given the care they need. They are social creatures who reside in groups of 5 to 12 when in the wild. They also spend most of their time gliding from tree to tree.

You want to make their living environment as near to their native habitat as feasible. Sometimes bird cages can be a good substitute. You should line the floor of the enclosure with paper towels or hay to make bedding. Sugar gliders are very active little creatures and will use their cage for play and exploration.

The sugar glider’s diet varies, as they can eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and insects. Sugar gliders also have fun personalities. Once the sugar glider is bonded to their human, they become quite affectionate and playful. They often seek human attention once they are connected.


Exotic pets can be fun and exciting to have in your home. If you want to get a pet but are looking for something a little different, try one of the animals listed in this article.

For pet parents in the Clifton Park, NY area, Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park is here to serve you and your exotic pet. Give us a call today at (518) 383-6254 or book an appointment online.

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About Us

Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park was founded in 1989 as Animal Care Hospital of Clifton Park. We began with 10 employees, 4 of whom are still working with us today. The name “Cornerstone” has special meaning to Dr. Knott and his family, both because it symbolizes their commitment to “faith, family, and then everything else,” and because it promotes the animal hospital as a cornerstone of the Clifton Park community.