Your Veterinarian in Homer Glen Offers Advice for Taking Care of Your Exotic Pets
Unlike domesticated dogs and cats, most exotic pets are not domesticated and still possess special physical, mental and instinct-based needs humans are not familiar with. For example, some exotic pets live in colonies in the wild but are forced to adjust to life as a single pet. This prevents them from expressing innate behaviors such as grooming members of their "family", mating, foraging and stocking away food and taking care of their young. Normally, these behaviors would occupy their attention and time outdoors while also satisfying the need to engage in activities natural to them. When exotic pets must adapt as "domesticated" pets, however, they often become anxious, depressed and bored, which leads to abnormal behaviors like aggression, self-destructive actions (biting, pulling out hair, severe scratching) and disinterest in eating. For these reasons and many others, your Homer Glen animal hospital veterinarian strongly encourages people who want to adopt an exotic pet to do extensive research on the pet's nutritional, physical, climatical and social needs.
Things to Consider about Exotic Pet Care
You may have fallen in love with hedgehogs, pot belly pigs or turtles and are want one as a pet but stop and think about these questions before purchasing an exotic pet:
- Have you learned everything you need to know about this particular exotic pet? What kind of food will the animal need? Can you recognize whether the animal may be suffering an illness? Does this pet require special climate conditions?
- What is animal's lifespan? Did you know that some birds and reptiles can live for more than 40 or 50 years? Are you able to commit to what could be decades of loving and caring for your exotic pet?
- Do you have time to properly take care of your pet? Rabbits, hedgehogs, chinchillas and other pocket pets need more care and attention than dogs and cats. Cages need cleaned, diets must be balanced, claws need clipped regularly and wellness checks must be provided by your vet at our animal hospital in Homer Glen. All these things are essential for an exotic pet's health and well-being.
- Is there a risk of your chosen exotic pet could transmit zoonotic diseases such as ringworm, tapeworm, salmonella or viral infections? For example, people keeping monkeys as pets are especially prone to infection by the herpes B virus, which is easily transmitted through monkey saliva.
- Do you have the right kind of environment ready for your pet? Reptiles will need heat lamps, rocks and water reservoirs while nocturnally active hedgehogs require large cages to give him room to run, play and explore.
- Is there an exotic pet veterinarian nearby who can attend to your bird, reptile or otherwise unusual pet when it needs check-ups and treatment for an illness?
Pets Treated at Homer Glen Animal Hospital
In addition to dogs, cats and various pocket pets, we also care for:
- Backyard chickens
- Pot belly pigs
- Guinea pigs
- Rats and mice
For more information about taking care of your exotic pets or to make an appointment with your veterinarian in Homer Glen, please call (708) 301-8200 today.