Reptiles and other exotic pets
Exotic pet species, like reptiles and other wild animals in captivity, have the same needs as they would in the wild. So their environmental, dietary and behavioural needs can be challenging.
Before you decide whether you’d like to care for an exotic pet, make sure you’ve done plenty of research before committing to taking one home.
However complex, owners must meet their exotic animal’s needs by law under the Animal Welfare Act.
What to consider
We urge anyone considering an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re a realistic pet.
- Their environment – many exotics need a carefully controlled environment. For example, they may require specialised heating and lighting, or they may become ill.
- The environment must allow for natural behaviour, such as burrowing, climbing or basking.
- How long they’ll live and how large they’ll grow.
- What they eat and how much.
- Size of enclosure – this may need to increase as the animal grows.
- Whether the animal needs kept alone or with others.
- Whether the animal’s behaviour fits in with your lifestyle – will they be active at night (nocturnal) or during the day (diurnal)?
- Is there a specialist vet for the species nearby who can treat this animal if they become sick?
- Do you need a licence or other legal paperwork to keep them?
Find out more by downloading and reading our specialty tailored exotic care sheets, which will be coming soon.