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Long Haired Chinchilla Mark of Allington, Sticks His Tongue Out for the Camera, December 1958
Long Haired Chinchilla Mark of Allington, Sticks His Tongue Out for the Camera, December 1958 Photographic Print
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S'up Ladies!
S'up Ladies! Magnet
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A Large Tarantula Spider on a Mans Arm
A Large Tarantula Spider on a Mans Arm Photographic Print
Moore, W. Robert
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Close View of a Llama with Tassels in its Ears
Close View of a Llama with Tassels in its Ears Photographic Print
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Mixed-Breed Pigs
Mixed-Breed Pigs Photographic Print
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Fox and Winter Coat
Fox and Winter Coat Art Print
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Monkey, Silver Springs, Florida
Monkey, Silver Springs, Florida Art Print
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Striped Skunk
Striped Skunk Photographic Print
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Brown Pig
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Close-up of Three Llamas
Close-up of Three Llamas Photographic Print
Boyer, David
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Exotic & Mics. Pets

When you think of pets, whatís the first animal that comes to mind? Itís pretty likely that your answer was a dog or cat, but these days, more and more people are opting for something a little more unique. Exotic pets are increasing in popularity every day, but what, exactly, is an exotic pet?

Obviously, animals such as monkeys and chinchillas make the list, but some slightly more common pets are also considered exotic. Surprisingly, rabbits are among them, despite being the third most popular pet in the United States. Birds also make the list, as do fish, turtles and many types of rodents.

As children, many of us probably raised hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs, all of which are thought of as exotic pets. As we found out, these little animals are delicate and donít have the longest life spans. Hamsters usually live about two years in captivity, though a well-maintained guinea pig can live up to eight years. Theyíre also a little more work than you might think; guinea pigs need to have their nails trimmed and their coats brushed regularly. Their teeth need to be monitored, and they even need to be checked for fleas.

Rabbits are another delicate exotic. They can live up to about 10 to 12 years, but they need quite a bit of care. Theyíre billed as low-maintenance pets, but thatís simply not true. In fact, they require much closer monitoring than many people realize. Their physical health is fragile, and they can become quite ill if stressed as well.

Ferretsí popularity has been on the increase for years, and it isnít showing signs of a slowdown. These rambunctious fur balls are great fun to have around, but they can be difficult to catch if they get loose, and it can also be tough to find them the proper food. Ferrets need regular check-ups, just like cats and dogs, and should be vaccinated against rabies and distemper.

If you want an exotic pet that will be around to keep you company for a good, long time, a turtle is a good choice. They can live for more than 20 years with the proper care. Most turtles are happy in 10- to 20-gallon aquariums; semi-aquatic turtles need to have access to both water and land, with a hiding spot available near the land mass. Other types of turtles may require only water or land.

Perhaps the most low-maintenance pet of all is the fish. Approximately one in three United States households feature a fish aquarium. There are numerous species of fish, from the goldfish so commonly found as childrenís pets to the wildly exotic. Different types of fish require different food and different care, so be sure to do thorough research when investing in a pet fish.

These are just a few of the best-known exotic pets in the world. Lizards, snakes, frogs and many other animals can also make excellent pets in the right homes. It just takes a little extra research and a little extra effort.

 

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