Exotics: How do you take care of them?

Exotic animal ownership has increased in popularity in recent years, and as more varied species become available, this increase is set to continue.

One of the most important parts of exotic pet ownership is husbandry. This is a wide term that includes feeding, housing conditions like temperature, humidity, sunlight, and all other aspects of keeping an exotic pet. We can see how important husbandry is when we consider that over 90% of our exotic pet appointments at The City Vet Clinic have to do with pets getting sick because of mistaken husbandry.

Keeping dogs and cats is easier as we have everything available for them, like food that we buy at the store; a few hundred brands to suit all tastes and budgets. And as mammals that we have domesticated for thousands of years, we usually know what they need to thrive.

Things can be very different however when it comes to lizards, rodents, or wild animals. Taking care of exotics requires a deep understanding of their needs. We can achieve that by studying their natural habitats and knowing their extremely precise and narrow nutritional requirements.

For example, a bearded dragon would spend most of its daytime under the sunlight in the wild. Having a pet like this without providing adequate sun or UV light exposure will lead to Vitamin D deficiency and all the problems that this may bring. Guinea pigs cannot produce their Vitamin C so it is mandatory to supplement this with fruits and veggies that are rich in Vitamin C or with ready-made vitamin supplements. Savannah cats survive by hunting birds and eating them in the wild. They will eat not only the meat but also the bones, some of the feathers, and the stomach content. As pets, they will not eat processed cat food directly and would rather eat raw chicken. Many owners will find it easy to feed savannah cats with chicken breast that does not give enough calcium for bone development and will, later on, makes the bone brittle and become more prone to fractures.

Taking care of these types of animals can present numerous challenges to owners. We can discuss a long list about wrong husbandry and the catastrophic often lethal results that it could bring. But with the help of our exotic vet experts, we can provide you with professional exotic animal husbandry and breed-specific nutritional counselling. Moreover, the most important thing that you need to have in mind, is to have adequate knowledge and to do more research before acquiring an exotic pet and of course to visit an exotic vet as soon as you get one for a full check-up.

If you need comprehensive assistance in caring for your exotic companion, our team of experts can help. Contact our clinic today at 04-3883990 to schedule a consultation.

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