Can you care for an exotic animal?
Do you want a pet that enjoys human interaction and can be held, or a pet that is happier without regular handling? Keep in mind that handling some pets, frogs for example, can be detrimental to their health. If you want a cute, cuddly animal some exotic pets are not at all suitable.
Commercially prepared foods are available for several pet species but others will require a variety of fresh or fozen foods prepared daily, or even live feed such as mice or insects as a staple in their diets. Consider the time this takes and if you can fit it into your schedule, and even if you can stomach the sight of your pet eating live prey.
Consider what size and type of housing will be necessary. Some animals will require highly specialised living conditions designed to mimic the enviroment they would normally exist in. Consider how heat lamps, constant running water and humidifiers may affect your current living arrangements. You may also need to consider how guests may feel about potentially deadly creatures being in your living room.
It is a good idea to have a veterinarian lined up to care for your pet. For some of the more unusual animals it may be difficult to find a vet willing to see them or who specialises in their required care. So make sure you have access to vet care before choosing that type of pet.
Activity levels and temperament
Some pets are very active and require lots of exercise; others will be quieter (and some are so inactive they might be considered boring). Therefore, like with all pets, you need to consider if you are able to invest the time in keeping them entertained and exercised. Plus, the temperament of some animals must also be considered – aggressive and poisonous animals are a safety issue.
Really think twice about this one: what are the ramifications of choosing a potentially deadly animal as a pet?
Some pets instinctively chew, dig and scratch, and require significant training and a pet-proofed environment. And you thought a dog eating your shoes was bad? Do your research!
Some animals carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans (the term is zoonotic diseases). This is a very important consideration if there are household members with vulnerable immune systems – young children, elderly people or immunocompromised people.