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7 Exotic Pet Myths You Should Never Believe

Exotic Pets myth

I have an exotic pet!

Can't you tell I'm lucky?

It's true. I have a parrot. I went to a pet trader recently and he told me that the parrot is easy to keep. Okay, he didn't call it exotic pet, but a beginner animal. He said all that was required of me was to buy it from him and then I can take the parrot home and start keeping it as pet. He said unlike dog, you don't have to worry about taking a parrot to the vet, buying expensive food, bed and vaccines. It's like a wild fowl, he said. You need this bird.

Purchase complete.

I have taken my parrot home and arrange a locally made cage pending when I'll be able to get a better perch. When I say a word, the parrot tries to repeat it. When my neighbours talk, the animal is trying to repeat after them. The voices of my neighbours have made the bird to talk even more. And everyone is beginning to notice that I have a pet parrot. A few days ago, my landlord came around and said: what is inside that cage? When I told him it's a parrot, he advised me to ensure it doesn't disturb my co-tenants with its noise.

Unfortunately, I've been sold an animal which I know little about. But the damage has already been done. I can't just release this parrot into the wild. I'll look for a way to make him live happily in my home until I take it to animal sanctuary. But I'll also try as much as I can to advise others to pay closer attention to the type of pet they buy, no matter the myths that is dish out to them. Because anyone raising exotic pet will tell you that keeping them isn't a walk in the park.

The problem usually isn't where to buy these animals, but misinformation from pet traders whose sole interest is in making profits. 

Since exotic pets are beginning to be more popular, these traders can confuse or mislead you using some myths. This can lead to waste of valuable resources and death of the exotic pet in some extreme cases.

This shouldn't be the case. I think it is time to debunk all the exotic pet myths.

So read on and uncover the truth.

Myth #1: Exotic Pets Are Easy To Keep

Online pet traders seem to be peddling this myth all the time.

I have seen images of wild animals being paraded as beginners pet everywhere.

This seems to be the reality and we just buy into it and become one of the frustrated exotic pet keepers.

This is a myth. Recent scientific studies have shown that the biological, behavioural as well as physiological needs of animals are more complex than how people previously thought. So, exotic pets are not easy to keep because it is difficult to humanely provide for them in captivity. 

Take fishes, reptiles and frogs as examples. The more you learn about them and their natural needs for play, the more difficult it becomes to provide more stimulation that can prevent anxiety, panic, fear, frustration, anger, helplessness, depression as well as boredom while they are kept as pets in homes.

Another instance where I want you to know that the sentence “exotic pet is easy to keep” is a myth, has to do with where these animals spend their time in the wild. When they are in their natural habitats, most exotic pets roam freely in a large area. In order to provide similar living space for them, you need enough cage space. By now you should know that animals that require this type of homes are not so easy to keep since their needs can not be reliably met in such environment.

Myth #2: Exotic Pets Demand Little Care

This myth has caused so much harm to exotic pets. Before you are made to believe in this myth, I'll tell you that exotic pets demand adequate care just like any other animals.

Most exotic pet keepers have been made to believe that these animals don't require adequate care and  because of this, many exotic pets are unintentionally deprived of water, food, shelter and veterinary care by their owners.

The fact that exotic pets can not speak out for themselves doesn't mean that they demand little care.

These animals can go through lingering pains as a result of untreated illnesses, wounds, malnourishment, cold and heat stress.

Another instance where you can debunk this myth is by visiting animal care centres or sanctuaries. In animal sanctuaries, a good number of exotic pets are handed in when their former owners realise that caring for them is more demanding than how they were told by pet traders.

Myth #3: Exotic Pets Have Little Behavioural Needs

Have you ever been told that exotic pets have little behavioural needs? This is a myth. Exotic pets do not have little behavioural needs. In fact, their behavioural needs are so complex and unfamiliar that most owners and veterinarians can find it difficult to address.

Exotic pets have specialised needs that can be met by experts who are trained in handling them.

Myth #4: Exotic Pets Are Cute

How many times have you been told that exotic pets are cute? Chances are that you've heard this a couple of times. This is a marketing myth. Most animals are cute including the domestic ones but it's only few that can retain the cuteness to old age.

Don't be like me who couldn't resist the impulse of purchasing a cute baby parrot. The cute exotic pet that you cuddle today might grow up to become a very large monster which can be difficult to tame.

Myth #5: Exotic Pets Require Little Space

There is a minimum space requirement that animals need for their well-being. Therefore, don't believe that exotic pets require little space.

Animals like tiger which many keep as exotic pet can range over thousands of square kilometres in the wild. When you attempt to keep this type of animal as a pet, there's every likelihood that its welfare will be affected.

Before you can bring home any pet either domestic or exotic, ensure that there's adequate space for them to live their lives to the fullest.

This will help in reducing anxiety and other behavioural problems that can affect you and the animal negatively.

Myth #6: Exotic Pets Are Safe For Beginners

Let us debunk this myth by answering the question: is exotic pet safe for beginners? Exotic pets can pose considerable risk to human health and safety but scientific studies have shown many health benefits associated with keeping some domestic animals such as dogs and cats as well as observing fishes in aquaria.

There are many dangers inherent in believing that exotic pets are safe.

One of the dangers is getting too close to some of these animals and contracting diseases from them such as reptile-related salmonellosis.

Another danger is allowing these animals to roam in places where they are not supposed to be. This has led to fatal attacks of children and aged who accidentally encroach on the territory of some exotic pets.

Therefore, don't be carried away by this myth.

Myth #7: Keeping Exotic Pets is a form of Conservation

It is good to believe that by keeping and caring for exotic pets, you're doing your part to conserve them. But this is a myth.

If you've ever seen these animals living and interacting with their natural habitats, you wouldn't like to believe in this myth.

The reason you're often burdened with this myth is because exotic pet traders and breeders are always looking for excuses to perpetuate their thriving businesses.

If you're interested in conserving endangered species, your efforts should be geared towards protecting animals in the wild and not by patronizing people that are crossbreding and inbreeding captive endangered animals for commercial purposes.


I'm currently trying to give my pet parrot the best care, but I wouldn't want you to fall into the same trap.

That's the reason you shouldn't believe in the exotic pet myths that are being peddled by exotic pet traders.

If you have adequate space, time and resources to humanely care for any exotic pet, it can be a rewarding experience. However, don't allow pet traders to cajole you into buying an  animal you won't be able to keep. You can be overwhelmed by the cost and responsibility of caring for it and end up abandoning the animal, or experience dangerous drain of financial resources in an attempt to keep it.