90.5 million families in the US own a pet. Most of them are dogs and cats, the most common domesticated species, but many animal lovers don’t want one of these for a variety of reasons.
They might be too much maintenance, or people may just want something different!
There are other choices. These unique pets are all very different from your regular cat or dog and their care is easy as long as you do some research.
An axolotl is a Mexican salamander that’s becoming increasingly popular in the US. It’s one of the best exotic pets to own as it doesn’t require a huge amount of maintenance, and it’s easy to learn how to care for one.
The main thing to know is that these animals are extremely delicate and you should keep handling them to a minimum. For the most part, you should set up their tank and make sure they have what they need, then leave them alone until it’s time for cleaning and feeding!
You’ll need at least a 15-20 gallon tank and you should make sure it’s secure. Axolotls have been known to jump out!
You should also check out the laws in your state. In some states, it’s illegal to own axolotls and in others, it’s illegal to import them from other states. Make sure you know the rules before you house one.
They can be fed a variety of things, so consult your veterinarian to find out the best thing to feed them and how much.
They’re also fairly easy to find. Looking for an axolotl for sale shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge, and they’re one of the most unique aquatic pets.
Hedgehogs are adorable, and it’s pretty easy to find and keep one as a pet.
Many pet stores even make specially formulated hedgehog kibble now! People will often feed cat or dog kibble to their hedgehog, but it’s important not to do this and actually research their diet. Hedgehogs have very different needs from other species, as they’re not the same.
You can keep them in rabbit cages but make sure the floor is solid, as they may otherwise injure their feet on grates. You’ll have to handle them a bit to get them used to humans but they’re usually friendly and easily warm up, if a little shy with strangers.
One other thing to bear in mind with hedgehogs, however, is that they’re nocturnal. If you plan to keep yours in your bedroom at night, beware! They may keep you up all night running on their wheel and there’s no real way to change their sleeping pattern — it’d also be cruel to try.
Keep them away from your room so you can get some sleep and make sure the temperature is adequate wherever they are in the house. Do not keep them outside.
3. Ball Pythons
If you’re looking for a reptile, you might think the ball pythons aren’t a great choice. They are, after all, large — surely they’re not a beginner snake!
While ball pythons do take some research and you shouldn’t take them on lightly, they do make great pets. They’re friendly and easygoing as long as they don’t feel cornered, and they live for a long time with little maintenance.
Their diet is, like most snakes, rodents. You shouldn’t feed them live mice as there’s always a chance they’ll get injured in the struggle.
An adult ball python will need a pretty big enclosure, so the main thing to bear in mind is space. It’s cruel to keep them in anything under 30-40 gallons.
They will also need heating in their enclosure, so make sure you research this and have a heat lamp at the ready.
Looking for small exotic pets that are furrier than a snake or aquatic animal? How about a degu?
They are cute little rodents that actually crave your attention, unlike many other rodents. They sleep a lot but will run to you for play and pets! That makes them very popular.
Like axolotls, however, it’s important to check the laws in your state. Degus aren’t legal everywhere as many states consider them to be an invasive species.
They are easily tamed and pretty healthy animals, however, so if you are allowed to have one then they may just be perfect for you.
Looking for a pet that’s even more unusual or has some shock factor? How about a cockroach?
Yes — some people keep large cockroach species as pets!
Don’t expect affection or play from these animals but if you’re fascinated, they’re easy to take care of. They don’t bite and don’t require your attention — you simply have to make sure their living area is adequate and provide them with food.
Cockroaches eat fruit and vegetables as well as other things like cat food, and an exotic vet will be able to give you the best advice depending on the size and species you have.
Just make sure no one in the home is afraid of bugs, or they might be in for a nasty shock when you bring your cockroach home!
These Unique Pets Are Great Choices
If you want something that’s easygoing and lower maintenance than a dog, these unique pets make great choices. You still have to do your research to give any animal a great life, but you won’t have to spend as much time training and socializing these little creatures.
For more information and advice about pets, check out the rest of our site!