Exotic Animals: Not Your Average Pet

There are many types of exotic animals that can make great pets for those looking for a companion other than your typical dog or cat. Exotic pets can range from pocket pets like sugar gliders to endangered animals like wolves. By nature, these animals are wild and can be potentially dangerous to humans. Truth is, you’re keeping a wild animal as domestic pet. However, while some exotic animals can make good companions, they often require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance. Here’s a list of exotic animals that can make great pets:


AlpacaAlpacas can make very good pets if they are treated well and you have realistic expectations for the animal. Like any livestock, the more you interact with alpacas as babies the more comfortable they will become with humans as they mature. In time, many alpacas will eat comfortably out of the palm of your hand. You can also train them to lead by a halter. Alpaca fur is made of luxurious fiber, which is known for its fineness, lightweight and luster.


Chinchillas are quick, happy little animals. As part of the rodent family, they are closely related to guinea pigs. Chinchillas have soft fur, clean living habits and lack of odor, which make them great pets! Nocturnal by nature, you can expect your chinchilla to be most active at nighttime. However, they can adapt to daytime activity too. Chinchillas come in a variety of colors, the most common color being silvery gray. For the most part, chinchillas are low maintenance, but they cannot tolerate hot weather well.


Geckos come in all sizes and colors and make wonderful pets. There are over a thousand different species of gecko lizards available, with several of these species livingeckog in human homes. Geckos have many unique characteristics, including the chirping vocalizations they use for communication. They also have one of the longest lifespans of any lizard, living on average, 10-20 years. Geckos are widely available in pet stores. But, before you purchase a gecko, take the time to become knowledgeable of their care and breeding.

Sugar Glider

Also known as pocket-size pets, sugar gliders are cute, friendly and fun! They’re named due to their fondness of sweet food and their love of gliding from tree to tree. One reason why sugar gliders make great pets is because you can take these charming animals wherever you go. Sugar gliders love to they be carried in pockets or pouches. More importantly, sugar gliders are extremely lovable, outgoing and they enjoy being around people.


WolfProbably the most exotic animal to make this list is the wolfdog, which is a crossover between a wolf and a dog. Because they are part wolf, they require more patience and care than a normal dog. Wolfdogs consider themselves as members of the family and are very loyal. Be prepared to own a wolfdog for a long time, as they can live up to 20 years. Wolfdogs prefer to be outdoors, with plenty of room to roam. Keep in mind, the legality of owning wolfdogs in your area. For example, U.S. law states that it’s legal to own a wolfdog if he or she is less than 75 percent wolf. Any percentage over that and you must have a “dangerous animal” permit, which is the same type needed to own a lion.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on !

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