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Deciding to get an exotic pet can be a big decision.  At AVC, we know that all pets are family and deserve the best care available.  To help you determine which pet is right for you and your family, here are some veterinary guidelines to consider before you get your pet:

COST – Pet costs can be difficult to calculate.  While the initial cost for the pet may be relatively low, exotics often require specific habitats with components that are costly and add up quickly. Special supplements, live food, heat lamps, and pumps or filters may be required for your pet.  Research what your pet will need to start with and what it requires to thrive as a part of your family.  Remember to include veterinary care, food, supplements, and other items in you budget.

TIME – While some pets require less care than others; all pets require some care.  Before you get a pet, determine what its needs are and how you will find the time to meet those needs.  Pets may require handling, grooming, nail trimming, training, and exercise.  Even the low maintenance pets need to be fed and have their habitats cleaned on a regular basis.

LIFE SPAN – Before you get an exotic pet, find out how long you can expect to have it in your family.  While most pets typically do not live as long as humans, some exotics, especially turtles, tortoises, and birds, may outlive their human owners.  If you have or are considering one of these pets, make sure you have someone who is willing to take them if something should happen to you.

HABITAT – Consider your living space and what type of living space your new pet will require.  Determine if you have enough space for your new family member and if you have an area that will meet the pet’s needs.  Ensure there are enough outlets for heating, lighting, and filters.  Find an area that is not too hot or too cold, that has enough shade or sun.  Make sure your pet’s enclosure is large enough.  Check with your veterinarian or pet store to make sure you provide your pet with at least the minimum amount of space it requires for exercise.  Make sure you provide the correct substrate, hiding places, perches, supplements, temperature, lighting, and humidity.  Keep your pet’s water supply fresh and full.  Provide an environment that is safe from other pets, wild animals, and small children.

CHOOSING – At AVC, we recommend researching any pet before you decide to bring it home.  If you have questions or concerns, please ask our doctors or trained staff.  Talk to someone who has the pet that you are interested in.  Contact your local shelter or pet store.  Look online and involve the entire family in the process.  Do not be in a hurry to get a pet.  The right pet for you and your family is out there.  We look forward to meeting your new exotic pet in the future.