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Pets can be expensive. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, they all need stuff, lots and lots of stuff. Exotic pets need stuff too, and some of their stuff is far more expensive than the kibble and chew toys you need for a pug. If you are considering an exotic pet addition to your family, you should definitely sit down and figure out the actual expense of owning one. Some of them will require elaborate, and sizable cages or habitats, while others will be happy with a simple wire cage. Some exotics will need very expensive, specialized diets, while others live on easily obtained grains and fruits. Know what your exotic needs to be healthy and happy before making the leap to ownership.
Beyond the high price tag of the animal itself, one of the biggest expenses you will face with an exotic pet is it’s home. The bigger the animal, the bigger the cage it will need. Ferrets, for instance, need a pretty sizable cage, and will also need a place to hide and to sleep. Rabbits need large cages, and should ideally have a double level home so that they can have a separate place to sleep and hide as well as a potty. Snakes need large cages, and many of them will also need a heat source, which could include a simple heat rock or a heat lamp. The lamp will provide more intense heat, but will also require electricity, an additional expense.
What kind of diet will your exotic pet require? How much and how often will he need to be fed? Figure out how much of the food you will need for your exotic, and then figure that into the family budget. If your exotic pet’s diet will cost more than the family’s food for the month, then you should seriously reconsider that particular animal. Also, consider whether you can actually bear to watch your pet eat its food- if your pet eats other animals for instance, will that be an issue?
Are there special treatments or extras that you will need to provide for your exotic pet’s health and happiness? Chinchillas are adorable but need to have a daily dust bath to keep their long, soft fur in good condition. Make sure that you know everything that you can about what your pet needs before bringing him home. Also, consider whether or not vet care if something that is even feasible for your pet choice. Is it worth the cost of an office call for an insect, for instance?
Choose your pet carefully and wisely. Do not buy an animal that you cannot afford to care for in the long run. Make sure that you are not surprised by expenses, and budget accordingly.
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