The Basics of Exotic Care

Whether your exotic pet is furry, feathered, or scaled, it’s important to recognize the same things that make exotics fascinating are also what make their care so unique. To provide the best for your pet, familiarize yourself with the following aspects of his or her health:

Consistent veterinary care

Establish a good relationship with a veterinarian who understands exotics. Knowing how healthy your exotic pet is can be difficult to gauge, as changes can be quite subtle. At SweetWater Veterinary Hospital we have expertise in providing medical care to birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for your one-of-a-kind animal.

Appropriate housing

Providing your pet with the right enclosure is a fundamental necessity. This includes using the recommended bedding for your pet and keeping it clean to prevent illness and infection (change bedding at least once a week). Cages should be roomy enough to allow for exercise, while secure enough to prevent escape. The temperature and humidity within the enclosure is very important for certain species, like reptiles. Please fill out our history forms while at home before coming to your appointment so you can accurately describe what you provide for your pet.


Along with housing, feeding your pet the correct diet is the foundation to health and wellness. Because exotics require specialized food, even slight deviations from the recommended diet can be harmful to your pet. Depending on your companion, he or she may also require supplements. Consult with our team if you have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs.


Psychological and behavioral enrichment is necessary for all animals. An important component of health and quality of life relies on the ability to carry out normal behaviors. For pets in enclosures, the trick is to keep their surroundings interesting by adding elements (wheels, tubes, mirrors, etc.) and places to hide.

Along with these aspects of exotic pet husbandry, it’s important to learn proper handling techniques, temperature/climate requirements, and appropriate psycho-social needs (some pets thrive on companionship while others do better on their own).








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