To make sure your exotic pet gets the right nutrition, know their food habits, stick to their basic food, supply fresh foods, and provide supplements
Exotic pets are getting very popular these days, and many people prefer these unique creatures to ordinary cats and dogs. Cats and dogs are adorable but some of these exotic animals are just too enchanting and interesting to ignore.
However, these unique creatures differ from the usual pets and require special attention & maintenance.
Whatever you choose, be that an amphibian or reptile, ensuring they are healthy is necessary. Unlike typical domestic pets, they have a more versatile diet, ensuring they get their regular dose of nutrition otherwise, they may suffer from various detrimental diseases.
But first, let us talk about animals who fall into the exotic pet category. Later we will focus on their nutritious diet chart & ways to feed them
What are Exotic Pets?
Exotic pets include many species, namely reptiles, birds, insects, amphibians, fishes, etc. Therefore, the definition of exotic pets varies for every person.
However, the most common exotic pets come in many varieties, such as rodents, hedgehogs, snakes, turtles, big cats, lizards, sugar gliders, toads, bearded dragons, chameleons, spiders, etc.
If you want to pet an exotic animal, first make sure you have permission from the authority to pet such an animal. Afterward, focus on proper maintenance & its food habits. Some exotic animals prefer insects like Dubia Roaches, worms, and crickets, some prefer leafy plants and others prefer small rodents.
Nutritious Diets for Exotic Pets
There are different types of exotic pets, and not all of them eat the same food or require the same nutrition. Here are some of the more popular types of exotic pets and their eating habits.
Amphibians are one of the most popular exotic pets. These mainly include frogs & toads such as African clawed frogs, Northern leopard frogs, Fire-bellied toads, and Dwarf clawed frogs.
These amphibians mainly live on insects. However, you can also feed them supplements if required. While feeding them insects, make sure the insects are alive. Otherwise, it will affect their appetite adversely, resulting in poor health conditions.
2. Insects and Arachnids
Insects or arachnids are fascinating little creatures, but always be aware of their venom. These animals include Tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Scorpions, Praying mantises.
Insects & arachnids like spiders mostly prefer pests like—mosquitoes, roaches, clothes moths as food.
Birds are one of the best exotic pets because of their rarity. Some of the most popular exotic birds are African Grey Parrots, Cockatoos, Loriini, and Canary Wing Bees.
Food for exotic birds is easier to get. Most exotic birds love fruits & plant seeds. You can give apples, figs, bananas, eggshells. Pumpkin, melon, and squash seeds are also their favorite.
Petting reptiles are somewhat tricky because some of them grow over 5 feet. So, you need to create or buy a large tank, cage, or vivarium to keep them. The most popular reptile exotic pets are Burmese Python, Bearded Dragons, Anoles, Water Dragons, etc.
The food for these reptiles varies from species to species. Some of these are carnivorous, while some are omnivorous. The reptiles that are insectivores will eat crickets, mealworms, giant mealworms, waxworms, cockroaches, fruit flies, silkworms, tomato hornworms, etc.
The carnivorous reptiles will feed on small lizards, mice, rodents, etc. While supplying them with these foods, make sure the prey is alive because they won’t eat dead rodents. Also, make sure to give the exact amount of these preys. A different quantity may have health consequences.
Rodents are small and are the most common exotic pets. Popular rodents are Hamsters, Mice, Chinchillas, Gerbils, Degus, etc.
These rodents become active at night. They mainly eat veggies, fruits & plant seeds. Some of them are carnivorous. So, they prefer rotten fish, poultry, raw meat, etc. Some rodents love hunting. Therefore, bugs, insects & other small animals also fall under their food category.
How to Provide a Nutritious Diet
Since there are different types of exotic pets, you need to supply them with specific foods. However, “How to serve” plays a vital factor here. These few tips can help you –
1. Stick to Base Diets
While feeding your exotic pet, follow its primary food behavior. For instance, your insectivores prefer insects. You can either supply live insects or feed insect pellets. A herbivore will prefer green leafy plants over other items, it is safer to stick with its basic diet.
2. Always Give Fresh Foods
Keep in mind that these exotic animals are sensitive. So you need to supply them fresh food that they would normally consume out in the wild.
If you provide fruits or vegetables, remove the uneaten ones & supply them with fresh food.
3. Provide Required Supplements
As these exotic pets remain caged, chances are they may suffer from malnutrition. Therefore, you need to provide supplements to ensure proper nutrition.
These exotic pets mainly suffer from a lack of vitamins & calcium. So, giving calcium or vitamin supplements regularly can keep them healthy.
4. Feed live Foods
In case you have reptiles or amphibians as exotic pets, you need to feed them live foods. These exotic pets become eager to see their prey moving. Doing so can also stimulate their feeding behavior significantly.
And if you do not have live feeder insects or small rodents, you can always attach a string to it and move it around to make your reptiles believe that it is alive, So, follow it to ensure your pet’s healthy growth.
5. Remove the Leftovers
If your pet doesn’t eat its food for 6-7 hours, remove the food. Then supply them fresh food. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t overfeed these animals. They may gain weight, which can affect their health as well.
Different exotic pets have different dietary needs. Some need to be fed twice a day, but some grown reptiles do not even need food daily. Before getting a particular pet, you should always check their dietary charts and prepare accordingly.