A lot of preparation needs to be done if you are buying an exotic animal. Begin by finding out as much as you can about the animal – read books, talk to other owners. Whilst time consuming, this preparatory work will help both you and the animal in the long run. To get you started, consider the following topics:
One of the first decisions you need to make is which type of exotic pet do I choose. Consider your experience, the help available and the environment you are able to create for your pet before choosing. Obviously you also need to consider the animal itself. Some are relatively easy to care for where others should be avoided at all costs. And consider your budget; the initial set-up costs can be high, so do your research thoroughly.
Ensuring that your exotic pet receives a balanced diet which provides all the nutrition it needs is vital.On the whole, exotic pets which eat whole vertebrates are easier to feed as they get all their nutritional needs from their prey. Be aware that this prey may need to be LIVE! Insect or fruit eating pets may need extra vitamins added to their diet.The key is good, solid research. Find out what diet your pet requires and how often it should be fed BEFORE YOU BUY.
Some animals require very much more effort to house than others, requiring a greater commitment from you. Consider:
Do you have enough available space? Arboreal (tree dwelling) reptiles and amphibians need more space than terrestrial species.
For some exotic pets it is necessary to simulate the habitat it would naturally encounter in the wild.
You might need to provide a range of temperatures within the environment to allow the animal to control their body temperature by moving from a cold spot to a hot spot.
Your exotic animal may very well require ultraviolet lighting – there may be a minimum and maximum amount needed each day, as well as access to unfiltered sunlight. An infrared lamp may be needed to help with heating requirements.