Exotic Pets Including Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Lizards and More

Exotic pets represent a growing sector among pet owners. So it is very important for those in the pet industry to familiarize themselves with these fascinating creatures.

For one, they appeal to people who lead hectic, busy lives, because they quite often are far easier to care for than traditional pets, such as cats and dogs, and less costly.

Those that are higher maintenance appeal to people because of their unique characteristics and personalities; they may be better choices for people who are allergic to pets; they don't bark; you don't have to walk them; and other factors.

On the following pages, you will find links to comprehensive articles about:

  • Birds
  • Bearded dragons
  • Chinchillas
  • Ferrets
  • Guinea pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Hermit crabs
  • Leopard geckos
  • Rabbits
  • Fancy Rats
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Steppe Runners
  • Sugar gliders

Just click on the numbered panels below for photos of and info about these cool pets, along with links to in-depth articles about them, with tips about their proper care and suggestions for the food and supplies they require.

Pet groomers may be interested to know that more and more exotic pets parents are now seeking grooming services for their critters, which you can read about here

Meanwhile, you can read about some great products for these pets in the articles Cool Hangout for Small Pets and Meet the Orbiciser Leak-Proof Small Pets Ball.

Bird is the Word: About Our Fine Feathered Friends

Birds have rather complicated, species-specific dietary requirements. Photo courtesy of Thomas Marent/Getty Images

Birds make great pets. They are intelligent, amusing and - depending on the species - can live for a very long time with the proper care.

They are also very high-maintenance pets that require specific types of foods and toys to ensure their optimal health and wellness

In addition, there are a number of cool specialty products for pet birds such as bird diapers!

Learn all about the needs of species from parakeets to parrots with these articles.

To read about currently popular bird trends, please see my article

The Beloved Bearded Dragon

The lively, lovable bearded dragon is now the most popular pet lizard in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Jon Levy

Although not introduced in the U.S. until the 1990s, the popularity of the bearded dragon has exploded ever since.

Not only are these pets cute and amusing, they bond readily with their human families, and are relatively easy to care for.

Conversely, beardies (as their fans refer to them) have some rather complex dietary requirements. 

Thrilling Chinchillas!

Chinchillas originally hailed from the Andes region of South America. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Previously sought after among those in the fur trade, who prized them for their magnificent coats, chinchillas are now very popular exotic pets.

It's no wonder, as they are highly intelligent, playful, lively, loving and clean. Read all about their history, proper care and cute, quirky habits by clicking on the above link.

Fabulous Ferrets

Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber.com

When it comes to exotic pets, ferrets rule! In fact, they are now the third most popular pets in America, period, eclipsed only by cats and dogs.

These cute, playful, smart little rascals are also pretty high-maintenance, and require very specialized care, feeding, habitats and toys.

You can learn lots about them by clicking the above story link, which contains exhaustive info about these most enchanting of pets.

Gregarious Gerbils

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Gerbils won the hearts of people in the U.S. from they moment they were introduced in the country, in the 1960s.

These pets are low-maintenance, inexpensive, easy to care for, amusing and adorable.

But these active, curious, highly social little creatures do require specific care, diets, habitats and toys, which you can learn about in my article.

Beguiling Guinea Pigs

Photo courtesy of Maki Yamada/Guinea Pig Fashion

Historians claim that guinea pigs have been around since 5000 B.C. And their popularity as pets the world over continues unabated.

Not only are they smart, cute and cuddly, they are also among the easiest to care for exotic pets; they enjoy a long lifespan with proper care; and they are most laid-back.

Be sure to check out my article About Guinea Pigs, which contains lots of tips for retailers and pet parents alike.

Meanwhile, these pets have become quite the furry fashionistas, with cavy couture now taking center stage. To read about what piggies with a passion for fashion are wearing, click here.

Hats Off to Hamsters!

Hamsters on the go can cruise in style in exercise toys such as race cars. Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber.com

Hamsters are arguably the most popular of all the small pets, and have remained so for more than 70 years.

It's no wonder, since they are inexpensive to acquire and care for, they are low maintenance and oh-so cute. 

There are also a number of very cool hamsters toys on the market, such as the pictured Super Pet Critter Cruiser. (Compare Prices)

To read about another cool hamster toy, see the Orbiciser Leak-Proof Pet Ball.

Meanwhile, hamsters are hotter than ever, thanks to their starring roll as hip hop hammys in the wildly successful TV ad campaign for the Kia Soul automobile.

Hamsters are really fun pets, for both pet lovers and retailers.

Hamsters are really fun pets, for both pet lovers and retailers.

Humble Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are popular summertime pets that can live for years with proper care. Photo courtesy of DBKphoto

Hermit crabs are omnipresent pets in seaside resorts such as Ocean City, N.J. The crusty critters are so popular there that the town even hosts an annual Miss Crustacean hermit crab beauty pageant! Talk about a great promotional idea!

On a more serious note, many people are completely in the dark about how to care for these pets which can actually live for a very long time with the right food, housing and TLC. I hope that pet shops who are considering handling these quirky pets will learn all about this from the above articles.

Lovely Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are fun, lively, cute pet lizards. Photo courtesy of GK/Vikki Hart/Getty Images

Leopard geckos are among the most popular pet lizards, for good reason.

They're inexpensive, rather low-maintenance, odor-free and fun.

Learn all about their proper care by clicking on the link above.

Bunny Love

With the proper care, feeding and training, bunnies make delightful pets. Photo courtesy of Pets Photography Studio

Rabbits are my personal all-time favorite exotic pets.

In addition to being arguably the cutest creatures on the face of the planet, they are whip-smart, affectionate, easy to train (they can even be litter trained!), clean and highly amusing.

With proper care, they can live as long as dogs and cats.

Read all about what these cuddly critters need via the above link.

Fancy Rats

Despite their bad raps, rats are highly intelligent, affectionate and easy to train. Photo courtesy of Pets Photography Studio

Although they may be "eek!"-inspiring to the uninitiated, fancy rats (rodents bred specifically as pets) are pretty amazing companion animals.

They are so intelligent, affectionate and playful that many pet experts have likened them to dogs!

I hope that pet retailers and other industry professionals will familiarize themselves with these pets, because their popularity is growing.

The Hippy, Hippy Snake!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/flickr

Although once long reviled and misunderstood, snakes are now wildly popular exotic pets, and are rapidly becoming the stars of the pet reptiles world.

Aside from the fact that they are low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for, these critters make fascinating pets.

Spunky Skunks

Believe it or not, skunks are very loving, intelligent animals that make great pets. Photo courtesy of Tim Fitzharris/Getty Images

Like rats, skunks may elicit "ews!" and "icks!" from those who aren't familiar with the kinds that are bred as companion animals.

But those who have ever parented these cute little devils (those bred as pets are de-scented, by the way) can attest that these are some truly adorable exotic pets.

Skunks are highly intelligent, enormously affectionate and form very deep bonds with their humans.

They are also way high-maintenance. But for people who have the right lifestyles and lots of patience, skunks make absolutely delightful pets.

Stupendous Steppe Runners

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Move over, leopard geckos and bearded dragons.

There is a new reptile kid on the block called the steppe runner, which you can read all about here.

These lively lizards are very unique in that they are not the least bit bashful, and they enjoy being handled by humans.

These reptiles make terrific pets for both experienced herps keepers and novices, especially kids.

Sweet Sugar Gliders

Photo courtesy of Joel Sartore/Getty Images

Sugar gliders are some of the most unique exotic pets of all, due to their many fine attributes.

They have very lively personalities, they are extremely affectionate, they live to a ripe old age with proper care (from 12 to 15 years) and they are rather easy to care for.