Exotic Pet Statistics and Facts - Curious Minds Want to Know

Exotic Pet Statistics and Facts - Curious Minds Want to Know

Sep 28 , 2022

Craig Miller

Exotic Animals as Pets

Most sources consider Exotic pets to be animals you wouldn't normally see around a house. They include animals such as birds, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, and hedgehogs. Animals such as wildcats, kangaroos, and primates are less commonplace. An exotic pet is virtually any animal kept in a human household that isn't a cat, a dog, or a common farm animal.

Why do people have exotic animals as pets? Pet owners often adopt these animals for the rich experience of learning their habits, characteristics, and social behaviors. Others adopt them due to an allergy in the household or the lack of time to walk or care for a more conventional pet. Sometimes it's because an exotic pet has a long lifecycle and the pet owner prefers to keep the same pet for many years.

Whatever the reason for adopting them, exotic pets can be exciting, fulfilling family members.

Why Have a Pet?

What draws humans and animals to bond together? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the first domesticated dogs appeared 15,000 years ago. For the pet, the human provides care and feeding. But we humans receive much more, including the companionship, comfort, love, and humor that can result in many health benefits:

  • Reduced stress
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Social support
  • A more active lifestyle

Pets Also Benefit Children

Children are fascinated with animals, and when a child has a good relationship with a pet, the child reaps many benefits:

  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Improved behavior
  • A better understanding of others
  • Heightened immunity
  • Less anxiety

Exotic Pet Ownership Statistics

It's astounding how many exotic pets there are in the U.S. As you might guess, the greatest number of U.S. pet-owning households have dogs, cats are second, and freshwater fish are third. But many U.S. households have pets that are not quite so typical.

  • 50% of all U.S. pets are exotic
  • 13% of U.S. households include an exotic pet
  • Exotic pets are a $15 billion a year industry
  • The U.S. imports 11 million aquarium fish each year
  • A chameleon can live up to 10 years
  • Goldfish can live up to 43 years
  • Large parrots and macaws can live up to 100 years

Exotic Animal Count in the U.S.

  • 139.3 million freshwater fish
  • 20.3 million birds
  • 18.8 million saltwater fish
  • 14 million small animals
  • 9.4 million reptiles

A Few Fun Exotic Pet Facts

  • Birds usually have only one ovary
  • Rabbits cannot breathe through their mouths
  • Guinea pigs do not make vitamin C and need a supplement
  • Some reptile species sacrifice their tails to escape predators, regrowing them later
  • Of all households with exotic pets in the U.S., the largest number have fish
  • Pigs are hypoallergenic
  • Chocolate is toxic for birds
  • Turtles recognize their owners

Exotic Pets for Kids

If you've decided to adopt an exotic pet for your child, doing a little research ahead of time is a good idea. Learn which animals can deal with kids' rambunctious natures with patience and good humor. Find out about care for the animal and the availability of food and other necessary products.

  • Rats, despite their reputation, are intelligent, clean, generally don't bite, and love to play.
  • Guinea pigs are typically easy to handle and seldom bite. They are affectionate and energetic.
  • Gerbils may take some time to warm up to your child, but they can be quite friendly.
  • Bearded dragons are lizards native to Australia that can tolerate handling and might even perch on a child's shoulder.
  • Mice take little care but are usually best observed by children rather than handled.
  • Leopard Geckos are easy to look after and allow gentle handling. They need to eat live insects.
  • Hamsters like to be housed alone and can become quite tame with time and patience.

Top Three Exotic Pets for Apartment Dwellers

Just because you don't have a yard for an animal or work all day in an office, it doesn't mean you have to forego the joy and comfort of a pet. Many pets quickly adapt to apartment living.

  • Rabbits are quiet and don't need to go outdoors
  • Ferrets are playful when you're home and asleep while you're at work
  • Rats are friendly, quiet, and easily tamed

Proper Care and Feeding are Essential

No matter what exotic pet you choose, your pet will be the best companion and have the longest life when it has the food, shelter, treats, and toys that are just right for its breed. Pet Product Connection is dedicated to providing the products your pet needs to live a happy, healthy life. A happy pet will be able to provide companionship, entertainment, and exciting learning opportunities for many years to come.

Check out our broad selection of quality products for virtually any pet you choose.