Unconventional Pets

Don’t fancy getting a cat, dog or rabbit? Read on to learn about some more unusual pets that Aussie owners like to keep.

Lizards

There are many different types of reptiles you can keep as pets including a huge variety of different lizards. Do your research before you dive in – find out how big each type of lizard will grow, which are the easiest to care for, how much space you can afford to give it, whether your local vet is able to offer sufficient care, and the costs that could be involved for each species. Leopard geckos are a great starter lizard as they are easy to handle and don’t need much space. Bearded dragons are also docile, but will grow to much bigger and need full spectrum UV lighting. The lizard will need a specialist enclosure where lighting, heat, humidity are all controlled. Many lizards eat a diet of insects so make sure you are prepared for this!

Snakes

These are probably the most popular reptile amongst owners in Australia. They are fairly easy to look after and therefore great as an entry-level exotic pet. Different snake species will have different personalities and different care needs so make sure you know exactly what you want out of your pet. Snakes are solitary creatures so it will need a quiet environment to live in, and should generally be in a tank on its own. You’ll need a terrarium with two thermometers, humidity gauge and heat lamps so the upfront costs can be fairly high. Depending on the breed, your snake could live for up to 30 years so make sure you’re ready for the commitment!

Parrots

A parrot is a beautiful pet, and they can form really strong emotional bonds with their owners. A well-cared for parrot can be part of the family for decades to come. You’ll need space for a cage in a well-ventilated room, away from windows, doorways and direct sunlight. Parrots need feeding once or twice a day with a combination of parrot mix and fresh vegetables. Aviary birds rather than wild caught, imported birds will settle into domestic life much easier, so choose a specially bred hand-reared bird if you can. Your parrot will be happiest if it is allowed to spend part of each day out of its cage, but this must only happen under supervision. And yes – some parrots can learn to repeat sounds!

Crocodiles

It may sound funny, but in Victoria and NT you are actually allowed to keep a croc as a pet! The rules are complicated so it’s not as simple as finding a freshwater crocodile in the wild and taking it home, but if you’re really determined it’s possible to keep a croc as a friend for a period of time. These animals are not easy to look after, primarily because of the obvious risks to your safety. You’ll need to provide a large expanse of warm filtered water, a constant heat supply and large area of sunlight, all enclosed completely by fencing. If you really want a pet croc then your first step will be to find a local vet who has experience with them, and then take it from there.

To talk to one of our professionals about your more unusual pet, call the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital team today on 08 6555 5149 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.