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Animals and Your Health: Dangers of Exotic Pets
Wild Vs. Domestic Animals
Choosing a Pet
Exotic Pet Tips
- Avoid monkeys, tigers, venomous snakes, skunks, and other wild animals.
- Learn all you can about the animal before buying.
- Check local and state laws regarding harboring the type of pet you want.
- Talk to someone who already owns that type of animal.
- Purchase animals born in captivity in the United States—not exotic wildlife.
- Find a veterinarian familiar with the type of animal you are considering.
- Take the animal for regular medical care if it becomes sick.
- Buy an appropriate cage, supplies, and food.
- Avoid reptiles if you have small children or if someone in the home has a compromised immune system.
- Never release an animal you are tired of caring for into the wild. It can expose native animals to disease.
- Wash your hands after handling the pet or anything it has touched.
- Do not let reptiles wander around the house.
- Keep the animal out of the kitchen.
- Do not kiss or nuzzle reptiles.
Animal Welfare Institute https://awionline.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Dangerous exotic pets. The Humane Society website. Available at: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/exotic%5Fpets/. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Exotic pet species. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/exotic.html. Updated April 22, 2011. Accessed February 4, 2014.
State laws governing private possession of exotic animals. Born Free USA website. Available at: http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2%5Fexotic%5Fanimals.php. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Wild animals as pets position statement. American Animal Hospital Association website. Available at: https://www.aahanet.org/Library/WildAnimalPets.aspx. Updated October 2009. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Why wild animals shouldn't be pets. The Wildcat Sanctuary website. Available at http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/Archive/2010-12-why-wild-animals-should-not-be-pets.html. Published December 2010. Accessed February 4, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 02/04/2014