3 Exotic Animals to Own as Pets…or Maybe Not!Lifestyle The List
Dogs, cats, rabbits, or maybe even a lizard. These are pets you would normally expect to find in people’s homes. But according to new scientific criteria on what makes the best pet, you’d be better off snuggling with a Himalayan squirrel or mini kangaroo.
Researchers at a prestigious Norwegian university studied ninety species of animals to determine which make the best pets. Surprisingly, dogs and cats didn’t make the cut – but some very odd creatures did.
We headed to the zoo to see if this study is legit, or just a little too wild to be true! Josh Crabtree of The Phoenix Zoo introduced us to three of the animals from the study to see how well they’d do in your home.
1. White-Nosed Coati
Scampering to the top of our list is the white-nosed coati. There are a few reasons why these would make good pets: they’re agile, and not to mention cute. But what about some of the cons? Well for starters, they’re sharp – with both their minds and their claws. “He’s got some very large claws, very large teeth,” Josh warns. “But the big problem with them is their intelligence. It’s basically like taking on a small child […] with claws. So if you don’t have the time to devote to them, that can be trouble for them.” Uh oh! We recommend keeping a good pet sitter on speed dial.
A two-humped behemoth trots into the second spot on our list – and they might come with more pros than cons. “In general, camels are pretty well-known for being stubborn animals,” Josh explains. They can also grow very large – bloating up to a thousand pounds. This means they consume lots of food, eating hundreds of dollars worth or hay each week. They’re thirsty, too, drinking up to fifty-three gallons of water in three minutes (you’ll need lots of pee pads!). Are there any pros to owning a camel? Well, they make great beasts-of-burden, so they might come in handy when hauling back furniture from IKEA. But then again, they could also go the wrong direction and refuse to head back home, Josh counters.
The armadillo, whose name translates to “little armored one” in Spanish, is cute but also a little high-maintenance. “Although they have the cute factor,” Josh points out, “they are an insectivore (meaning they eat insects), so they have a very specialized diet. You can’t go to the store and just buy a bag or armadillo food.” Then there’s the diseases, as some of them can carry leprosy and infectious bacteria. Yikes!
So what’s the bottom line? Perhaps ask not what your pet can do for you, but what you can do for your pet!
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