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  Life   More Features  19 Jun 2017  The long and short of exotic pet care

The long and short of exotic pet care

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANDEEP VARMA
Published : Jun 19, 2017, 12:24 am IST
Updated : Jun 19, 2017, 12:24 am IST

Although the responsibilities change depending on the pets you keep, here are a few that you should keep in mind-before and while having pets.

Keeping your pet happy and healthy can be a little tricky and it does require time, money and discipline.
 Keeping your pet happy and healthy can be a little tricky and it does require time, money and discipline.

In the course of evolution, we seem to have developed a symbiotic relationship with our pets. But this relationship privilege comes with a handful of responsibilities, as pets are not an accessory that can be cast aside and forgotten, but are animal companions that need care, love and affection. Although the responsibilities change depending on the pets you keep, here are a few that you should keep in mind — before and while having pets:

Avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet. As a responsible pet owner, one should commit to selecting a pet that is suitable for your household/home. Keeping your pet happy and healthy can be a little tricky and it does require time, money and discipline.

 

A responsible pet owner should invest time, energy and money into the pet’s needs — which include proper housing (in case of reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects - terrarium/aquarium, heating, water and hide); health care protocols like vaccinations, parasite control, feeding (meeting the food requirements of the species), cleanliness and so on.

While keeping an exotic pet, one should fulfill all legalities pertaining to the species, including local ordinances, licensing, handling requirements and so on. One should also make sure that you are thorough and up to date on the species and its identity and are comfortable handling them, if needed. Do not allow your pet to be stray or feral. Exotic pets should be kept in captivity until their death or you should provide alternative arrangements for such a time, when one can no longer provide for them, as releasing them into our backyard is illegal and will create an ecological imbalance. In case of breeding your pets, please be responsible.

 

Observation is the key to keeping any animals as pets. Observing your pet will help you understand a lot about its behaviour and potential problems it faces. Always keep personal records for your pets including your observations. In case of exotic pets, please keep a record on the type of food you feed, the amount of food you feed and the time at which it’s been fed. This will help in taking timely decisions in your pets’ life, when necessary.

Remember, when you adopt/provide for a pet, you are committing to care for the animal for its entire life, because owning a pet is a privilege but also a big responsibility.

The author is a wildlife biologist with specific interest in herpetology and conservation.

 

Tags: relationship, pets