Everyone knows that the most common pets in the UK, and indeed in many countries, are dogs and cats. There are also numerous other animals, especially of the small and furry kind such as hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits, that are very popular choices for pets. However with well over a million species of animals discovered so far, and probably many more that we do not know about yet, it is not surprising that many people own pets that are a bit more exotic than your everyday Labrador. If you are considering buying an Australian sugar glider or a South America hyacinth macaw, it will come as no shock to you that these exotic animals have equally exotic diets and regular pet food is out of the question.
Here are five of the most unusual animals that are kept as pets throughout the world and what you will need to feed them.
Hailing from South America, this adorable little mammal is also known as the honey bear. It is an appropriate name when you consider that this sweet toothed creature loves to eat both honey and gummy bear sweets, as well as marshmallows, bananas, mangoes and figs. Fruit is not the only thing in their diet though as they also love to snack on ants and other small insects. The kinkajou is very loving and affectionate which makes it a very popular exotic pet to own.
2. Sugar Glider
Competing with the kinkajou for most adorable exotic pet is this tiny marsupial from Australia that, in the wild, lives off of tree sap, nectar, pollen and a variety of insects and spiders. It is a curious and friendly animal, again making it a popular choice amongst pet owners, although it is nocturnal and very sociable so it is advisable to buy two if you are not able to give it the attention it needs at night time. Owners should be aware that the pet food for this little creature must be both calcium and phosphorus rich, in a specific ratio, to avoid ailments such as hind leg paralysis.
3. Hyacinth Macaw
One of the largest parrots in the world, this South American bird is very easily domesticated which makes it a great option for a pet. However be sure that your children love it too because the hyacinth macaw can reach 65 years of age in captivity and many outlive their owners. Also notable is the fact that they mate for life, so if you plan to buy a couple be sure that you can keep them both together. As for the diet, normal bird supplies can make a good base diet but be sure to include plenty of brazil, pine and macadamia nuts that they live on in the wild. These birds also feast on acuri nuts but only once they have passed through the digestive system of cattle, which softens them slightly, which may make you changed your mind about owning one.
4. White Lion Cubs
This albino lion is not in fact a species but a regular lion whose recessive gene means that he is easily spotted by predators, as well as potential prey such as hippos and elephants which can make it very difficult for him to find a meal. According to Forbes, the white lion is the most expensive pet in the world to own and whilst a cub may seem just like an exotic version of a kitten, do not forget that these little creatures will eventually grow into 35 stone adult lions. Cat products and tiny portions of cat food will no longer be options with vast quantities of meat and yes, occasionally humans, forming their diet. There are estimated to be only 300 white lions in the world, making this not just an exotic but also an extremely rare pet.
5. Chinese Crested Dog
Although the name suggests differently, these exotic dogs in fact originate from Africa. They can be born either without hair, known as Hairless, or with it, known as Powerpuff. This is simply a genetic factor and they are still the same species of dog even though the two look so different. Luckily for dog lovers, the Chinese Crested Dog will eat the same dog food as other, less exotic species.
If you want to get an exotic pet be sure that you research what pet food it needs. Parrots can eat normal bird supplies but also need additional items in their diet, and whilst everyday cat products may suit a white tiger cub they certainly will not be enough for a fully grown white tiger.