Why Do People Keep Exotic Pets?


Personal Benefit

The novelty, excitement and thrill of owning an exotic pet can motivate some people to seek and buy such animals in order to profit from them in some way, such as meeting the need for novelty by having a ‘non-traditional’ pet (therefore setting them apart from other pet owners), or even as a source of unorthodox and unusual entertainment.  Such a movement potentially indicates a selfish desire to keep an exotic pet as a means of self-gratification, regardless of the well-being of the animal.


New Learning Experience

This reason is related to the concept that people keep exotic animals for the purpose of gaining some kind of personal benefit. Some exotic pet enthusiasts argued that taking care of a dog or hamster is just not challenging or unique enough. They consider the responsibility of looking after a non-native animal a “new, learning experience“, not obtainable from caring for any other typical pet. Having an exotic pet goes beyond the common expectancies and standard routine of care that everyone knows of, that is required for an already well-established pet.

More importantly, pet owners of small exotic animals do claim that their pets offer the same or even more unique forms of love, companionship, and satisfaction as that of a dog or cat.


Ensuring Future Wild Populations

Some advocates for the keeping of exotic pets argued that the breeding of exotic pets in captivity is ideal and hence ought to be allowed because it helps to ensure future wild populations. While it makes sense – or even necessary – that the importing and keeping of exotic animals in captivity may indeed facilitate for the maintenance of biological diversity or preventing population decline, it would work only if these exotic animals are kept solely for this purpose rather than to meet humans’ needs for novelty, interest or gratification etc.


Exotic animals can be domesticated too!

Centuries ago, wild animals such as dogs, sheeps and horses were domesticated for various purposes such as food, clothing and transportation. But all these had been done out of necessity, and occurred through a time period of many thousands of years. However, some exotic pets enthusiasts have since then argued that if cats and dogs can be and have been (successfully) domesticated, why not exotic animals as well? (Do check out this blog’s section on Humans of Today Domesticating Exotic Animals as Pets?’ for more information!)


Financial Gains

Another motivating factor for exotic pet ownership is financial gains. Some exotic pet owners are, at the same time, breeders who sell the offspring of their pets to other interested breeders or potential owners. Other sources of revenue for these pet owners may also come from the supplying of exotic pets for photography and television shoots.

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