Weird Animals: 5 Animals You Didn’t Know You Could Own As A Pet

 

Pets don’t always have to be traditional. There is something to be said for choosing a more unique pet, even one that some people would consider to be “weird.” If a cat or dog just doesn’t do it for you, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting, non-traditional pets out there, as well as what makes them so exciting. Maybe you’ll find a little inspiration!


#1) Tarantulas

Let’s start by getting the most controversial and potentially triggering weird pet out of the way… the tarantula. Although there are plenty of people who have actual phobias of spiders (especially those who watched Arachnophobia as a child!), to some, they make the perfect, but weird, pet. 

Tarantulas make great pets because they are super low maintenance. In fact, they don’t even need (or want) to be handled (also, they have venom so it’s best to leave them alone anyway)! They can live up to 20 years when they are in good health, come in many different colors, and are just an interesting pet and conversation piece. Tarantulas do require a live insect diet though, and some may even eat pinkie mice (either frozen or thawed), so they aren’t great pets for squeamish people. But if you’re looking for a weird, out of the box pet, tarantulas may be the way to go!

 

#2) Chinchillas

While chinchillas aren’t the “weirdest” pets, they do have a few weird quirks about them that definitely make them a unique and exciting pet.

Chinchillas are definitely one of the higher-strung pets, which may make them tricky for younger children who really want to hold their pet. Many of them are actually very timid, and don’t want to be held at all. However, for the chinchillas that do allow their owners to hold them, they are incredibly soft, cuddly balls of fluff.

One of the more interesting facts about them is the way that they keep themselves clean. While many animals take a bath in water, chinchillas actually bathe in dust. In fact, getting chinchillas wet can actually make them sick! You wouldn’t think a dust bath would make them so soft, but it does. They’re cool little critters, and will definitely charm you.


#3) Tortoises

Plenty of people have turtles as pets, but not many have tortoises! 

Tortoises are a serious commitment, though, as some of them can live up to 100 years. This means that many tortoises are likely to even outlive their owners! They are incredibly sweet, docile creatures who need plenty of outdoor space. It may surprise people to find out that they are also incredibly climbers, so any enclosure should include high, strong walls. Their shells are actually not one piece, either, but 60 different bones that are all connected to each other. 

While you wouldn’t think it just looking at them, each tortoise has its own, individual personality. Many of them enjoy having their necks scratched, much like a dog or cat, and even love a good shell rub down (yes, they can actually feel it!).

There are plenty of different tortoise species, but the Greek tortoise, sulcata, Hermann’s tortoise and Red-footed tortoise are the ones that will likely make the best pets. Just be prepared to make a plan for who will care for your tortoise in your old age. 


#4 Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are definitely one of the more odd yet somehow totally adorable potential pets out there. Although they may look like tiny monkeys, they are actually marsupials and are in the possum family! Some people think that they are flying squirrels, because of the way they glide through the air (in fact, they are able to glide as far as half a soccer field in a single “flight”), but sugar gliders are much more closely related to kangaroos than squirrels or other members of the rodent family.

While sugar gliders are fun and adorable pets, they do have fairly tricky diets to mimic when they are living in captivity. They are actually omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat, so they need a diet that is half fruits and vegetables and half protein (like mealworms, hard boiled eggs, poultry, or beef) in order to thrive and be healthy. 

In addition, sugar gliders are not animals that do well as the only pet. They should only be kept as pets with another sugar glider for proper socialization. They also need plenty of mental stimulation in the form of toys and environmental enrichment. With a proper diet and care, though, they can live up to fifteen years! They’re cute, quirky, adorable personalities make them about as weird and perfect of a non-traditional pet as one could find.


#5) Hedgehogs

Oh, hedgehogs. 

These tiny, spiny little bundles of personality make excellent pets for people who do their research and are prepared to care for them appropriately. Although they may seem shy at first, hedgehogs love to bond with their owners and will even begin to respond to their voice after enough time with them. They can even be handled safely, when following specific safety guidelines so that they don’t extend their quills.

Hedgehogs have a very diverse diet, preferring insects but open to eating nearly anything from snakes, mushrooms, lizards, berries, mollusks, and melons. However, they are prone to obesity so they need to be fed smaller amounts in moderation. They truly earn the “hog” part of hedgehog!

They are nocturnal, however, so people who need to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night may not be ideal hedgehog owners. However, for those who take the time to learn more about these special creatures, hedgehogs are great pets. They’re cute and full of personality. And which of us doesn’t get a little prickly sometimes?


Fennec Foxes

Also referred to as the desert fox, fennec foxes are immediately recognizable because of their big, satellite-like ears. They have a personality similar to a rambunctious puppy, but aren’t nearly as cuddly with their owners. Also, like hedgehogs, fennec foxes are nocturnal, so it takes a special owner to be able to take care of them appropriately. 

However, for those who have the space, time, and patience to have a fennec fox as a pet, they will find their playful attitude and unique vocalizations endearing. And those ears! There’s no arguing that fennecs are some of the cutest animals on the face of the earth. 

Even though they look like a cat or a dog, though, they should not be treated that way. They require their own special care, but they can be trained to use a litterbox and some have even been known to purr when they feel happy! Fennec foxes are expensive to purchase, though, and can also be expensive to care for. But they are definitely worth it. Before considering a fennec, though, make sure that they are legal in your area.

So, whether you prefer your pets to be soft and fluffy or cool and scaly, the right pet is out there for you. Commitment to providing them the best life possible, and doing your research before you make a final choice, almost guarantees that you’ll have a long, happy lifelong bond with whichever pet you choose. The fact that you’re reading this article says a lot about your desire to be a great pet parent! We believe in you, and your pet will too, even if they’re “weird.”


Sources:

https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/caresheets/tarantula-care-sheet

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/s/sugar-glider/

https://www.thesprucepets.com/about-fennec-foxes-as-pets-1236778

  

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