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Exotic Pets Pros and Cons

Here's everything you need to know about the pros and cons of exotic pets!

Reptiles, insects and amphibians can be fascinating pets. Bearded dragons and geckos might look like something from the time of fearsome dinosaurs - but they’re completely harmless. Stick and leaf insects are great for playing hide and go seek (“Is that a leaf or an insect?”). Watching colorful beetles crawling around and digging isn’t just fun, but also really interesting.

What are the cons of having an exotic pet? And are there any advantages over pets like dogs and cats? We've come up with a list you can use to better make up your mind: I can handle that! Or: That doesn't work at all!

Rhinoceros Beetle Rhinoceros Beetle - Photo: goldenjack/Shutterstock



  • Exotic pets are fascinating to watch
  • Exotic pets don't make noise
  • Exotic pets don't need walking
  • Exotic pets don't destroy your furniture
  • Exotic pets don't need a lot of attention
  • Exotic pets are suitable for people with allergies


  • Exotic pets are not suitable for cuddling
  • Some exotic pets may eat live insects *
  • Some exotic pets may live for a very long time **
  • Some exotic pets are active at night ***

* e.g. axolotl; ** tortoise and snake ; *** e.g. axolotl, crested gecko and leopard gecko

Why an Exotic Pet?

1. They Don’t Need a Lot Of Time or Attention

Dogs and cats need a lot of time and attention because they form a close bond. You are their master, their partner for life. Reptiles etc. are far easier to keep, as they don’t need your presence. They get along just fine on their own. If you have a lot of hobbies, this is a big plus. As long as you remember to feed and care for them! Reptiles don’t need walking, and won’t destroy your furniture if they’re not getting enough attention.

2. They Don’t Take Up Much Space

Exotic pets take up much less space than dogs and cats. They’re happy in a large terrarium or aquarium. Apart from tortoises, who should be kept in the garden.

3. They’re Suitable For People With Allergies

Lots of people have allergies to animal hair. To be exact, they’re allergic to animal dander, which gets all around your home along with their hair. Reptiles etc. don’t have any hair, and we don’t know of any case where a person has had an allergic reaction to a turtle, gecko or flower chafer.

4. They’re Harmless

Beetles, stick and leaf insects, axolotls and turtles are absolutely harmless. But the word “snake” can make some people’s blood run ice cold. However: there are considerably fewer accidents with non-venomous constricting snakes (e.g. kingsnake, king python and corn snake) than there are with badly trained dogs or angry cats that can get their claws near your eyes. Especially if children are involved. Of course, all (!) animals can be unpredictable.


Learn Before You Buy

If you see a cute little tortoise in a pet shop, it’s tempting to take it home right there and then. It would be so nice to have it at home, feeding it and caring for it! There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but: find out as much as you can about the animal first. How big will it get? Tortoises and snakes can get pretty enormous! How long will the animal live for? Reptiles can have very long lifespans. Sometimes longer than a human’s.

Things That Will Win Your Parents Over!

  • 1. Easy to keep
  • 2. Pets help you forget the stress and worries of everyday life
  • 3. Reptiles etc. don’t need walking
  • 4. Reptiles etc. are cheap to keep
  • 5. Children learn about responsibility


  • Your whole family must agree with the decision.
  • The terrarium, aquarium or run must be cleaned regularly.
  • The animal must be fed regularly.


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