General

3 animals you wouldn’t think would make great pets

We all love our cats and dogs, and we all know someone who has invested in a habitat for a fish or a snake. But there are far more animals out there that can make wonderful pets. Here are three of them.

3. Ferrets

Credit: bozhdb/ iStock

Ferrets are not on everyone’s list of fun animals to keep as pets. A little too feral, they seem like an odd choice to keep in the home.

However, ferrets are just the domesticated version of European polecats. Because they are domesticated, they can live off pet food, have great relationships with their owners, and can be playful and cuddle with humans. They are also quiet, making them a great choice if you live in an apartment or someplace else that frowns on more vocal animals.

The biggest drawback of owning a ferret is the odor. However, this can be controlled and eliminated with proper grooming habits.

2. Bearded Dragons

Credit: huettenhoelscher/ iStock

These lizards make great pets because they get along very well with people, love to cuddle with their much warmer owners, and live long lives that can last over a decade.

Any bearded dragon that you buy in the United States is bred from captive stock and is ready to come live with you and your family. Unlike many lizard species, they are diurnal and are most active during the day. They are even known to be responsive to their owners’ voices!

However, as with owning any lizard, there are some special habitat requirements. They need access to ultraviolet light to acquire vitamin D so their bones stay strong. A tank must be maintained with the heat kept at ninety degrees at one end and seventy degrees at the other, and their skin must be kept hydrated by misting or keeping an open source of water available.

1. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Credit: crisserbug/ iStock

Not everyone is a fan of keeping insects as pets. Even fewer people are likely to keep something in their home with “cockroach” in its name. However, the Madagascar hissing cockroach is another story. Some even claim it’s the perfect pet for kids.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are unlike urban cockroaches in some important ways. First off, they do not live off garbage or rotting food. They eat only fresh fruit and leafy greens. In addition, they do not have wings and cannot survive in temperate climates, meaning they cannot get free and infest your home.

They are also receptive to human attention. They can be handled and cannot bite humans. The worst they will do is hiss at you when they are startled. The biggest drawback to Madagascar hissing cockroaches is the pace at which they breed, which can soon lead to having far more pets than you anticipated.

Non-traditional companions

Credit: urbazon/ iStock

When looking into an exciting new pet, however, you need to know what you are getting into. Exotic pets are not always legal in every area, and sometimes it is not ethical to own certain animals, most often because they are not domesticated. Make sure you do your research to make sure it is both legal and moral before you buy an exotic animal.