There are some pretty strange and wonderful animals out there, and you’d be surprised by how many of them can make good pets. Here are some of the most unusual pets that you might hear about. Numbers 10 through 6 are some pets you might find in your local pet store (in case you’re feeling adventurous about getting a new pet). Numbers 5 through 1 aren’t probably available at the Petsmart on the corner, but they’re sure fun to find about.
Do you have any stories about unusual pets? Comment and let us know!
Find these in your local pet store:
These inquisitive, fluffy balls of soft fur are an amazing species of rodent native to South America (mostly the Andes mountains). One of the most distinctive features of these pets is their amazingly thick and soft fur. Chinchilla fur is so thick that it will not air dry. Instead of taking wet baths, chinchillas roll in pumice dust to absorb skin oils and trap other types of dirt. Chinchilla fur is also unique because it is too thick for fleas to live in, and it doesn’t allow chinchillas to have dander, so they are actually great pets for someone with a sensitivity to pet dander.
9. Bearded Dragon
Looking for a big lizard? Bearded dragons can grow up to two feet long. But don’t let their size scare you. These pets tend to have a calm disposition. The bearded dragon gets its name from the spikes around its head and its tendency to expand its throat if it is feeling threatened. Bearded dragons were native to Australia, but any you find in the US today were bred here since Australia no longer allows their export.
8. Emperor Scorpion
Looking for something not as cuddly but still cool? Then a scorpion might be the thing for you. The emperor scorpion is one of the largest scorpions in the world (it can grow up to 7 inches). Although black, these scorpions can glow different colors under fluorescent lights. Native to Africa, these pets need a warm and humid environment. Their sting is not particularly venomous and is on par with a bee sting: still painful but not too dangerous.
7. Leaf Tailed Gecko
Better not lose this guy outside because it will be tough finding him again. This particular gecko is specially camouflaged for hiding in leafy trees. He has the unique ability of being able to shed his leaf-shaped tail to distract or confuse predators. This particular type of gecko is native to Madagascar.
Did you know that a group of hedgehogs is very aptly called a “prickle”? Despite that name, and their general appearance, hedgehogs can actually be a personable and even cuddly type of pet. These nocturnal animals were not originally native to Australia or the Americas, but they could be found pretty much anywhere else.
You probably can’t find these in the pet store:
This unusual pet is a large rodent approximately the size of a medium dog (four feet long). It is native to South America and is semi-aquatic.
4. Pygmy Goat
Unusual, and also unusually entertaining. Goats are fun animals to keep because of their intelligent and inquisitive natures. Pygmy goats seem to be growing in popularity because of their small sizes and relatively easy care. Our neighbors used to have goats and we loved looking outside to see what new places around their pen they had climbed on top of.
Don’t worry! Domesticated skunks have their scent glands removed to prevent them from making life at home uncomfortable. Domestic skunks are commonly kept as indoor pets since they lack the homing instincts to lead them home should they get lost. Another interesting fact: skunks also tend to be short sighted.
2. Potbellied Pig
Smaller than average farmyard pigs, potbelly pigs can make surprisingly good pets. This type of pet is cleaner than you might expect, odor-free, non-allergenic, quiet, and it can be house and leash trained.
1. Sugar Glider
Small cuddly marsupials from Australia, sugar gliders are named for their preference for sweet food and their ability to fly or glide from high places using the membrane connecting the space between their front and back legs. Because sugar gliders grow up in their mothers’ pouches (much like kangaroos) they tend to be “pocket pets,” meaning they are more likely to be happy with riding around in their owners’ pockets.