ExNOTic - should we be keeping exotic pets?

Rachel Grant, Tamara Montrose, Alison Wills

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


There has been a recent trend towards keeping non-traditional companion animals, also
known as exotic pets. These pets include parrots, reptiles, amphibians and rabbits, as well as small
species of rodent such as degus and guinea pigs. Many of these exotic pet species are not domesticated,
and often have special requirements in captivity, which many owners do not have the facilities or
knowledge to provide. Keeping animals in settings to which they are poorly adapted is a threat to
their welfare. Additionally, owner satisfaction with the animal may be poor due to a misalignment
of expectations, which further impacts on welfare, as it may lead to repeated rehoming or neglect.
We investigate a range of commonly kept exotic species in terms of their suitability as companion
animals from the point of view of animal welfare and owner satisfaction, and make recommendations
on the suitability of various species as pets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017



  • exotic pets
  • parrots
  • amphibians
  • reptiles
  • welfare

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