The Perfect Guide to Exotic Pet Diet

No need to look any further, here we have assembled all-you-need-to-know facts about your exotic pet diet. 

The world of pets is an ever-changing one, thanks to the latest fads on Instagram and glitzy celebrity culture. Nowadays, we are more interested in adopting unique, exotic pets that make a statement about our personalities. Exotic pets can make us stand out from the crowd. But, beware! Exotic pets come with a very complicated lifestyle. If you are a new pet owner, you need to enrich your knowledge about your exotic pet, especially their diet. And that’s why we are here to help! Read on to learn how to take proper care of your exotic pet and more. 

Few Points to Understand Before You Get An Exotic Pet

Let us clear a few basic points about exotic pets before you decide to adopt or buy one. When we say exotic pets, we do not mean exotic dog or cat pedigree, we mean pet that is not canine or feline. Exotic pets might be reptiles like non-venomous snakes or lizards, such as a crested gecko, amphibians, birds, ferrets, sugar gliders, etc. 

The next point to remember is that exotic pets all have unique requirements. They need to be in a specific environment where they can thrive and live a long, healthy life. The right environment is extremely important and there’s even a word for it, environment husbandry. This doesn’t mean you need to find the perfect mate for your pet, but to create the perfect environment for your pet. 

If you live in a cold climate, yet you want to keep an Amazonian snake as a pet, you need to create a warm, humid environment like Amazon where you will keep your pet. The climate should match their natural habitat for them to be healthy and happy. The most common reason pets become ill is inappropriate husbandry. 

Temperature control is a major factor when it comes to creating the perfect environment for your reptiles or parrots and other tropical birds. The easy solution is to find the source of light that will mimic their natural environment. A good specialized lamp can range between a few hundred dollars and there are many varieties available.

Another part of environment husbandry is a substrate. Before everything else, first, you need to set up a proper substrate for them. A substrate is basically where your pet lives in, the surface or material on which it lives and gets its food or nourishment. A very popular substrate is newspaper. It might work well with many animals but not with reptiles, especially snakes. You can use sand, carpet, artificial turf, etc. newspapers are of course very cheap and easy to find everywhere. 

Pet Diet

Now that we know all about exotic pets and what environment husbandry is, let’s come to their diet. If you haven’t guessed already, your exotic pet will require a special diet. You need to give them the right amount of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Otherwise, your pet will suffer from malnutrition. And, malnutrition will lead to severe illnesses. 

Furry Creatures

Your pet diet will very well determine how long it will live. For instance, rabbits and guinea pigs require a high fiber diet for normal gastrointestinal function and a huge amount of timothy hay is needed to balance their diet. In addition to that, they need fresh fruits and vegetables. But, of course, you cannot feed them an unlimited amount,  you need to set up a routine on how much to feed and at what time. 


Reptiles have a very strict and specific diet. They can be carnivores, herbivores, omnivores or insectivores. 

Carnivorous reptiles feed on warm-blooded flesh, like, mice and rats. Snakes and monitor lizards are popular carnivorous reptiles. Be sure to provide commercially produced meals, otherwise, there is a chance of animal-borne parasites and diseases passing to them through the food. Make sure you provide only small, manageable animals. Carnivores only need to be fed weekly.

Herbivores will only feed on fresh green vegetables, fruits, and kibbles. Don’t make meals boring by providing only one kind of vegetable or fruit, even an occasional flower might delight them. Green iguanas are considered herbivores.

Insectivores, like geckos and anoles, rely on insects such as flies, cricket, worms, and superworms. Superworms are a great choice, compared to generic worms, as they are high in protein content. Reptiles are genetically wired to go for live insects to feed, but ones in captivity will accept non-living insects.

Omnivorous reptiles feed on everything. Small animals, bugs, fishes, veggies, and fruits. But, of course, they have their preference and will lean towards certain food groups. You need to seek proper advice and make a diet plan to provide the correct mix of feed. 


When it comes to diet, birds can be quite difficult to feed. There is no easy way to replicate their diet. In the wild, they usually feed on nuts, berries, fruits, seeds, and other vegetation, depending on what part of the world they are from. You will find a vast range of formulated diets on the market nowadays thanks to 25 years of research on avian nutrition. You can choose between the pellet or extruded feed. Don’t forget to provide a moderate amount of fresh vegetables and fruits now and then. 

Most likely, your exotic bird will be on a seed-based diet. The downside of a seed-based diet is that it has the least amount of nutrition compared to the other diets. Seeds lack many key vitamins and minerals, and they can be fattening as well. If your bird is on a seed-based diet, it’s best to slowly and gradually convert it to a healthier diet. Don’t forget to consult a veterinarian before you change anything. 

Last Words

As a responsible pet owner, the important matter is to ensure that your pets live a healthy and active life. Before you buy or adopt one, please make sure you understand the specific needs and personalities that each pet will come with. And, after becoming a pet owner, make sure you understand their habits, routines, and behavior. They are life-long companions that you will need to care for every day, and will become a part of your family. Before you decide to give them a home, make sure you are ready for the commitment. Choose wisely for these creatures will have no one but you. 

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