3 Things to Know Before Adopting an Exotic Pet From Your Travels

When you are traveling, you may come across fauna specific to a certain country or region that you may want to keep — and this may also extend to animals. That’s right. Travelers do often adopt exotic pets from their travels.

WebMD lists a few animals that can be considered exotic pets like cockatoos, bearded dragons, and even chinchillas. If you find one during your travels that you feel you can care for and give attention to, you can choose to adopt. After all, it’s such a unique and personal way to remember your experiences during your trip.

But there are a few things you should know and consider before adopting an exotic pet. Aside from your capabilities as a pet owner, here are some things you should think about before adopting an exotic pet from your travels.

There are restrictions when it comes to bringing pets on flights

There are rules to follow when boarding a flight with a pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association explains that you will need to have health certifications and other veterinary documentation ready to prove that your animal is not carrying diseases and is rightfully yours.

You will also have to check the airline you are flying with to understand their rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with an animal. This can also include other fees which may be determined by the weight of your pet, whether you will have it stored in a carrier or on a seat next to you, and your number of carry-ons.

Botswana safari.
Botswana safari. Definitely won’t adopt an exotic pet here, but I do love my facial expression!

If you don’t want to go through the hassle that commercial airlines may put you through when flying with an animal, you can opt for other options. Our past article highlights that companies like Surf Air let you charter planes where your pets will be treated like royalty. Before adopting one during your travels, make sure to check whether or not you can meet the different requirements needed, especially since exotic pets may have more restrictive ones.

You can have the exotic pet insured

Everyone knows that there are different kinds of insurance you can acquire, like travel insurance and, more recently, Covid insurance. But many people don’t know that you can also get insurance for your pets, even the exotic ones. A Sound Dollar guide to exotic pet insurance explains that these plans can cover medical expenses, which you will need to ensure that your animal is safe for traveling. The plan can be awarded to different pets ranging from amphibians to ferrets.

Though the insurance doesn’t cover things like grooming and boarding fees, the bulk of your expenses when caring for a pet normally falls under medical bills, so you will no longer have to worry about paying too much when it comes to this aspect. You will also be sure that your animal will be cared for under the right kind of veterinarian, as exotic pets need a specialized kind of care as opposed to dogs and cats. Being prepared in this regard will help you be a better animal owner overall and should be something to consider thoroughly.

Each state has different laws

The last thing you should know before adopting an exotic pet during your travels is that each state has different laws when it comes to owning an exotic animal. This includes listing down animals that are allowed, banned, or require a special permit. The Spruce Pets lists down the laws per state that you should familiarize yourself with before adopting.

For example, places like Florida and Georgia allow residents to own ferrets and chinchillas, while the latter requires a permit for hedgehogs. New York doesn’t allow people to own venomous reptiles, so if you want to adopt a snake, you’ll have to check if it is safe for you to bring home into the state. Being familiar with these laws will leave you with fewer headaches and will help you decide whether or not you should actually adopt an exotic pet or not.

When bringing home a pet from your travels, the most important thing to remember is that these animals are a commitment. You will have to care for them always and look out for their best interests.

Check out our favorite airline-approved pet crate!

More Travelbinger stories:

The pros and cons of traveling with your pet

5 best pet-friendly destinations in North America

6 expert tips for flying with your pet

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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