Keeping exotic pets is a fascinating and addictive hobby though it can prove to be an expensive if you really start to immerse yourself. Typically exotic pet keepers start off with just one or two animals but when the bug bites your collection can start to grow at an alarming – often with a growing interest in the rarer and more expensive species.
Couple that with the need for new cages and equipment and any ways we can save money on our hobby while still putting the health of our pets first can come in handy.
In light of this here are seven easy ways to save a considerable sum of money when keeping exotic pets. I have tried and applied them all over the years and have had some excellent results from these tips. I’d love to hear how you have got on with them – or any tips you feel I have omitted – in the comments section at the end of this article.
Breed Your Own Livefood
We have a whole article here on Keeping Exotic Pets about breeding your own livefood so I won’t go into too many details suffice to say that this technique, while requiring some effort and additional space, can save you a considerable sum of money over the long term (and also ensure you have a wide range of sizes of insects to cater for all your captives).
Grow Your Own Fruit And Vegetables
If you keep exotic pets which feed on fruit and vegetables then why not start a small salad garden where you can grow a range of organic, home-grown produce to save on money, offer the maximum nutrition possible to your pets and also to be sure the food you are giving is chemical-free.
Get Exotic Pet Insurance
Exotic pet insurance may be overkill for a preying mantis or a stick insect but if you are keeping herps – reptiles and amphibians – then it can be a good idea to pay the small monthly sum that proper pet insurance will cost you. There are, unfortunately, very few suppliers of exotic pet insurance but if and when you need it you will be glad that you got insurance when you did.
Build Your Own Vivarium
Wooden vivariums are reasonably simple to build and roughly half of my own vivs were built by me – and I am certainly not an expert in the workshop! It can be fun to design and built your own vivarium to your own specifications and there are a range of resources that can help.
For example I found a supplier of melamine wood who would cut the pieces to the dimensions I need so I just need to fix all the pieces together into the finished article.
Rescue An Exotic Pet
Just as “normal” pets like cats and dogs are sometimes put up for rehoming so it is that from time to time exotic pets need to be rehomed. There are a range of reasons for this from boredom with the animal to a change in personal circumstances but over the years I have rescued quite a number of animals who lived out long and healthy lives with me.
Most recently I rescued a beautiful Cuban tree frog which entered the country in a shipment of fruit and apparently caused quite a bit of fuss in the supermarket where it appeared from a bunch of bananas!
Breed Your Own Exotic Pets
This is a longer-term tip but breeding exotic pets isn’t just a fun and satisfying part of the hobby but can also offset some of your costs. As an example a tarantula may have several hundred babies when their eggs hatch – which can be sold for several dollars each. That’s a lot of new equipment or specimens if you manage to sell them all!
Buy Your Exotic Pet At The Right Size
It’s a strange fact of the exotic pet world that some species are in more demand at certain sizes than others. For example you can often buy a fully-grown adult specimen for a similar price (or even cheaper) than a newborn hatchling. So consider looking around if you have a particular species in mind to see if there is any variation in cost between specimens of different sizes to see if you can save any money this way.