You’re probably familiar with all the typical categories of pet devotees. Dog and cat lovers are so devoted to their favored species that it’s been a long-running debate about which is the better pet, and each side makes its feeling known far and wide. Even people with less common pets like lizards or ferrets are mostly understood for their fanatic ways, but that’s not as unusual as it gets. But would you own a pet skunk, donkey or cockroach? Believe it or not, there are many people who do call these unconventional creatures their pets. Find out which ones are the most popular of the ever-growing exotic pet trend, and learn what it really takes to care for these 10 peculiar pets.

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A pet Wallaby in the grass

Capybara

Related to the guinea pig, this native South American is the largest rodent in the world. Fully grown, the capybara is on average 4 feet (1.2 meters) long and usually weighs more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms). It’s rare to find these obscure animals as pets, but there’s one capybara named Caplin Rous who’s gained a loyal Internet following. His owner, Melanie Typaldos, who lives in Buda, Texas, has made it her mission to educate people about this very unusual rodent.

Caring for This Pet

Typaldos says capybaras are never fully domesticated, so you must handle one often while it’s young to establish a human-rodent relationship. Capybaras need lots of outdoor space and places to swim, since they are semi-aquatic creatures. They eat a steady diet of grass and require fresh drinking water at all times.

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Capybara chilling in the grass

Is This Pet Right for You?

Capybaras need a lot of attention, plenty of room to roam and some type of swimming pool. They can be territorial and could bite with their large teeth. Typaldos doesn’t recommend capybaras for families with young children, because the rodents aren’t nearly as tolerant as some other domestic pets, like dogs. Like most of the animals on our countdown, your city or state may have exotic pet legislation that would keep you from owning a capybara, so always check the laws before bringing one home.

 

Hedgehog

Many think the surge in pet hedgehogs began with the release of the popular video game, “Sonic the Hedgehog” in 1991, and this is one fad that seems to have staying power. Hedgehogs are commonly mistaken for small porcupines, but the two species are not related. Hedgehogs can vary in size from .5 pounds to 1.5 pounds (.23 kilograms to .6 kilograms), with spines up to .75 inches (1.9 centimeters) in length.

Caring for This Pet

Hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance, gentle pets. Wild hedgehogs eat insects, but you can buy hedgehog mixes at pet stores that are specially formulated for these spiny creatures and supplement their diet with insects, like crickets, as treats. They need to be handled often while they are young to adjust to humans. For living conditions, The Hedgehog Welfare Society (HWS) recommends cages no smaller than 30 by 24 inches (76 by 60 centimeters) and at least 15 inches (38 centimeters) tall to accommodate exercise wheels.

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Hedgehog posing for the camera

Is This Pet Right for You?

It is illegal to own a hedgehog in some states, and in Washington D.C. and New York City, so check your city’s and state’s laws before purchasing one. You should also make sure you can locate a vet in your area that will treat hedgehogs. A hedgehog can make a good pet if you’re committed to weekly weight checks to ensure it’s not eating too much or too little, and plenty of one-on-one time. This is a pet that mostly sleeps all day and is up all night, so you’ll also need to plan bonding time during odd hours.

Sugar Gliders

Part of the possum family, sugar gliders are quickly becoming one of America’s favorite peculiar pet species. They are native to Australia and get their name because of a special membrane that extends from the front leg to the hind leg, allowing them to glide from tree to tree. The average full-grown glider will weigh only about 3 ounces (85 grams) and reach around 7 inches (17 centimeters) in length.

Caring for This Pet

Sugar gliders love to socialize, so they are happiest in pairs or more. They are capable of bonding with people, so spend plenty of time handling your gliders when they are young to make a connection. You’ll need a proper enclosure with enough space to allow them to climb on tree branches. Veterinarians recommend a diet of cooked meats and eggs, fresh vegetables, and raw nuts for gliders, supplemented with insects, leaves and fresh branches.

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Sugar Glider 

Is This Pet Right for You?

Sugar gliders are nocturnal and rarely adapt to daytime activities, so you might have to adjust your schedule to get in some bonding time. This animal is probably not ideal for a household with small children, since gliders do have sharp teeth and claws that can hurt inexperienced handlers. These tiny marsupials are considered exotic pets, and regulations in your city or state could prohibit you from owning them as pets.

You can watch the whole list in the following link:

Top 10 Peculiar Pets

Sources:

Top 10 Peculiar Pets

 

 

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