Exotic pets: Way cooler than dogs


Dogs and cats may be cute and cuddly, but they are droll. As our world advances in areas of education, technology and medicine, our selection of pets needs to advance as well. There are many intriguing alternatives to the traditional cat and dog, that students at Leesville should begin to consider. These pets range from little and fuzzy to large and scaly, but all are guaranteed to provide the owner with satisfaction.

Pot-Bellied Pigs Aside from contrary belief, pigs are odorless, intelligent and affectionate animals. They don’t bark, they don’t chew, they don’t shed and they’re just as appreciative of a belly scratch as any dog. Surprisingly, they are also relatively easy to house train. Pigs come at a price of about 600 dollars, which is similar to the price of a pure bred dog. It’s surprising that more people don’t already keep pigs as house pets. The only downfall: cute little piglets grow into full blown potbelly pigs. If you’re interested in a smaller pet, but pigs seem like your cup of tea, invest in a teacup pig. They never grow larger than the size of a teacup, but they come at shocking price of about $5000.

Hedgehogs These spiky-backed little dudes are notorious for making great house pets and loofahs too! (Just kidding!) They’re loyal, quiet and sweet. When scared, they roll up into a tight spiky ball, but after warming up to you, they will sit in your hand or your pocket for hours. They can be trained to use a litter box have virtually no odor, and have a longer life span than a hamster. At a price of about $100, how could you not want a cute little hedge hog?

Ball Pythons As an owner of this type of snake, I can vouch for it as a great pet. Ball pythons, like anacondas, are constrictors. They kill their prey but wrapping around and suffocating it and are toothless because of this. Because of their small size and toothless nature, they are virtually harmless to their human owners. At first I was shocked to see my brother sitting on the couch watching TV with a python wrapped around his arm, but once I got used to the idea, TJ the snake didn’t seem too bad. TJ eats one mouse about every two weeks, and doesn’t require much other care. The particular snake costs anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars and is relatively cheap to care for.

Love birds Love birds are a small variety of parrot. They’re just as colorful as a full size parrot but at a smaller scale. They’re notoriously affectionate birds and are named for their tendency of monogamous relationships with other love birds, and they often sit in pairs for extended periods of time. However, if you’re interested in the parrot’s ability to mimic, then love birds are not the best option, for they chat far less than normal parrots. However, they are a delight to watch and are known to interact with their owners, making them one of the most commonly kept species of birds. Love birds can be purchased at a price of a mere 40 dollars, so why not purchase two? They are love birds after all.


  1. A cute read, but I’d like to point out that “mini pigs” don’t really stay as small as a teacup. Breeders say they will, using terms like “only 20 lbs at 2 years of age!” Pigs aren’t considered mature until they’re 5 years old, so that’s like saying a human child is fully grown at 10. Pigs still make great pets, but I think people should know that they’re not going to be tiny forever. If breeders better informed potential pig-owners about the true adult size, there’d be a lot less pigs being abandoned when they got too big for some fashionista’s penthouse.

  2. All snakes have teeth. It is not so bad to be bit by a snake. I have been bit by hamsters, rats, birds, dogs and cats and snakes. As long as the snake doesn’t think you are food, it is usually not so bad. Many snakes will bluff bite, they may tap you or open their mouth and swing around but unless the species or individual is particularly aggressive, they tend not to latch on with defensive bites.
    Snake vet bills are just as expensive as other pets and their costs tend to run along housing and heating. Also, it is often VERY difficult to re-home an adult snake OR BIRD, so be sure you are up to caring for your new pet for UP TO 40 YEARS. That’s right, Ball Pythons have been known to live 39 years! Birds can be even longer lived, especially the bigger they get! Both of them are less popular pets than cats and dogs but just as needy of homes as our furry friends. If you want a snake, consider adopting an already tame adult rather than a jumpy, high strung baby. Babies are cute but they only stay that way for a year before they grow big! With both birds and snakes, babies can be harder to feed and much more fragile than adults.

  3. Hey sweetykins.. Yeah Ball pythons DO have teeth .and I would like to warn you of one very important thing.. if for anyreason TJ bites something hes not sapposed to, DO NOT I repeat DOOO NOT pull him off. Seriously… even if he bites you, you need to calm down and let him let go on his own! You see, snakes teeth point inward – toward the back of his mouth kind of like a hand saw.Thats why when you see him swallowing prey you see his mouth almost walking up the body of the prey. This helps constrictors latch onto thier prey and the victim cant get away so basically the prey is screwed even before the snake coils around it. That said, of course you are much stronger than a mouse, so if you pull him off not only are you causing yourself more injury you most likely will rip his teeth out… then you have basically killed that snake because he not only will he be in horrible agonizing pain he will unable to eat proberly since his teeth will be gone.. he with suffer and starve to death.. So when feeding make sure the snake does not see your hands or fingers AT ALL EVER! And if you have handled his food wash thour hands and arms very well to get that smell off of you snakes have an extreme sense of smell thats why they can find mice in forests and sneak up on them. Being careful like this is a surefire way to aviod accidents. Remember snakes are not evil or mean creatures that have sinister intent they are just animals living through thousands of years of instinct.

  4. Lovebirds make great pets. Unless you’re at home all day, be sure to get a pair so they have company. They like to play with golf balls and the cat balls with bells in them, and they love to eat (unsalted) nuts, and fresh corn and apples. Keep them away from electrical cords because they do chew.


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