Are Guinea Pigs Considered Exotic Pets? (7 Reasons Why)

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Some pet-owners do have unusual pets like iguanas, tarantulas, or hedgehogs. In fact, all of these are exotic animals. In case you’re wondering, are guinea pigs considered exotic pets too?

Short answerYes! Guinea pigs belong to the category of exotic pets. 

Though the demand for pet guinea pigs has increased over the years, having a cavy as your pet is still unusual.

Therefore, we can easily classify guinea pigs as exotic animals to pet.

You’re probably surprised that guinea pigs are exotic pets. 

In case you’re wondering – what does it take to be qualified as an exotic pet

What Qualifies as an Exotic Pet?

A colorful Macaw Bird

Before we jump into the detailed features of guinea pigs that classify our cavies under exotic pets, let’s understand the real definition of the term “Exotic Pets”.

The word “exotic” is commonly used to describe something unique or unusual.

So, in general, when we say “exotic pets”, we mean animals or pets other than cats, dogs, or any farm animal.

In other words, animals that are not usually found in people’s houses as pets can be referred to as exotic pets. Wild animals which have been tamed and trained under captivity are also often termed exotic pets.

On the other hand, we classify animals like grey parrots, turtles, etc., under exotic pets, the description of common animals, like rabbits, guinea pigs, etc., under the same category creates confusion.

There are several interpretations behind the term “exotic pets”.  In fact, defining the term itself is very complicated.

Under common situations, cats and dogs are the commonly found pets in pet stores. Small-sized pets like hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs, etc., are still uncommon in pet stores in many locations.

Why Are Guinea Pigs Considered Exotic Pets?

Here we have 7 reasons to consider guinea pigs as exotic pets.

  1. Guinea pigs require special environmental conditions and care for survival in captivity.
  2. Caring for them may be difficult as every veterinarian doesn’t treat small pets in their clinics.
  3. Cavies are rodents that have unique personalities.
  4. They live longer as compared to other rodents.
  5. These are vocal animals and get attached to their owners very easily.
  6. One of the most important characteristics that make guinea pigs exotic pets is their entertaining nature. 
  7. Cavies are intelligent animals that easily move around mazes.

All these characteristics and their intelligence are the reason behind our cavy’s classification of exotic pets.

Read Also: How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live on Average?

Other Examples of Exotic Pets Besides Guinea Pigs

A cute black guinea pig

The list of exotic pets is not limited to guinea pigs only. Many other species of animals fall under this category. Small or pocket pets are mostly considered exotic. 

Here are some of the exotic pets:

TurtlesTeacup PigsWhite Mice

Cats and dogs are common pets. Surprisingly, Persian cats still get classified as exotic pets. But the list of exotic pets doesn’t end here.

Different countries provide licenses for other wild animals to be considered exotic pets. For example:

  • The U.S Government legally permits people to keep iguanas as their exotic pets.
  • Lions, tigers, and other wild animals belonging to the Feline family legally belong
    to the exotic category in Arabian countries like U.A.E, Oman, etc.
  • The Arabs also consider falcons to be exotic.
  • Victoria is the only state in Australia that allows its residents to legally keep kangaroos as pets.
  • 6 states of the U.S.A, namely, North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Alabama, legally permit their residents to keep big cats and other wild animals like wolves, bears, etc as exotic pets.

Final Thoughts

In summary, guinea pigs are still considered exotic pets globally. 

Exotic pets are uncommon animals that you find in a pet shop every day. In fact, not every clinic near us treats exotic pets. 

In general, all animals apart from cats and dogs, especially the small ones, are considered exotic pets.

These are special animals that require special attention, and our cavies belong to this category.

Hamsters, turtles, rabbits, horses, and many other animals qualify under the category of exotic animals. However, you need to check your state laws before buying an exotic animal as your pet.

Every country has its own laws regarding the license of exotic pets, and you need to abide by the same while getting a license for your pet.

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