It’s Not Always a ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ With Exotic Pets

3. Hedgehogs and Other Exotics

Unbeknownst to most exotic pet owners, hedgehogs, like reptiles, may also carry salmonella in their intestinal tracts. The bacteria is harmless to them but can spread to other mammals, including people who handle hedgehogs or come in contact with their droppings. Hedgehogs should be kept separate from other pets, and anyone who comes in contact with a hedgehog or its stool should be sure to wash his or her hands thoroughly.

4. Birds With Cats, Dogs and Ferrets

A flying or flapping bird not only captures the attention of a natural predator, such as a dog, cat or ferret, but it also invites those animals to go after and catch the bird. The predatory pet may not even be intending harm to the bird, but even an innocent game of fetch with a bird in the predator’s mouth can lead to devastating injury or even death. Give your dog, cat or ferret an appropriate pet to play with and keep your bird out of reach.

5. All Small Mammals With Cats, Dogs and Ferrets

For the same reasons that birds should not interact with those natural predators, neither should small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, chinchillas and sugar gliders. These animals are all prey species and may succumb to the hunting behavior of even a playful predatory pet.

6. Hamsters and Hamsters

You’d think that these cute little fuzzy creatures would enjoy romping around with a playmate, but hamsters can be quite territorial and have been known to fight to the death when placed in the same cage. Hamsters do much better as solo pets and do not need cage mates to play with.


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