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What are the Best Tips for Buying Exotic Pets Online?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 05, 2024
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Buying exotic pets online may come with many risks. It is essential to do much research and find a reputable dealer. It is also important to be sure not to purchase exotic pets that are illegal to possess. Some disreputable dealers may offer seemingly good deals, but these may not be legal animals to possess.

Before purchasing exotic pets online, it's a good idea to research the species that is being considered. Care, housing, and feeding requirements could dictate which species to buy. Some online dealers may offer specific animals for sale, such as reptiles or birds.

Finding a reputable dealer or breeder of exotic pets online should involve contacting the dealer directly. If a dealer's website does not offer a telephone number for inquiries, this company should be avoided. Email correspondence is generally not the best method of doing business.

Inquire from the breeder or dealer, when buying exotic pets online, how the animals are cared for. This may include their diet and housing. Instructions for care once the animal arrives are essential. When buying exotic pets online, it should be remembered that certain species should never be kept as house pets. A website offering tiger or bear cubs for sale could be considered disreputable.

When buying exotic pets online, it's always best to pick up the pet in person. Having an animal shipped could present risks and may not be in the animal's best interest. There are exceptions, but if shipping can be avoided, it's best to do so. If there is no alternative than to have the animal shipped, it is important to inquire about how the animal will be shipped and in what conditions it will be held. Some breeders ship their exotic pets to be picked up at the cargo office at the airport.

Payment options are a major consideration when purchasing exotic pets online. Many dealers and breeders offer payment plans. Some require a deposit, with an option to make several payments over a course of a few weeks. Typically, the pet will be shipped or picked up after the final payment has been made. Before making payments, however, the buyer should inquire about guarantees.

A purchase of any exotic pet should come with a health guarantee. It's not a good idea to buy exotic pets online without that stipulation. A one-year health guarantee is preferred.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I consider before buying an exotic pet online?

Before purchasing an exotic pet online, consider the animal's specific needs, including diet, habitat, and veterinary care. Research the species to ensure you can provide a suitable environment and commit to its long-term care. Verify the legality of owning such a pet in your area, as regulations vary widely. Additionally, consider the ethical implications and the source's reputation to avoid supporting illegal wildlife trade.

How can I verify the legitimacy of an online exotic pet seller?

To verify a seller's legitimacy, look for reviews and testimonials from previous buyers. Check if the seller is licensed and if they comply with the Animal Welfare Act or other relevant regulations. Reputable sellers should be transparent about the origin of the animals and their health records. Contacting them directly to ask questions and requesting additional proof of their credibility is also advisable.

What are the risks of buying exotic pets online?

Buying exotic pets online carries risks such as supporting illegal wildlife trade, receiving an unhealthy or mistreated animal, or acquiring a species that's difficult to care for. According to the World Wildlife Fund, illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to biodiversity. Additionally, there's a risk of scams, where payments are taken without delivering the pet.

Is it safe to have exotic pets shipped to my home?

Shipping exotic pets can be safe if the seller uses a reputable animal transport service that follows the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations. These regulations ensure animals are transported in a humane, stress-minimizing manner. However, shipping can still be stressful for animals, so consider the implications and seek sellers that prioritize animal welfare.

Can I return an exotic pet if I change my mind after purchase?

Return policies for exotic pets vary by seller. Some may offer a return or exchange policy within a certain timeframe, while others may not accept returns due to the complex nature of rehoming exotic animals. Always review the seller's return policy before purchasing and consider the long-term commitment required when owning an exotic pet.

What post-purchase support should I expect from an online exotic pet seller?

A responsible online exotic pet seller should provide post-purchase support that includes detailed care instructions, advice on habitat setup, and availability for follow-up questions regarding the pet's health and behavior. Some may offer a health guarantee or assistance with veterinary referrals. Good sellers are invested in the well-being of the animals and the satisfaction of the buyer.

AllThingsNature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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