Talking to your vet before getting a Niche Pet in Knoxville, TN

Talking to your vet before getting a Niche Pet in Knoxville, TN

It can be hard to define a niche pet, or a pet niche. Some vets are good with a variety of animals and some specialize in certain types of animals.

Your veterinarian in Knoxville, TN can let you know, before you make that commitment to a niche pet, whether they are able to help you if something should go wrong.

Most pet owners have dogs and cats. Some go a bit further, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, horses. Birds and fish are always popular. And then there are the exotics, lizards, monkeys, snakes, tigers. Yes, tigers. There are more tigers in captivity in the US than there are in the wild.

Each animal requires special attention. Truly exotic animals, like monkeys, snakes, and tigers, will need to be seen by an Exotic Vet. If your vet in Knoxville, TN doesn’t care for these animals, they will be able to help you find someone who can.

The most common “niche” pets are:

Fish

It’s estimated that 11.5 million people have fish in the home. Whether you won a goldfish at the carnival or your kid decided they needed a Dory, which is the type of fish as well as the name of the fish in Finding Nemo, fish require special care. Feeding, cleaning, water temperature, even temperament of other species can affect the fish's ability to live a healthy life. Unlike most animals, you can’t really take your fish to the vet, so you will want to make sure to talk to the vet ahead of time to find out what the best course of care is.

Birds

Cockatiels and Parakeets are the most common bird companions. Both species are able to live alone but both require some special care. Cockatiels need to exercise and fly outside of their cage, and both birds need unfiltered sunlight or UV light to make sure they are getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Many vets take on birds as patients, but again, make sure to talk to your vet before making the commitment. Some species of parrots can live to be over 40 years old.

Reptiles

All pets should see the vet at least once a year, including your snake or lizard. Your reptile can have parasites or even a bone disease that can impact its ability to shed and breed. Reptiles also generally require live food at some point. So, remember, before getting that cool ball python, they will want to eat mice. And your bearded dragon will want some mealworms.

Horses

Not only are they pets, they are also valuable assets. Whether they help you on the farm, or provide you with transportation, a horse is a magnificent animal. They also have very special needs. Your vet can’t shoe your horse, but a horse vet can recommend a blacksmith. Most vets that give care to horses come to the horse, and if the horse is boarded, they may have a veterinarian that they use regularly.

The bottom line is that all pets are commitments. The more niche you go, even if it’s just a special breed of dog or cat, they have different needs and standards of care. Your vet in Knoxville, TN, while they may not treat your specific niche pet, is able to help you decide whether you want to take on that obligation. Make sure to talk to them before you bring a new member of the family into your home.