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Exotic Pet Checklist: “Before You Buy”

This checklist contains important questions that should be answered before buying an exotic pet.

Is an exotic pet right for me? There are a number of questions that you should discuss with your family before making a purchase.

That's why we've put together a checklist for you to help you make the right choice. At the end of the article, we also have useful information for your parents. Feel free to print this page so you can tick the boxes.

Praying Mantis Photo: Maciej Olszewski/Shutterstock


1. Life Expectancy

Can you look after your pet for 6-20 years?

Exotic pets have very different lifespans. Bearded dragons get to be 6 years old, while crested or leopard geckos and axolotls can live for up to 20 years, and tortoises live for much, much longer. Some exceptions are insects, which only live for a few months. Luckily, these animals don’t need as much time or attention as a dog or cat. Still, you should still consider whether and how your own life might change in this time period.

Here, you’ll find an overview of all fact sheets on exotic pets.

2. Vacation

Can someone look after your pet when you go on vacation?

Ask your friends and relatives if they would be prepared to look after your pets. If your pets feed on live food, they should be able to deal with it - after all, not everyone can! Not all pet sitters accept exotic animals. And it’s not very easy to transport pets like axolotls, as they live in aquariums. And of course, pet sitters cost money.


3. Costs

Do you have enough money to look after your pet?

The exotic pets here on are among those that are cheapest to buy. Axolotls cost around 50 euros. You can expect to pay around 100 euros for bearded dragons, leopard geckos, crested geckos or tortoises. Insects are considerably cheaper. However: an aquarium or terrarium with special water filters and/or lights can easily cost several hundred euros. As the prices for keeping these animals can vary so much, a specialist guide book is the best idea.

4. Does Your Family Agree With the Decision?

After all, your parents will be responsible for your pet. They have to agree. Even your siblings should get a say in getting a new family member.

Parents’ Info

A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:

Children with pets:

  • Learn about responsibility.
  • Develop confidence and empathy.
  • Are more active and get sick less often.
  • Are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
  • Feel less alone when their parents are at work.

Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.


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