Dogs, cats, fish, rats and other common animal friends probably make up 90 percent or more of the pet community. Those among us who have a taste for something more exotic can take heart, California law is very strict (only Hawaii has a stricter code) primarily to protect the State’s agriculture and prevent importing diseases communicable to people. Those restrictions aside, the Golden State is pure gold for those wanting to walk on the slightly wilder side! For example:
Egg producers are a potential small business as well as a pet. Choose kid-friendly breeds such as Australorp, Blue Cochin, Buff Orpington, Olive Egger or Salmon Faverolle, and be warned, roosters don’t necessarily crow only at dawn.
Goats usually check in between 100 and 200 pounds, but “mini” varieties under 100 pounds might be easier to handle. They love to run, s you’ll need a big yard and a really good fence. They are affectionate and very social, as well as providing great fertilizer — lots of great fertilizer!
Love the mighty Clydesdales? They are magnificent but way too much for most people. Consider miniature horses (up to 250 pounds); they make fabulous service/therapy animals and non-service animals can be trained to help with basic household tasks. They can even be housebroken — trained to relieve themselves on a schedule.
If you’re into low-maintenance companions, many lizard species are good options. They are cold-blooded, so they must have a suitable habitat, like a terrarium with a light bulb. Some species are finicky eaters, leaves or bugs only, while others are omnivores. Obviously, lizards that grow large enough to attack your city with their atomic death breath should not be imported from Japan.
Pigs, especially the pot-bellied, have become very popular, but they are predators, so having other pets might end up being a very temporary situation. Very small breeds are available, but they don’t always breed true, so you may get something the size of a Great Dane when you thought you bought a Chihuahua. They are affectionate, even cuddly, but any pig can get very unruly if you don’t make sure it knows you are the boss.
Do Exotic Right
Always check with the city or county regarding local restrictions and be prepared for some lack of appreciation among your unenlightened neighbors. Don’t forget to keep the Nor Cal Vet contact info handy. We are the Daly City, California, premier animal health care facility, with 24/7 emergency care and by-appointment general care.