One of the few downsides of being an exotic pet owner is finding the right supplies. Large chain stores often have an extremely small selection, and the staff isn’t always well-versed in the care of exotics. Not to mention, it’s always preferable to support small, local businesses when possible.
Fortunately, we have several stores in and around the Oakland area where you can easily find supplies for your exotic pet. Whether you need toys for your bird, a spacious enclosure for your rats, or you have a question about the right lights for your reptiles, there is a pet store nearby that will fit the bill. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve gathered up our top pet supply stores that we find to be the best in the area. Take a look!
our favorite exotic pet stores near oakland
Kicking off the list is the oldest reptile store in the country! East Bay Vivarium in Berkeley has been in business since 1970 and is the place to go for reptile and invertebrate supplies. The staff is extremely knowledgeable about all things reptile, and if you have questions, they have answers. If you are new to reptiles and concerned about getting things right, the staff of East Bay Vivarium can get you started on the right foot.
If the name sounds familiar, you may have seen one of their traveling shows. Their traveling troupe of reptiles has appeared at schools, community groups, and specific functions to offer reptile education. Their presentations range from husbandry and safety to the ecology of different habitats. If you’re interested in learning more about reptiles, they even offer a virtual webinar.
If you are looking for supplies for your rabbit, guinea pig, or other small mammal, or if your bunny or guinea pig needs a nail trim or gland cleaning, then you need to make a visit to RabbitEARS (or book an appointment for grooming services). Located right in Oakland, they offer a selection of small animal supplies and have recently started selling dog and cat food, making it a one-stop shop if you have multiple species at home.
RabbitEARS is more than just a pet supply store and groomer. The real mission of this business is right there in the name. EARS - Education, Awareness, Rescue, and Services. The revenue from their grooming services and pet supplies goes to fund their mission of providing emergency rescue for rabbits and guinea pigs who have run out of time at the shelter. Owner surrenders are not accepted, the rescue is geared specifically toward animals who are in imminent danger of euthanasia.
Originally a home business, Feathered Follies is now the go-to store for avian supplies and is located in Concord. They have a knowledgeable staff, a broad selection of food and treats, and enrichment toys. They also offer grooming services, including corrective grooming.
Feathered Follies has some surrendered and rescued birds available for adoption. They have an extensive adoption process to assure these birds are getting the second chance at happiness they deserve. Their rescued birds are all adults, some are owner surrenders, and for adoption to be considered, the bird has to show that it is comfortable with you, and you will need to prove that you can handle the bird competently.
Mike’s Feed in San Leandro has recently moved and now has two stores right next to each other. One of them caters to indoor pets, both traditional and exotic, while the other is targeted toward farm animals. Mike’s carries everything from rabbit hutches to hoof trimmers and has a large selection of pet foods. If you’re looking for a store where you can get the basics for your pet, swing by Mike’s and take a look around.
an important note: adopt don’t shop
So many pet supply stores also carry pets, especially small mammals and reptiles. It can be hard to walk in and see those little faces and not think about walking out with a new friend. If you’re in the market for an exotic, try to avoid shopping at pet stores, unless you know they are involved in rescue work. Most often, these pets come from questionable sources, and they may not be in the healthiest condition. When it comes to specific exotics, a main concern is that animals were captured in the wild or obtained from high-volume mills instead of obtained from a reputable breeder.
If you are hoping to expand your family, look for exotic rescues. There are many reputable rescues in the Oakland area that specialize in exotics. They provide their pets with the appropriate veterinary care, have worked on socializing them, and can let you know about any little quirks you need to watch out for. Rescues can also provide you with helpful resources about the type of animal you are interested in before you even start to look.
Before adopting from any source, make sure you’ve done your due diligence. If you are new to exotic pets, make sure you know the responsibility you are taking on. Rescues and shelters are filled with animals who were surrendered due to a lack of owner education. You want to make sure the pet you get is compatible with your lifestyle and that you can provide the care and attention it needs. Don’t worry - we have resources on our website that can help you on your exotic animal journey.
We also know that, even after adopting a new pet, life moves along. People need to work and travel. Make sure, when you’re considering care for your exotic pet, you choose a pet sitter that is experienced and knowledgeable. Exotic pets aren’t like dogs and cats. They need a trained eye to care for them and ensure they aren’t displaying any signs of stress or illness. Fur And Feather Pet Care specializes in care of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, pocket pets, and invertebrates in the Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro areas.