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why hire a professional pet sitter for your exotic pet

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

You have plans to go out of town for fun or work, and now you have to find a pet sitter for your exotic pet. Your mom is pushing you to have your teenage niece or nephew do it so they can learn responsibility. Your neighbor is promoting her unemployed brother-in-law, and some kid in the neighborhood has been hanging up flyers. There’s always that extra helpful friend, but he’s squeamish, and your snake will need to be fed. There are a lot of wonderful local pet sitters here in Oakland, but they specialize in dogs and cats.

You look at your exotic pet, and at the options, and it’s enough to make you cancel your plans.

Don’t ruin friendships or make family reunions awkward. Give your exotic pet the care they deserve, and give yourself peace of mind while you’re away. Hire a professional pet sitter. Your cousin will do it for 5 bucks? Here are the reasons why a professional pet sitter is a much better option… for both you and your pet.

exotic pets need a professional pet sitter

Of course, cats and dogs should absolutely be left in the care of a professional sitter. Cats are masters of faking feeling well and hiding from strangers. Dogs can have anxiety and medical issues, and even a perfectly healthy dog can suffer an emergency. A professional pet sitter is trained in handling these issues and can keep a cool head if an accident occurs.

A lot of exotic pets seem like they’d be easy to take care of. After all, don’t reptiles and birds just chill in cages? Rabbits and guinea pigs can’t possibly be hard… they just eat vegetables, right? Most people haven’t had enough exposure to unique pets to know that they have special needs and require just as much, if not more, care as a cat or a dog.

Will a friend or family member know what to do if your reptile's habitat has an equipment malfunction?

Do they know that reptiles have special lighting requirements and that certain lights should not be turned off?

Fur and Feather Pet Care Oakland exotic pet care handling a snake

With a professional pet sitter, you are working with someone who has direct experience with everyday care and emergency response.

All we need are emergency contacts, your pet's schedule, details on where the supplies are kept, and any requirements or preferences specific to your pet. We won’t have to quickly download a course on exotic pet care… because we have years of experience under our belts!

we aren’t afraid of your pets (or their food)

For those of us with more unusual pets, we have something extra to worry about. A friend may think they’re willing to care for a reptile or an arachnid, but do they know what they’re in for? Can they handle defrosting a pinky or feeder mouse for your snake? Are they willing to shake out some live crickets for your tarantula? If a habitat needs cleaning, are they willing to reach in? A neighbor or friend may be squeamish about feeding or handling your pet.

Fur and Feather Pet Care exotic pet care in Oakland Michelle with snake

As professional exotic pet sitters, we have experience with bird, reptiles, amphibians, fish, pocket pets, and invertebrates. We aren’t grossed out with feeding or clean-up. You can relax knowing that your pet is with someone who won’t freak out if your snake looks at them… or your scorpion moves half an inch.

we know how to socialize your exotic pet

Especially with a pet sitter, routine is an important part of keeping your pet comfortable. If your pet is used to having socialization time, we will make sure they have time outside of their habitat. A well-meaning neighbor may assume that just making sure your pet has food and water is enough… or assume a head pat and ‘hello’ count as socializing.

Fur and Feather Pet Care Oakland exotic pet care Michelle with guinea pig

Animals like rabbits need to be handled more carefully than many people realize. Many lizards can benefit from some sunlight but need to be carefully monitored. We know how to handle your pets and how to keep them safe. A family member may not realize that some exotic pets need to be handled with care. You don’t want to return home to find your rabbit has a back injury from poor handling… or that your ferret has moved into your vents.

we can recognize a medical emergency

Do your friends understand how to tell if your rabbit is feeling sick? Do they know about the importance of night feces? Can they tell if your rabbit has developed a dangerous case of GI stasis? If you have reptiles, will they recognize when they are acting lethargic?

Cats and dogs are great at masking symptoms, but they could learn a thing or two from exotics. Since many exotics are prey animals, they are professionals at acting like they’re in perfect health.

Professional exotic pet sitters can recognize symptoms and quickly notify you and get your pet help. They don't just notice symptoms, they actively look to make certain that everything is normal. They verify that your pet is eating, pay attention to your pet’s fecal consistency and output, and watch for any changes in behavior or odd body positioning.

finding a professional exotic pet sitter

Before you decide on a pet sitter, make sure they really are the right fit. Not all sitters handle exotics, so this will narrow down your pool of prospects… which makes things easier. If they specialize in exotics or can show proof of extensive work with exotic pets, this is even better. Look for someone who is insured and bonded; this protects them and you!

Fur and Feather Pet Care exotic pet care in Oakland feeding a guinea pig

Finally, if you can, look for someone who is a Registered Veterinary Technician. If you’re looking for a professional exotic pet sitter in the Oakland area, then we know exactly who you should call: Fur and Feather Pet Care!

We have years of experience with exotic animals, have worked in zoos and animal rehabs and have a passion for caring for unique pets. Tell your friends and family you appreciate their offers, but you already have a pet sitter in mind, and give us a call!

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