Whether you like to give your pets presents for the holidays or are looking for the appropriate gift for a pet loving friend it can be difficult to think of something for every party animal on your list. To help, here are a few gifts perfect either for the exotic pet that has everything as well as a few they can never get enough of.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
- A chick waterer is a great way to safely give your bugs water. You can buy them at CAL Ranch in America Fork or other places.
- Another good product, also for watering your roaches is Fluker’s Cricket Quencher availble at local Utah Petsmarts, Petcos, and Animal Ark.
- Would your tarantula like something new to rest under? Look at Petsmart’s large selection of fish hides. While they are made for aquariums these can ad a fun touch to your spider’s decor. Give him anything from a prirate ship to a Buddah to a human skull or even Sponge Bob’s pinnaple under the sea to explore.
- Did you know that your Praying Mantis likes an occasional sweet thing? Watch her eat honey from a small dish.
- Hermit crabs love honey, too!
- If you have a lone hermit crab, consider getting him a friend. Despite their name, hermit crabs are not hermits at all and are very social. a friend of around the same size or even a few will perk your crab right up! Animal Ark in American Fork has a variety of sizes to choose from.
- Your crabs can always use more natural shells! Hermit crabs enjoy trying on shells and so a large sellection is good, but did you know that the painted shells that are often sold in pet stores (more often than not, you bought them with a painted shell) are deadly to these little creatures? As the paint flakes, crabs eat the flakes and it makes them very ill. Continue to ask your local pet store for a better selection of natural shells for your crabs, but until then order them from places like ShellCity which is very reasonable.
- Sometimes a decoration becomes a toy for inquisitive hermit crabs. Akiska from Utah says “My hermits seem to have an obsession with sparkly things. Puppy drags around a marble constantly, I had to add another for Diva, because apparently things that sparkle make life that much better.”
Small Lizards and Geckos
- Cholla wood (pronounced Choy-uh) is from a cactus but this twisty, hollow stuff makes attractive and very fun climbing medium for many animals incuding lizards. While it can be quite pricey at the pet store you can find pretty big branches at craft stores like Michaels or Roberts.
- Leopard geckos, especially, need a moist hide. This helps reptiles lay eggs but also just have comfortable molts.
- Replace your snake’s little dish of water with a big one he can soak in. Petco has several nice ones that your snake can not tip, and that look like rock to go nicely with the decor.
- Torties like Russian Tortoises should not be fed pellets, but instead need greens and hay, but often hayat the pet store is stale. Try finding the freshest Timothy Hay and see how they chow down!
- UVA/UVB lights lose efficiency over time, so consider getting a new one for your tortoise’s basicking area. These are very difficult to find at local pet stores. Consider Carolina Pet Supply.
- TNT is the best, most natural, suppliment for your tortoises. It is made by Joe at Carolina Pet Supply.
- Turtles and tortoises both eat natural cuttlebones (the same kind used for birds) when they need extra calcium. Providing a cuttlebone not only gives them more interaction than calcium powders, it is more natural and they only eat it when they need it.
- Turtles enjoy shrimp as a treat.
Iguanas and other Large Lizards
- Large lizards enjoy a comfortable place to relax, like a Reptile Hammock. THese are sold at local Utah Petsmarts and sometimes Petco and Animal Ark.
- Manu minerals provide many minerals that parrots would get in the Amazon while conditioning their beaks.
- Happy Huts are comfortable places for birds to rest and snuggle. Perfect for these cold Utah winters.
- If your bird is bored, what about a gym, complete with basket ball hoop?
- Treat boxes that are shreddable are a big hit with big and small parrots!
- Often the best present for a hamster, mouse, or gerbil is free – an empty toilet paper roll! “My favorite toy for ALL of my animals is SO easy and SO beyond cheap. Basically, I fill a paper towel tube with some favorite treats of theirs. Then, I stuff the ends with a little bit of paper towel, and PRESTO! instant toy. If they need some help smelling their yummies, I poke little holes in the tube. NOTE: Some animals CAN get stuck in tubes- try and use the largest ones possible to keep this from happening. Otherwise, cut alternating slits in the tube, so if they do get stuck it’s not hard for them to get out.” writes Kairei, a rodent mom.
- Because rodents have continually growing teeth, they need safe things to gnaw and chew. Many woods are safe, but because of the chance of pesticides in local woods, it is safest just to buy chews for local pet stores.
- Rats enjoy things to chew to keep their teeth down like other rodents.
- Rats love fleece hammocks, tunnels, and pouches not unlike sugar gliders. Most of these items are not sold at local pet stores but are homemade and can be purchased on Etsy.com or eBay or at specialty stores like Fuzzies Kingdom.
- Rats are social animals, so if your rat is alone consider giving them the best gift ever of a same sex cage buddy!
- Rats can often enjoy toys made for cats for chasing and for birds for foraging!
- Sugar gliders really should never be alone, so if you have a lone glider, forget other expensive presents and put your money towards a same sex cage buddy! They will be much happier and so will you.
- A favorite sugar glider toy that is easy to come by even at the local Walmart is a Barrel of Monkeys game. Just hang them all over and watch them collect them.
- Sugar gliders are very intelligent and enjoy solving puzzles like the kind meant for parrots. They are sold at Utah Petcos and Petsmarts.
- Baby toys, meant for humans, too, are often just the thing for Sugar gliders. Check out your local Deseret Industries!
- Chinchillas are very active critters and really should have a large exercise wheel. However, not all take to a standard wheel so it is reccomended you use a Flying Saucer-style.
- Chinchillas love dust baths but a dust bath house keeps that dust from flying all over in the air. They are sold at Petco.
- Rabbits love to toss and chase. Rabbit toys are sold at Petsmart, but something as simple as a cumpled ball of paper can entertain your bunny friend, too.
- Did you know guinea pigs love balls? Watch them play their guinea pig sports for you! You can use a wiffle ball sold at Honk’s dollar store in Provo.
- Ferrets are smart and curious. Foraging toys meant for birds can be filled with a meaty treat and exercise their mind.
- Did you know ferrets love raw food? Check with your butcher department to see if they ahve chicken necks!
- Large PVC pipoes can be turned into fin running tunnels for ferrets
Be creative, but stay safe this Holiday
Whatever you give your pet, make sure it is safe for them by checking with others in the exotic community who have used that item. They might also come up with more creative ideas for gifts for your furry, scaley, shelly, funny family!
And remember, if your pet has more than enough this year, consider giving to those that are in need in their name.