The popularity of exotic pets is on the rise in the United States and Grosse Pointe is certainly following this unique trend. Video’s are being shown on YouTube of snakes, iguanas, turtles and lizards, giving interest to these less common pets. With the love of these extraordinary creatures comes a bigger responsibility for their care and feeding. We are fortunate enough to have a resource here in our own backyard which can provide not only the animals themselves but the product and educational background needed to find the right fit for your family and lifestyle; as well as the information to care for them responsibly.
One of the most popular exotics is the Tarantula. These arachnids are easy to care for and need minimal food and water. There is a large spectrum and some species are aggressive while others are very gentle. Their cage is about the size of a dinner plate and just enough of a structure for them to clime into for daily life. Their living area needs to be sprayed down once a week and the bedding changed every three to four months. Their diet consists of crickets and consume only two to three per week. Tarantulas have unusually long life spans, with some female tarantulas living 20 years or more. Even though there may be some fear associated with them, these giant spiders can be a very gentle pet.
The next most popular is the African Pygmy Hedgehog. They are the easiest exotic pets to own. They actually breed them at Lou’s. The cage and bedding is the same size as a ginny pig. They are herbivores and carnivores. In the wild they would eat raspberries and blueberries while digging their pig noses in the ground for grubs and insects. For easy care, they do sell Hedgehog specific kibble. They do require an extra heat source because they do not have any insolation on their little bodies. They do love to swim and doggie paddle on their bellies really well. They can float because their quills are hallow and give them buoyancy. A few things to keep in mind if you fall for one of these sweet companions is that they are nocturnal are very active in the evening and have a very short life expectancy of three years.
The Sugar Glider is also a very popular exotic. They are marsupials and their closest relatives are the kangaroo and possum. They have a parachute membrane of skin that allows them to glide up to 100 feet from tree to tree in the wild. They have a highly intricate social dynamic and form tight nit groups. This behavior makes them an ideal pet as they are able to bond with their owners and other animals in the home. It also knows your scent and heartbeat which allows them to recognize you in a group. It lives in a pouch and eats nectar and sugary fruits, which is how they got their name. They sell sugar glider pellets, insects or meal worms for a delectable treat. If you are looking for a fun and long time companion, the Glider is the exotic for you. It can live up 15 years but keep in mind that it needs a lot of space. They require a cage the size of a refrigerator and as a nocturnal, sleep most of the day, keeping an active lifestyle at night.
If you have time to visit Lou's Pet Shop, please be sure to check out Franky, the infamous turtle, or should we say Sulcata Tortoise who is 26 years young and will probably out live all of us. Donnie's hope is that his children will retire with him in warm sunny Florida.
Lou’s Pet Shop carries a variety of exotic pets to fit your fancy. Donnie Cook took over from Lou’s son, Joe over 14 years ago. Donnie was in the automotive industry when he took a leap of faith and let his passion for animals drive his career. When Joe was going to sell the store, Donnie decided to purchase it and save it from closing. Donnie created a mission statement that meant something special to the community; “Crafting a culture of kindness through pet keeping.” Lou’s Pet Shop is licensed to sell exotic animals through the United States Department of Agriculture.
For more information, Lou's is located at 20779 Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods, #313-885-1560 or visit them at www.louspetshop.com.