Curious about the most unique pets that people just can’t stop adopting?
I’m not talking guinea pigs, cats and dogs, although I know that each one is totally unique in their own way!
I’m talking about those off-the-wall animals that, honestly, aren’t even really ethical pets to adopt most of the time.
Read on to discover the top ten that I keep seeing pop up on my social media feeds.
10 Most Unique Pets That People Can’t Stop Adopting
First, let me just say that I do not condone owning any of these animals.
While some do make good pets in the right home (my aunt had one, my cousin another), others belong only in the wild.
This list is solely for educational purposes. Got it? Good! Let’s get started!
Since it would be impossible to cover everything you need to know about each animal in one article, I’m including some good videos to give you an overview.
1. Miniature Donkey
From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Reese Witherspoon to Brad Paisley, teeny tiny donkeys seem to be the hottest celebrity pet trend this year.
According to the Donkey Sanctuary, these smaller versions of the standard donkey were ” originally used to turn grinding stones for grain inside peasants’ houses.”
The sanctuary also explains that the main rule for considering a donkey miniaturized is that he is no more than “91 cm at the withers.”
While they can be considered ethical pets in the right home, if you live in an apartment, ask yourself whether it’s really fair to keep a farm animal confined in such a way.
What guinea pig lover hasn’t considered adopting a capybara?
After all, they’re basically ginormous cavies, right? Well, not so much.
Yes, they’re a type of rodent. The largest type, in fact.
However, given their sheer size, their needs are much different than our petite-by-comparison piggies.
An adult capy eats a whopping 6-8 lbs of grass every single day, in addition to fruits and veggies.
So again, unless you have the room- and the budget- for their needs, don’t adopt one.
3. Fennec Fox
The fennec fox is definitely one of the most unique pets that people really need to reconsider adopting.
Their adorable ears and playful nature make them seem like fun little dog-like pets.
However, as The Spruce explains, even though they’re bred in captivity, they are NOT domesticated.
These adorable little foxes also have incredible exercise needs, so they’re not ideal for inactive people.
Also, as they are desert animals, they have very specific needs in terms of the temperature of their environment.
So, if you live in a colder climate, you’ll have to keep your thermostat at around 68 year-round AND find a way to exercise them sufficiently indoors.
4. Sugar Glider
My cousin’s wife rescues some of the most unique pets that people adopt without doing research first.
One of her most recent rescues is a cute little sugar glider
Related: Black Beauty Sugar Glider
Related: Black Beauty Sugar Glider
Related: Sugar Glider Breed & Colors
Related: Sugar Glider Breed & Colors.
These neat nocturnal creatures look like tiny flying squirrels, but they’re actually more closely related to the kangaroo.
PetMD explains that they do make great pets as long as you actually take the time to learn about their needs.
Sugar gliders are incredibly sociable, and they’ll actually get depressed if you don’t spend enough time with them.
So, they’re not ideal for families that are gone all day, or busy people who want a low-maintenance pet.
Hedgehogs are quickly gaining in popularity for those who want more unique pets.
While VetStreet does say that they can make great pets for the right family, there are quite a few things you need to know before adopting one.
First, these little guys aren’t exactly cuddly!
While they’re not quite as dangerous as porcupines who shoot their quills, they’re still covered in sharp little spines.
Also, these little guys are called “hogs” for a reason! They love to eat, and if you’re not strict with their diets, they will become overweight.
Last, and perhaps most important, they carry human diseases like salmonella.
So, they’re not a good choice for kids, who just aren’t as diligent about handwashing as adults are (or should be!).
Skunks probably aren’t creatures that you’d think to keep as a pet, but they’re actually incredibly popular.
Perhaps a little too popular, in my opinion.
See, unless you like living with noxious fumes every time they get freaked out, you’ll have to surgically remove their scent glands.
I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem very fair to the skunk.
Why should he have to loose something that nature gave him as a defense mechanism just so we can snuggle with him on our sofa?
That said, skunks are highly intelligent and sweet creatures, so if you’re considering adopting a rescued one that simply can’t be returned to the wild, go for it!
Just make sure it’s legal in your states, as most ban skunks as pets.
Like I said, it’s really only ethical if you’re working with a wildlife rehabilitator.
Of all the strange pets my family has owned, my aunt’s goose Chip had to be the most unique.
Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.
According to Texas A&M, geese make good pets for those who have enough space to for them.
Chip lived in my aunt’s house and roamed virtually unfettered. She also has a large deck and wetlands right in her back yard.
He was- at least as far as I could tell- a very happy goose with an incredibly deep bond with my aunt.
However, these may not be great pets for kids, as they do tend to “goose” you on occasion!
I couldn’t find a “what you need to know” video, but Pet Goose George’s channel will give you a good overview.
Please, unless you’re a trained animal rehabilitator or work with one, don’t adopt this unique pet
Related: Albino Sugar Gliders
Related: Albino Sugar Gliders.
First, it’s illegal in most states, and for a good reason.
As National Geographic so succinctly put it, “You’re basically dealing with a dinosaur.”
Wild Florida lists the many reasons why owning a gator is such a bad idea, the most obvious being those teeth.
Then there’s the fact that they can reach up to 1,500 pounds in weight!
Gators really don’t belong in any home, but if you insist on adopting one, please don’t do it if you have young children at home.
Alpacas are among the most ethical-to-own unique pets on this list, but only if you live on a farm or have a lot of property.
As they are sociable pack animals, it’s best to get more than one.
You’ll also need to be patient and work on building trust, so if you’re looking for a pet that loves you instantly, this one isn’t for you.
Once you do build trust, though, Breezy Hill Farm Alpacas writes that they’re very easy to train!
I never saw the appeal of keeping poisonous insects as pets, but scorpions are actually fairly common companion creatures.
Although, you’ll have to stretch the idea of “companion” pretty far on this one!
Emperor scorpions are the most popular, and the Spruce has a guide on caring for them.
Honestly, I’m terrified of bugs that bite or sting, so I’m trying really hard not to look at that video below right now!
These are definitely not good pets for the squeamish!
Again, while these are all unique pets that people can’t stop adopting, not all of them are exactly ethical to own.
Just because we can buy something doesn’t mean we should!
In the case of geese, alpacas and capybaras, only consider them if you have the space.
It’s just cruel to keep them in apartments or small homes!
As far as foxes, skunks and alligators go, some things simply belong in the wild, period.