6 Weird Problems No One Tells You About Owning Exotic Pets
Exotic pets aren't just for Bond villains anymore. Critters that were once limited to the creepy kid or the bachelor with scars down his arm are gradually becoming standard household pets like cats and dogs. Perhaps soon there won't be any need for the term "exotic" whatsoever, as snakes and spiders roam around freely in our living rooms.
But before you go and buy your child an exotic pet, ask yourself: Are they (or more likely, you) actually committed to doing what's necessary for the animal? If your answer is yes, you might rethink that after we tell you ...
Turtles Will Make You Touch Their Horrific Dicks
There are all sorts of good things about owning a turtle. They can't run away from you, and they are practically immortal, to the point where they may even outlive you. Shit, there's even a turtle alive today that was found by a soldier during World War I. Let the pet be the one to mourn the owner and cry every time during Marley & Me, for a change. Yep, turtles can offer you companionship for decades and decades ... and the only thing they ask in return is that you look at (and sometimes clean) their awful, disgusting turtle dicks.
"Oh yeah, 'cause your crotch is a real treasure."
Like most males, turtles are proud of their penises. The difference is that there is no law against reptilian public indecency, so sometimes they get into the habit of waving their dick around, which is known as penis fanning. This has led to a series of hilariously horrified pet owners asking the Internet why there is a "poo," a "dark bladder," or a "black flower" coming out from behind the turtle. Black flower? How would a penis even look like-
OK, yeah, there it is.
The terrifying part (yes, that video wasn't the terrifying part) is that sometimes your Leonardo's little katana gets stuck flopping around outside his shell, a problem known as a "penile prolapse." The good news is that this condition can be treated in your own home. The bad news is that you'll never feel clean again after doing this.
You will, however, gain a greater appreciation for the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
What exactly do you have to do? A quote from this turtle care website describes it:
"With clean hands ... lubricate the organ with KY Jelly, and gently attempt to assist the organ back into the turtle. If this fails ... coat the penis with dry, granulated sugar or honey."
"The most difficult step is learning to live with yourself afterward."
Or you can continue seeing the terror dick every day. Your call.
Iguanas Know When You're Menstruating (and Hate You for It)
If you're not ready for that kind of commitment, your friendly pet store attendant might instead offer you a good deal on an iguana, since that's currently the most popular reptile pet in the USA. And these bastards do look pretty awesome: You're just a can of deodorant and a lighter away from owning a tiny dragon.
Don't actually do that. He'll tail-whip your face off.
They'll probably tell you to make sure you don't piss off your new pet (you can Google "iguana bite" if you don't believe us, although we don't recommend it), but how hard could that be? Simply avoid stepping on its tail, or hitting it with things, or producing blood from your vagina. Wait, what?
Oh yeah, it turns out these little Hannibal Lecters can smell when a woman is on her menstrual cycle, which is creepy enough by itself, but it gets worse: There have been multiple reports of male iguanas turning aggressive on their owners when Aunt Flo is visiting. Why? We don't exactly know. Maybe women produce a pheromone that makes the iguana crazy, or maybe it's just an attempted mercy killing, as they figure nobody could possibly survive such blood loss. Incidentally, if they attack you, you'll be losing a lot more blood, because seriously, don't Google "iguana bite."
Just try to appreciate your fingers.
On the upside, it appears that this happens only during the animal's mating season (which lasts three months), so if you do the math, your iguana will be trying to kill you for a mere nine to 15 days a year. Also, scientists have helpfully clarified that not all women on their periods will be attacked, and that sometimes pet iguanas go after dudes. For no discernible reason.
"Oh, you know what you did. Don't give me that look."
Birds Think Being Petted Is Foreplay
So you have to buy a pet for your young nephew, but you don't want anything that might try to hump his leg or go around the neighborhood loudly announcing that it wants to get laid. Cats and dogs are out, those perverts. You want a wholesome, easy-to-love animal -- and how can you go wrong with a bird? Discounting the few bad apples that like to learn swear words and teach them to other birds, most feathered friends you might buy at a pet store are remarkably affectionate, clearly enjoying being petted and stroked.
In fact, they enjoy it a little too much.
It's not a coincidence that his beak is completely hard now.
You see, birds consider petting to be foreplay. It even makes them pant as they start getting all hot and bothered. They like the feeling of your hand innocently going over their backs for the same reason that a dog would like it if you rubbed its testicles. Of course, not all birds enjoy being literally cockteased all the time -- some feel sexually frustrated because they're not getting any real action and turn angry and violent, while others will naturally assume that there's something going on between you two. If you have visited a friend whose bird becomes overly defensive of its owner, there you go: To the bird, you are trying to steal its spouse.
"Bitch totally cage-zoned me."
And how will your feathery suitor express its romantic affection? Why, by puking, of course, just like most of our first dates. If you're like us, you're immediately rethinking every interaction you've had with a bird right now. This certainly sheds a new light on all those "cute" videos of birds being petted on YouTube -- that shit is practically bestiality.
So, remember: To avoid this confusion and save your pet some potential heartache, experts recommend that you pet only the head of the bird and avoid going south unless your intentions are serious. In which case, ew.
Hair condoms, dude.
Ferrets Can Die from Being Too Horny
Apparently, picking an exotic pet that won't completely traumatize its owner is harder than it sounds, so you decide to go with one of the classics: the ferret. Ferrets have been our companions for an estimated 2,500 years, look adorable with their hairy domino masks, and on top of everything are great dancers. In fact, they're so great that you decide to get a girl ferret so that she can eventually multiply into an entire happy ferret family.
Just make sure the ferret does have sex, though, because otherwise you've just condemned her to a painful death.
"Oh, now you need sex or you'll die? Guess who just 'got a headache,' Tina."
Yes, female ferrets will develop a minor medical issue if they have been waiting for a mate for too long: It's called "death." More specifically, the thing that kills them is a fatal state of too much horniness. Unlike human females, with their fancy and confusing system of spontaneous ovulation (which has the negative effect of making them not constantly fertile and infuriating iguanas), ferrets have induced ovulation, meaning that they will remain in heat until they have sex.
"Ain't no brakes on this train."
Unfortunately, the hormones that flood their body during heat are toxic and will sooner or later kill them if a guy ferret doesn't come along and end their torment with a good dicking (which we're pretty sure is the plot of most furry fan-fiction). So, about that "getting a pet that won't traumatize my nephew" thing? Well, hopefully little Timmy isn't too shaken up by watching his ferret get slowly poisoned by its own sex drive until the vet prescribes some euthanasia.
"I'm very sorry, she's gone. And it's your fault for not getting her a gigolo."
It's therefore recommended that owners spay their ferrets, and for those intending to breed them, they'd better be ready to go through with it every breeding season. It's something worth remembering the next time you're complaining about how long it's been since you got laid -- at least your body won't kill you for striking out.
You May Have to Crack Open Some Skulls for Your Snake
We don't mean to imply that every problem with an exotic pet is related to some kind of weird sex thing. We're not sure how we got off on that tangent. So let's proceed to something much, much worse.
If you're going to buy a reptile, you might as well stop fucking around and go for the Corvette of scaly crawlers -- the snake. Sure, snakes get a bad rap in cartoons and the Bible, but the popular pet varieties, like the corn snake, are non-venomous, are harmless to humans, and will allow you to delight your dates with clever and hilarious sexual puns.
"Hey look, look. Let's have sssssssex."
Then there's the fact that you only have to feed them every week or so, meaning that they won't die like those flimsy-ass goldfish if you vanish for a week. And only occasionally will you have to open a mouse's skull before feeding it to them.
Huh? What's that? You'd rather limit the number of times you touch a tiny animal's brain matter to "never"? Too late, buddy. You already signed up to be a snake owner; "braining" mice every now and then is part of the job description.
As are claw hammers.
Unlike dogs, who will eat any animal byproducts that are mashed into the vague shape of a meat chunk, snakes are more fussy, demanding their meals whole. The norm is to feed them frozen pre-killed mice, but sometimes the snake refuses to eat it. This is particularly problematic for hatchlings, which may refuse their food until they starve to death. And that's where you come in.
There are several possible techniques to persuade a snake to eat, but the most effective and easily applied method is braining -- piercing the dead rodent's head and exposing its brain to make it smell tastier.
"Could you hurry up? I can't post this to Instagram until it's ready."
Yep, if you get a snake, you have to be prepared to crack open the skulls of tiny little corpses. Oh, and don't even think about cutting some corners and thawing that frozen treat in the microwave, because you'll be scraping out exploded mouse innards for the next week.
You know what, you might be better off just getting a giant spider. Speaking of which ...
Tarantulas Shed Their Skin ... With Your Help
Tarantulas generally aren't dangerous to humans, and also they're furry and gentle and ... OK, screw this, we're terrified of these things. However, tarantulas are becoming increasingly popular as pets, so maybe you think it's a good idea to get one. Or you did, before seeing this:
What exactly are we seeing, though? Is that an adult tarantula giving birth to another adult tarantula? Nope: It's a single spider shedding its skin, which is then left behind in one piece like a hollow doppelganger. Here's what the empty husk looks like:
Now you have a Halloween costume for your lizard!
Dozens of cruel pranks could be played with the discarded spider molt, which might even be worse than the real thing. Think about it: At least when you pick up an actual tarantula that someone left on your pillow, your finger won't go straight through and cause arachnid pieces to crumble onto your bed. Which you'll then have to burn.
But it's not all fun and games -- sometimes your tarantula might need a hand getting undressed. As in, you'll have to assist it in removing its old skin if it gets stuck, even if it means doing it leg by leg, because if the molt hardens and the tarantula is still inside, it's gonna die. Afterward, you might wanna give your living room a good vacuuming, because it's going to end up littered with little armor pieces as though there's been an arachnid explosion.
If there's a lesson in all this (besides "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!"), it's that tarantulas and exotic pets in general aren't quirky toys for you or your kid to whip out in front of friends so they'll think you're cool. (PRO TIP: They won't anyway.) You have to be really, really committed to owning one, like the guy in the video above who patiently undressed his leggy friend piece by piece. Otherwise, get a damn hamster.
Related Reading: Too lazy to own a pet, but still want one? We've got the list for you, and it includes a poo-trap for your dogs. Absolutely need the cutest possible cat? Try this link and fall in love with a feline munchkin. If you already ARE a pet owner, let Adam Brown tell you what not to do.
The Basstronaut has nothing to do with pets, but goddamn is he cool.