Apps to Find and Care For an Exotic Pet (or Just Pretend to)

Ways to engage and raise animals through smartphone.

By Brenda Hill on October 17, 2013

Choosing the right pet for a family can be hard. Choosing the right exotic pet can be even harder.

For iOS users, there is the My Favorite Exotic Pet app to help anyone find the right exotic pet for them. The app has a possibility of 20 exotic pets and has the capability to compare species to find which pet best meets the needs of a household. Pet seekers can find out what it’d be like to have an African Pygmy Hedgehog and a Hyacinth Macaw.

Once the family has decided on a species, Android offers a series of exotic pet guides. Exotic Pets Tortoise Guide teaches new owners how to build a pen and feed and tame a tortoise. Exotic Pets Macaws teaches owners characteristics, eating habits and behavior of the beautiful birds. Lastly, Exotic Pets Snakes shares basic information including feeding and taming snakes.

If owning an exotic pet seems daunting, there are other app alternatives, such as making it look like you own a reptile without having to own one. Petwatch for iOS allows users to pick pictures of exotic pets and place them in their photos. It’s a great way to make it look like there is a snake placed in the hands of children, while being safely miles away. The Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance and wildlife veterinarian, Dr. William Karesh, explains EcoHealth Alliances’ part in creating the app, “Our scientists and expert collaborators developed the PetWatch rankings from research on global wildlife trade coming into the U.S. The PetWatch program evaluates species slated for the commercial pet trade and encourages responsible exotic pet choices and ownership by providing relevant information that might not be widely available at local pet stores."

Another alternative to having an exotic pet without owning one is creating an aquarium without forfeiting space in the house. Put an aquarium right on a smartphone with Pocket Pond. The app allows users to “own” exotic fish, without the responsibility. The interactive water responds to touches and swipes, allowing users to create ripples. The app for both iOS and Android devices is so interactive users can feed the koi in the pond.

Other aquarium apps include my Fish 3D Virtual Aquarium, which is a customizable aquarium. Users are able to download new fish species and objects. The 3D aquarium rotates and positions decoration any way users want. Android has its own version, 3D Aquarium, with two different lighting options and an auto-rotation option with speed control.

Choosing the right pet for a family is a big decision, and being well informed makes it easier. But sometimes, having a virtual pet makes the decision a no-brainer.