To many people, a cat, dog, or goldfish are the ideal pets. However, some prefer something far stranger and more interesting. You've probably heard of exotic pets like iguanas, tarantulas and turtles, but even these seem bland in comparison to some of the animals people call pets. Here are six examples of the weirdest house guests you'll ever see.
They may be slimy, but to some people, this is overshadowed by their uniqueness, friendly demeanor, and ease of care. Unlike dogs, they don't need to be walked or taken to the vet, they won't destroy your furniture. They live happily off of your vegetable scraps, and although most snails are small, some are quite large. Many of the species popularly kept as pets range between golf ball-size up to the size of a football. Currently, giant snails in the pet trade are more common in Europe than the United States due to laws and regulations.
Cockroaches aren't just pests that roam around your kitchen after you've gone to sleep. Some species also make fantastic and fascinating pets. Take the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach as an example. They get up to three inches in length, are hilarious to watch, and surprisingly docile. These cockroaches produce a loud hiss when they're bothered, mating, fighting, or sometimes for no apparent reason at all.
It's hard to imagine a giant rodent would make a good pet, but the capybara will prove you wrong. These guinea pig relatives come from South America and are herbivores. They're also intelligent and very friendly. In fact, even in the wild, they will allow humans to approach and pet them. The only down side is that, at four feet long and 100 pounds, a capybara may cost a small fortune to keep fed.
Emus are a large Australian bird similar to an ostrich, and they're often farmed for their meat and fat. However, some people have discovered they can also make interesting, if a bit aggressive, pets. Emus have the attitude and intelligence to match their size, so it's important to surround your yard with Jakob Rope Systems wire mesh safety fencing to prevent accidents and escapes.
If you've ever had them raid your trash cans, then you might think of raccoons as little more than filthy pests. They don't deserve that reputation, though. Raccoons are actually very smart and clean animals that dutifully wash their food and paws before they eat. They can be trained to be good house pets much like dogs, and their antics will supply an endless amount of entertainment.
You might think that having a skunk for a pet is asking for a load of smelly trouble, but with a simple procedure at a vet's office, this can be avoided. Without the threat of stench lingering, you'll find that skunks are really very congenial animals that make great pets. They're good with children, can be trained, and are very affectionate with their owners.
If you're looking for a unique pet to go with your unique tastes, then you can't go wrong with one of these critters. Most of them provide great companionship, years of amusing antics, and a never-ending topic of conversation. Just be sure to check with your city's regulations as they may be illegal or require special permits in some places.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan