Unusual animals that make great pets


Cats, dogs, hamsters or budgies are the most common of all domestic pets but the UK is developing a taste for more exotic animals.

An article in The Daily Mail in 2013 informed the public that jellyfish are gaining in popularity in Southampton after the town sold out of specialist water tanks.

Whether or not a jellyfish makes a great pet is another matter but it’d certainly be quiet and require minimal exercise! Here we look at a range of other unusual animals that make great pets and offering interesting alternatives to the traditional pet options.

What is a great pet?

A great pet is an animal that is also a companion. The animal won’t dominate your house, should be obedient and easy to train.

If you live in a retirement living development you’ll probably want an animal that requires minimal upkeep, which means dogs and cats are not always suitable. Fish, birds and other indoor-only animals are usually a safe bet but what other, more exotic options are there?

Giant pet snails

This hand-sized mollusc is growing in popularity as a pet. They are illegal in the United States, but the giant African land snail is available and legal in the UK. They don’t make a mess, are partial to cucumbers and lettuce, and can be kept in an outside enclosure without too much trouble.

Giant pet snails live for around 14 years and if you want a pet that you can talk at rather than walk, then this species is ideal!

Cuddly and exotic

Pygmy goats are wonderful if you have enough land to be able to house the animal. They can be affectionate, and many famous people (including Abraham Lincoln) have kept one of these charming animals.

Once the goat becomes familiar with your voice, it will respond to you and therefore could provide you with an enduring and amusing companion.

Potbellied pigs

This small and intelligent pig can be great fun. You must buy from a reputable dealer, as there have been instances of people purchasing what they thought was a miniature piglet only to find that it just kept on growing and resulted in a full size mature pig!

Potbellied pigs are affectionate, so you will be able to stroke it and it will also respond to your voice. Some owners do keep these animals inside, but it’s probably better to house it outdoors.


These adorable furry creatures have a charming temperament and can be kept as domestic pets. Most people keep them in a large cage but also let them wander around the house for exercise.

They have a reputation for bonding with their owners and are perfect if you want a cuddly and responsive pet.

* Post in collaboration with McCarthy & Stone.
Picture source: Pinterest

19 thoughts on “Unusual animals that make great pets

  1. I always thought about getting a pot-bellied pig. I think they would be cute. I hear you can potty train them so they don’t go to bathroom in house and everything. I just don’t know tho.. After serious thinking I decided not to.

  2. Having snails as pet reminds me of Sponge Bob Square Pants. I know, too much watching cartoons with my kids. lol

  3. Nope, jellyfish is not a pet for me. Jellyfish belongs to the ocean and not in the aquarium, just my personal opinion.

  4. I know that I am from the country so plenty of people had pigs as pets or chickens and other farm type animals. I don’t think truly exotic animals should ever be anyones pets domesticated animals sure but things that belong in nature should probably stay there.

  5. When I was growing up, we had a potbellied pig when we lived in the city. But only for about a month since we were already planning on moving to a more rural area.

  6. That picture is of what we call a bluebottle, and I keep a wary eye out for them. The sting from those traily bits is most unpleasant. I certainly wouldn’t regard one as a pet – even safely in a tank!

  7. Okay I seriously want a Potbellied Pig but our next pet purchase are going to be chickens for the garden – can’t wait. So strange to hear that people are keeping jellyfish – a little strange 🙂

    Laura x

    1. I actually Googled a lot of jellyfish aquariums… OMG some of them are truly amazing!
      I would really like them in the home but Mark said that they belong in the sea, so the topic is closed 🙁

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