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One in 10 American households has an exotic pet

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 1 in 10 American households owns an exotic pet. Exotic pets include fish, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes, lizards, pigeons, poultry, livestock, and other rodents, birds, and reptiles.

Percentage of US households owning an exotic pet in 2006: 12.7

Percentage of US households owning an exotic pet in 2011: 10.6

(with fewer pets owned during the recession)

More Americans are keeping reptiles (such as turtles, lizards, and snakes) as pets, according to the American Pet Products Association. The industry trade group found that the number of US households owning a reptile increased from 2.8 million in 1994 to 4.7 million in 2008, and reached 5.6 million in 2012.

SOURCES: American Veterinary Medical Association; American Pet Products Association


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Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.