Outdoor enclosures for exotic pets

Many owners dont realize the tremendous benefits of outdoor enclosures for reptiles and pocket pets.

Rabbits and guinea pigs often love being outdoors. They can be put on a harness and allowed to graze on grass, or get fresh air in a hutch. Guinea pigs are less tolerant of cold, while rabbits are less tolerant of heat, so always be aware of their comfort level.

Birds and reptiles benefit greatly from natural sunlight. Enclosures that have both sun and shade and protection from rain and drafts can be fun and healthy.

* Not only is it mentally stimulating but helps with required uvb intake, and vitamin D synthesis. Care must be taken that the temperature outside is appropriate for the specific species' requirements.

* There are many commercial sites that sell outdoor aviaries, hutches, and reptile enclosures, or one can be built from non toxic wire and untreated lumber. Care must be taken to insure that animals cannot get in, and your pet cannot get out.

* For birds often you can just roll the cage out on a covered porch. Reptiles can be trickier since many live in glass aquariums. Never leave a reptile alone outside in a glass or solid wall enclosure as they may well overheat. For reptiles a wire cage can work well.

* Turtles can be quite happy in baby pools, as long as they cant climb out. Tortoises love being outside on the lawn so they can graze on untreated grasses and dandelions.

Always be aware of toxic plants, fumes, and pestacides in the area. Also stray cats and dogs as well as wildlife. Always be sure there is plenty of water and shade. Supervised outdoor time is the safest!