Exotic Pets™

Exotic Pets podcast

The show for people interested in pets that slither, hop, creep, fly or swim:  from bunnies to iguanas, parrots to ferrets, snakes to tortoises. Information on the physical requirements of these exotic pets and how to manage the often challenging environment and correct diet essential to their welfare.

Co-hosted by Dr. Doug Mader, author of “The Vet at Noah’s Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital,”who is a world-renowned specialist on exotic animals, author of four major veterinary textbooks on reptile and amphibians, and a passionate educator.

Sponsored by:

Zoo Med - 40 Proud Years - 1977-2017ZuPreem LogoOxbow Animal Health - Est. 1980


Petula the Corn Snake, One Man’s BFF

#233: Musical director Alex Rybeck tells why Petula the corn snake is the perfect pet for him… low maintenance, undemanding and he isn’t allergic to her like he is to dogs or cats.

Dr. Doug’s Basic Bunny Advice

#232: You can litter box train a bunny [but whatever you do, don’t move that litter box!] Bunny proof your home, especially electric cords and cables. Rabbits can have delicate health, so find a “bunny veterinarian” and have a wellness exam twice a year to prevent possibly serious medical issues.

Poor Little Piggies on Craigslist

#231: Saskia Chiesa of the Los Angeles Guinea Pig rescue talks about how children lose interest in their first pet — a guinea pig — and the parents don’t have a plan for what to do with them, so the piggies wind up neglected and discarded.

People Collect Snakes Like Trading Cards

#230: Ace Tilton wrote the charming “Little Book of Dog Care” but it turns out they also love snakes and rescue ball pythons (5 at the moment) from people who “collect and neglect” them, then put them on Craigslist. Ace also has a Kenyan sand boa named Confetti, who has what they call “a kitten face.”

Is it Good or Bad to Clip a Bird’s Wings?

#229: Dr. Doug talks about the circumstances that determine whether or not to clip a bird’s wings. Should you do it yourself or have a professional handle it? And why you should do a “test flight.”

Where Does a Camel Go for Refuge in Florida?

#227: Martha Rivera, curator of the Everglades Outpost, talks about the joys and challenges of running a refuge facility where people dump unwanted exotic pets. They also rehabilitate and release wildlife, often with Dr. Doug’s veterinary expertise.

Petula the Corn Snake asks “What’s for Dinner?”

#226: Musician Alex Rybek lists the advantages of having a snake as a pet — Petula is quiet, hypoallergenic, undemanding and an object of beauty. [However, Petula’s weekly meal does require dangling a defrosted mouse with a forceps.]

This Epic Heat is Deadly to Exotics

#228: Protect your vulnerable exotics from mercury-busting temperatures. Parrots, Jackson’s chameleons, bunnies, small birds and mammals can all die in un-air-conditioned indoor spaces or outdoors, too. Dr. Doug suggests ways to keep them cool.

Avoiding Bumblefoot in Guinea Pigs

#225: Dr. Doug extols the virtues of friendly, easy to keep and affectionate guinea pigs as his favorite “starter pet” for kids. But he cautions to house them correctly or they can get bumblefoot!

The Brilliance of a Snake’s Forked Tongue

#224: Dr. Doug Mader extols the wondrous sophistication and utility of a snake’s forked tongue and explains “tongue flicking.”