Buying an exotic pet

Caring for exotic animals can be challenging and cost a lot of money. They'll have the same needs in your house as they would in the wild.

Read our tips below...

A big responsibility

When you keep an exotic animal at home, under the Animal Welfare Act you'll need to give it everything it would need in the wild. That includes its environment and diet. If you don't, you'll be breaking the law.

Get prepared

You might need to create a very specific environment, such as with UV lighting, before you bring your new friend home. Do you have enough space at home for a growing animal? Some exotics, especially snakes, can become huge.

For further advice on reptile care specifically check out some tips from the RSPCA here:

Home visit

Ensure you buy from someone who specialises in the animal you are interested in. When you visit the animal that you are intending to buy, check that the animal's accommodation is clean, it is supplied with the appropriate food and water, and that special equipment for maintaining the animal's environment is working properly. And of course, ensure that the animal you are buying is healthy and free from signs of injury or disease.

Check the paperwork

Some exotic animals come with legal restrictions when they're sold. Make sure the seller gives you any paperwork you need. This could include CITES registration documents or a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence. If you think the animal you're looking at is an illegal import, report it to Gumtree or directly to the RSPCA straightaway.

Quick delivery

Ensure that you arrange appropriate delivery of your new pet (not via the post!) better still, arrange to collect him, then you can see him in his current environment, which allows you to check he has been looked after properly.

To the rescue

Consider contacting your local animal rescue centre. They will ensure that you only take on an exotic pet that is right for you and your environment.

Our Partners

At Gumtree we take animal welfare very seriously.

We work with a number of animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, and we are an active member of the Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG is made up of animal welfare groups, vets and online classified sites, all working together to promote responsible pet advertising. Our shared goal is that all animals advertised for sale online are advertised legally and ethically.

For more information on PAAG or advice on buying a pet online, you can visit their site:

A fresh start in life

There are thousands of wonderful animals in the UK looking for a new start. A number of charities advertise these pets on Gumtree, but you can also visit PAAG member sites directly.