Exotic pets are getting more and more popular among pet owners in the US. It might be due to the thrill of owning an animal that people don’t normally see in captivity. Or, some just thought the unusual home buddies are cute.
One of those “cute” exotic pets is the sloth. Slow and asleep most of the time, you’re not exaggerating if you think every small gesture they do is a milestone. That’s what makes them appealing pets.
Appeal aside, is the sloth’s price equally appealing to your wallet? Let’s find out.
Average Sloths Price
How much does a baby sloth cost? According to Pet Helpful, the purchase price for sloths ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.
Typically, the younger ones are more expensive. Some websites like WorldExoticsInc.com and ExoticAnimalsForSale.com, show the range of sloths price at around $1,000 to $3,000.
Exactly how much does a baby sloth cost? Well, the price will depend on some factors including:
Furthermore, you’ll have to consider initial costs. Included are permits to own the exotic pet, the sloth’s habitat, and food.
As it is normally a wild animal, a sloth is supposed to be out there in its natural habitat and not in your house. Nevertheless, getting the furry slowpoke as a pet is now widely accepted in the US.
That’s not to say you’ll be allowed by your state to own one as easily as you can with a dog or cat. Each state has its own regulations you’ll have to adhere to. You may check online references such as BornFreeUSA.org to learn about guidelines on exotic animal ownership based on your location.
For instance, Arizona requires the acquisition of special licenses before you can keep the animal at home. The said permit expires on December 31 for the year when the state issued you one. Be sure that you renew your license before the expiration date. Else, authorities will charge you with unlawful possession and will seize your sloth away from you.
You might want to know that sloths require a special cage so they can live in peace and comfort. Basically, you’ll have to replicate their natural habitat. That means a wide area and tree branches the animal can hang onto. Something like an aviary, only much larger and taller.
As for the costs, there is no standard price range that is available from pet dealers. This type of cage, after all, is not typical. It might even be better if you just build one yourself. That way, it’s easier to customize the enclosure.
You can also allow your pets, preferably baby sloths, to roam inside your house. Note, however, that these animals will become depressed if they won’t be able to see trees for a long time.
Probably one of the most difficult things to do if you’re taking care of sloths is feeding them. That’s because they require a specialized diet of vegetables. We say “specialized” as you should not give them your average greens. They should, instead, eat something with a similar fiber content and bitterness of leaves in the wild. They also eat tree buds, twigs, fruits, and leaves.
You should prepare around $20 to $40 a month for the food of your sloth.
Note that sloths have a low metabolism so they won’t eat much. That said, you should take good care of what to feed them or they will lack nutrition.
Aside from the purchase price, there are some extra costs especially if you can’t easily find a sloth in your area. Ordering online, for instance, will mean that your pet will be delivered by the seller. It might be through an airline or by ground.
The price for shipping your sloth may range from $200 to $400.
Once you’re taking care of your sloth, you should also prioritize taking care of its health. It will be a little hard to find a vet that will treat an exotic pet, though. Hence, you will likely spend more for transportation (if your vet is stationed at a far place). Or, you will have to pay more if the veterinarian visits you at home.
To lessen the hassle, look for a vet who knows how to take care of sloths before you buy the exotic pet.
Considerations Before You Buy A Sloth
It’s not enough knowing how much does a baby sloth cost. Equally important is learning what to consider before you take in such an exotic pet. Here are some things to think about:
- Sloths live in tropical locations.
- Sloths are comfortable in tropical climate because of their low body temperature. Placing them in cold areas can get them sick and is basically a form of torture.
Remember that these wild animals live in a rainforest climate. So, try to mimic that temperature for sloths in captivity.
- You might be buying a sloth that was acquired through illegal trade.
- Sloths are supposed to be living in the wild. Nevertheless, some sellers who are working illegally will pluck out the animal from their habitat and place them up for sale.
Some will even go as far as killing the adult sloth and removing the baby from its back. They will then sell the baby sloth, which is more expensive than the older one.
You don’t want to contribute to the illegal wild trade, right? Well, it would be better if you’ll support captive-breeding efforts to be able to take care of a sloth. Avoid buying the exotic pet from brokers, pet stores, and auctions as much as possible.
- You should take care of your pet sloth with a “zoological” approach.
- Sloths will not survive in captivity if you don’t know the scientific and zoological way of taking care of them. The animals are highly sensitive, that one mistake will likely result in them not making it. Keeping this kind of exotic pet is so challenging that even professionals can’t take it easy.
Sloths are cute, yes. But they require devotion and know-how from their pet owners. They are in no way a low-maintenance pet. If by any chance, you change your mind about owning one, you can instead opt for encounters. The National Aviary, for instance, will let you interact with the animals for $150.
But if you’re firm on your decision to own a sloth, make sure that you’re buying it legally. Most of all, remember that having a pet is a responsibility. Give your animal the love and care it deserves!