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10 Pets That Are Not for Beginners

So you want a pet, but never had one growing up? Make sure to avoid these pets that are not for beginners.

Pet ownership can be a seriously magical experience, and it's really one that everyone should have at least once. A pet can be your best buddy and the highlight of your home life—if you treat them correctly, anyway.

Though it may be fun, having a pet is a lot of work and responsibility. You are, after all, taking care of another living creature. Your pet is an animal that may not be able to communicate its needs to you in a way that you can understand.

If you're new to pet ownership, you really have to think about the kind of pet you want to have. Getting one of the best dog breeds for families is a good idea. Getting a calm, friendly cat might be a good choice too. Even a pet hamster could be fun.

That being said, there are some pets that are not for beginners in the animal care world. Here are some of the worst picks for a pet ownership newbie.


Shockingly enough, skunks are one of the most exotic pets you can own in many states. These fluffy little creatures are known for being adorable, making cute buzzing noises, and smelling pretty foul even when their scent glands are removed.

That being said, skunks definitely fit the description of pets that are definitely not for beginners. They have poor eyesight and very bad directional sense, which means that they will get lost if they are left outside.

They also tend to enjoy scratching up items and are notoriously difficult to potty train. Such is life when you choose to have a wild animal as a pet.


Chimps are illegal in many states, but in a select few areas, they are still capable of being adopted. That being said, just because you can adopt a chimp doesn't mean that you should.

Chimpanzees and other primates are notoriously unpredictable and prone to bouts of violence. This is doubly terrifying when you take into account how incredibly strong chimpanzees can be.

In the past, chimps have been known to maul people to death and permanently disfigure caretakers. There have even been reports of rapes perpetrated by chimps that were in heat.

No matter how cute they may be in movies, chimps are dangerous. Overall, this is an animal that should be avoided by non-professional animal handlers at any cost.


If you've never heard of a kinkajou, then you're in for a treat. These are adorable little creatures the look like a mix between a bear and a monkey. They can mimic noises and live in the South American rainforest.

Cute as they may be, they're pets that are not for beginners by any means of the word. These critters require a lot of care and need to have a rainforest-like habitat in order to truly thrive. That means you may need to live in a humid area just to keep your kinkajou happy.

Kinkajous are also notoriously messy and will vomit everywhere. If you aren't careful, they can also become carriers of disease. Yikes.


Iguanas and other lizards may seem cool, but they're pets that aren't for beginners to the world of keeping clean. Around 90 percent of all lizards carry salmonella and shed that potentially lethal disease in their poop.

Newbie pet owners who don't keep their lizard's cage clean might end up with unexpected hospital bills as a result. According to the CDC, around 93,000 people will get sick every year because of reptile exposure—so this is definitely no laughing matter.


Wolfdogs are exactly what they sound like—a hybrid of both wolves and dogs. Most wolfdogs are also known for looking like wolves, making them every Dungeons & Dragons fan's dream. They tend to act more dog-like, though, which makes them an better compromise between the two.

Awesome as they sound, they're definitely not a good choice for people who are inexperienced pet owners. In fact, they aren't even a good option for many experienced dog owners, which is why they are one of the most unusual pets to own.

Though wolfdogs are part dog, they are still very hardwired to prefer giving into wolf instincts. This makes them very difficult to train, unable to handle small spaces, and also prone to attacking owners that may challenge them.


Foxes are a lot less intimidating than wolfdogs are, and they can even be playful. However, these are pets that are not for beginners by any means of the word. They are totally wild animals and are virtually impossible to train.

Like skunks, foxes are known for clawing through floors and damaging furniture. They also may resist litter training, leash training, or even proper diets.

Oh, and they also have a tendency of screaming at night—a true perk for neighbors. If you want them to behave, they will need constant stimulation. Otherwise, they'll go nuts.

Foxes are a type of pet that has become notorious for escaping, which means that they are prone to running away. If you were hoping for a loyal family pet, you need to look elsewhere.


Believe it or not, ferrets have had a long history as being pets to people. They're known for having a very goofy demeanor and for hopping around when angered. Who wouldn't want one of these?!

Ferrets are a lot like skunks when it comes to your pet ownership experience. These critters are domesticated, which is a perk compared to other exotic pets. Their scent, though, is really untamable.

They often miss when it comes to litter box use, and if left to roam around your house, they can easily start tunneling through couches and destroying your shoes. Overall, you can get a better pet.


You might be a bit shocked to see rabbits on a list of pets that are not for beginners to own, but don't be. Rabbits are adorable, but they are incredibly fragile creatures that can die from seemingly innocuous habits.

Things like bathing your rabbit in cold water, startling it, or even just keeping your rabbits in colder temperatures can kill them. If you're not careful and capable of handling their delicate bodies, you should avoid them.


Coatis, or coatimundis, are strange little marsupials that look like a mix between a panda, a bear, and a dog. They are adorable and can be very affectionate when trained properly—but make no mistake about it, they're not meant to be pets.

When not trained from birth, coatis tend to be hostile towards humans. If they are sexually mature, they can become extremely aggressive and actually attack their owners. Considering how sharp their teeth are, this might be a hard pass.

Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are one of the most popular exotic pets on the market, but they are definitely pets that are not for beginners to try. The reason why is because they are incredibly high maintenance—often to the point that seasoned pet owners won't touch them.

These are one of the few animals that can die of loneliness. They need to be physically bonded to their owners in order to avoid panic attacks. They require lots of space and require extremely strict diets in order to stay alive.

They can also bite and scratch when threatened and can't be litter trained. It's like having Ariana Grande as a pet, except with less shrieking and more diva-like requirements.

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