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A British vet called Ben has dished on the five animals he would never own.

Ben has shared in a now-viral video the five species of pet that he either wouldn’t have or “would think very carefully before getting”.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Vet dishes on the five animals he would never own as pets.

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The vet surgeon said he was very mindful that “these lists of animals I wouldn’t have” made it sound as if he disliked animals.

But he said this was not the case.

“I think being a vet just exposes you to all the pitfalls of having particular pets — as well as the rewarding side of things,” he said.

A British vet, Ben, has dished on the five animals he would never own as a vet.
A British vet, Ben, has dished on the five animals he would never own as a vet. Credit:

1: Parrots

First on the vet’s list are parrots.

Ben said having a parrot meant “never having a non-stick saucepan again”.

“No joke. When it is heated, the coating releases a gas which can be fatal to parrots,” he said.

He said he didn’t doubt that parrots could make highly rewarding pets, and it would be cool to have an animal that could talk back to you.

But ultimately, he thinks it is “extremely difficult” to provide enough space and stimulation for a species that would normally have the freedom to fly and explore a rainforest habitat.

“A bored parrot easily becomes a stressed parrot, manifesting in destructive behaviours, being very vocal and (having) abnormal behaviours like feather plucking,” he said.

“They’re just not for me.”

2: Mice

The humble mouse is the second category on Ben’s list.

Although mice can live longer if they are well cared for, “the average mouse only lives for one to two years”, he says.

“I’ve had lots of guinea pigs over the years, and you grow very attached to them,” he said.

“It’s hard enough to say goodbye (to them) after four or five years.

“But, for me, a year … to develop a bond with a pet and then to have to say goodbye to them is too short.”

Ben says it’s a common misconception that rabbits make great children’s pets.
Ben says it’s a common misconception that rabbits make great children’s pets. Credit: @ben.thevet

3: Rabbits

Ben says there is a common misconception rabbits make great children’s pets.

But he stresses they are a species for prey, so are actually “quite timid and don’t always enjoy being held as they are very fragile”.

“They can kick and fall out of your arms from a height onto the floor. It’s not unheard of them to break limb bones and even their spines,” the vet said.

“They have strict needs in terms of their diet, (their hutches) need very regular cleaning out, (they need) exercise, socialisation and they are also quite vulnerable to gut stasis and dental problems, which can lead to some unexpected vet bills.”

Ben says rabbits can be great pets if you invest time in them, but that too many people get them, “put them in the hutch and forget about them”.

4: Monkeys

It what is probably a surprise to no-one, Ben says any kind of monkey is a hard no.

“Now you may be thinking, why is he talking about monkeys, no one has a monkey as a pet,” he said.

“But there is actually estimated to be 5000 primates kept as pets in the UK.”

A few years ago, the vet explained, he had volunteered at a wildlife charity in Ecuador.

“Many of the monkeys there were baby monkeys, whose mums had been shot and the baby snatched,” he said.

“The intention was for them to be sold as pets to people who just want monkeys as a pet because they’re cute,” he said.

But monkeys are extremely intelligent wild animals, “not a domesticated species like dogs or cats who are adapted to living around humans for tens of thousands of years”, Ben said.

“It is extremely difficult to meet their complex needs in your home. Don’t do it,” he said.

5: Ferrets

The ferret also makes Ben’s list of animals not to have as pets.

Although ferrets are “cheeky, funny and entertaining pets, they are an acquired taste and they really do stink”, he said.

“They have nasty bites if they lock onto your hand, they are highly intelligent — as intelligent as a cat or dog — and they need lots of interaction, a lot of space.

“They are just not really for everyone.”

Ben’s video has been viewed more than 671,000 times with people in the comments praising his advice.

“Thank you for talking about this. Rabbits especially, I have found having rabbits was 10x more stressful than my dogs,” one explained.

“Parrots are one of the worst pets,” another agreed.

“I wasn’t sure where your list was going to go, but I have to say this is completely reasonable,” said a third.

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