McCurley said for people starting out, it's important to seek some kind of education about caring for the pets. He said he tries to advise people to get pets that are going to be feasible for someone's lifestyle.
Some national pet companies such as PetCo are already taking those cues, Ralbovsky said, tailoring their regional stores toward the types of exotic animals that would do well in a certain geographic area.
Investment in proper equipment is important, whether you're buying one for a new lizard or some exotic fish, he said. "If people just buy a kit, they're not going to achieve what an owner wants."