We love to support local businesses not only for economic reasons, or because their uniqueness is refreshing, but because locals tend to have a more personal touch. When it comes to our pets, we appreciate a personal touch more than ever.
So kick the chain stores and make the drive to Research Blvd. and Burnet, for Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets. We did – a long time ago.
As the name implies, Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets is not a dog and cat-type pet store. But considering its relatively small size, implanted in the middle of a shopping strip, this local shop always provides entertainment and insight into the world of less common pets.
Eric and I own a three year old bearded dragon. Our Trogdor consumes an inordinate amount of crickets, and when we moved to Austin we were dismayed by cricket prices at chain stores like PetSmart. We originally arrived on Zoo Keeper’s doorstep to save money, which we did (they breed their own crickets). But we kept returning because the staff is friendly and informed, the shop stocks all the supplies we could ever need, and we love a free trip to the zoo!
Enjoying Your Trip to Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets
Get this: without fail, on every one of our trips to Zoo Keeper, we do a complete circuit of the small store. The selection of animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arachnids is constantly changing. And the pets that are regularly featured are awesome enough to see time and again!
The staff welcomes visitors who are just there to look. There’s no pressure or awkwardness; take your time and enjoy. If you go home with a baby chameleon, all the better!
Here are some of the pets you might see on a trip to Zoo Keeper:
- Baby miniature pigs
- Baby hedgehogs
- Prairie dogs
- Guinea pigs
- Rabbits (the babies are the best – so fluffy!)
- Baby chameleons (these are possibly my all-time favorite)
- A silky-frizzle chicken wandering around the store
- Baby frilled lizard (yes, like the lizard in Disney’s Rescuers Down Under)
- Sophie the sloth (visit earlier in the day for a chance to see her up and about)
And I could go on.
Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets aims to use local or Texas breeders, though some animals are provided by out-of-state friends. All animals are captive born.
You can board your pet (again, no dogs or cats) at Zoo Keeper for $5/day.
This local pet store has been a part of the Austin landscape for about 15 years, and it’s one of my absolute favorite Austin businesses. Even if you have no intention of buying an exotic pet, you should visit just for fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if you change your mind about the buying part! Baby hedgehogs know how to melt the heart.
What local Austin pet stores do you love?