From Turtles to Snakes: What Exotic Pets Can You Legally Own in Arizona?

Though Arizona has some of the strictest laws regarding owning exotic animals, there are numerous that can be legally owned. From turtles to snakes, the list of options is seemingly endless. While some of these pets may require a permit to own, others do not.

Here is a look at some of the most popular exotic pets that can be legally owned in Arizona.

1. Turtles

Turtle is a popular exotic pet in Arizona. A wide variety of turtles can be legally owned as pets in Arizona, including box turtles, wood turtles, and red-eared slider turtles. They can make excellent pets for those looking for an easy-to-care-for pet that does not require much attention.

2. Macaws

Macaws are one of the exotic avian animals that can be legally owned in Arizona. These beautiful birds are known for their bright plumage and ability to mimic human speech. While macaws can make great pets, they require a lot of attention and care. They also have a lifespan of up to 50 years, so potential owners need to be prepared for a long-term commitment.

3. Chinchillas

Chinchillas are small, rodent-like animals that make great pets for those looking for an exotic pet that is low maintenance. Chinchillas are relatively easy to care for and only require a small amount of space. They are also known for being very clean animals.

4. Snakes

Another popular exotic pet in Arizona is the snake. Numerous different species of snakes can be legally owned as pets in Arizona, including:

  • Corn snakes
  • Boa constrictors
  • Pythons
  • Garter snakes

However, you need to acquire a permit to own snakes. Taking care of snakes can be a bit more challenging than some of the other pets on this list, so make sure you do your research before getting one. They require specific enclosures, diets, and care. If you have a busy lifestyle or mostly going out of town due to work, think twice beforeĀ 

Additionally, snakes require parasite prevention like dogs and cats since they are susceptible to internal and external parasites, including mites and ticks. Click here to know more about parasite prevention.

5. Lizards

Many types of lizards can be legally owned as pets in Arizona, including:

  • Bearded dragons
  • Leopard geckos
  • Blue-tongued skinks

Like many exotic animals, you also need to get a permit to own most lizards in Arizona. Lizards are fun pets to have, but they require some special care. They need specific environments and diets to stay healthy, so do your research before getting one.

6. Tarantulas

Tarantulas are another popular exotic pet in Arizona. They may not be for everyone, but these spiders can make interesting and unique pets. They are pretty easy to care for but have specific needs that must be met. Their enclosures must be escape-proof and maintain the proper temperature and humidity level.

Plus, they need a diet of live insects, which can be purchased from most pet stores. If you consider tarantula a pet, do your research to ensure you can provide the proper care for them.

7. Golden Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant is a beautiful bird you can legally own as a pet in Arizona. These birds are well known for their brightly colored plumage and make great additions to any home. Their enclosures should be large enough to move around and stretch their wings, and they need a diet of seeds, fruits, and insects.

If you go out of town for work, you can look for bird boarding services to take care of your pheasant while away. Potential owners must know that these birds can live up to 15 years, so they are a long-term commitment.


Many different types of exotic pets can be legally owned in Arizona. From turtles to snakes, macaws to chinchillas, there is an animal for everyone. It’s necessary to do your research before bringing home an exotic pet, as they often require specific care and attention. After this, you can find many exotic pets available at local pet stores or online.

Ultimately, look for a reputable vet clinic or animal hospital that specializes in caring for your new pet to keep them healthy and happy in the years to come. Remember, not all vet clinics cater to exotic pets, so it is essential to find one that does before making your purchase.