Can You Have A Capybara As A Pet?
The big question above has been asked many times by individuals who desired to make friends with Capybaras, the world’s biggest rodents. The Good news here is, recently the giant rodents have been cherished by many exotic pet lovers for their friendly lifestyles and amazing qualities.
Generally, capybaras (also known as Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris or water hog) are fun-filled animals turned pets and definitely have positive qualities that would make you want to have them around, but then, learning and knowing more about a capybara will be very important to enable you to take very good care of them.
Before we get down to if you can actually own one and how you can groom your pet Capybara, let’s get to know what a capybara really is.
What Are Capybaras?
Capybaras are the biggest rodent in the world. If you have seen a Guinea pig before that is exactly how capybaras look like but in a bigger form. They are also called capivara and native to South America.
Capybaras are known to be strong swimmers with a pig-shaped body built (no wonder they are also called water Pigs) and partially webbed feet, which helps them paddling around in the water. They have mall eyes, noses, and hairless ears.
Physically, capybara males are smaller than females. An adult capybara weighs between 27kg to 79kg pounds and about 4feet long and 2 feet tall, usually the size of a medium-sized dog.
In This Video You Will Come To Know That Capybaras Can Be Domesticated
They have long legs, the rear legs are longer than the front legs with their fur ranging from gray, light brown, red, brown, with short dark brown legs. Capybaras swim regularly and that washes their body which is one reason why their wiry coats do not smell.
Research reveals that Capybaras belong to a species of Giant Rodents that are very sociable and that is why they could live in groups in the wild. Capybara could live in groups of 10 – 30 or even more, an attribute that connotes friendliness.
Capybaras are very brave rodents and trained to have the best pet behaviors. They can be potty trained and can also be trained to take a leash walk. They are lovely, very affectionate, gentle, and friendly with other pets and humans. But then you must have to understand, domesticate them so they don’t become aggressive like other wild animals.
The giant rodents_capybaras are very shy when excessively handled, however, other animals enjoy cuddling them because of their wiry coat feels. The best way to enjoy your capy as a pet is when you adopt them when they are still babies and then train them properly.
Capybaras love hanging out with other animals and don’t worry when other Animals sit on them.
Grooming a Capybara As a Pet – 3 Things To Bear In Mind
Capybaras are lovely household pets that coexist better in groups which domesticating has been just a recent trend that is gaining waves across some states in the USA. Although they are not legally allowed in some states or countries.
To own a capybara in the UK is not against any law, however, you must have to obtain a license from the appropriate authorities to keep the animal.
Grooming a Capybara is a fun-filled experience and here are things to bear in mind.
- They should be kept in pairs: Capybaras survive better in groups, so they need their mates to live better and happier, preferably a male and female capybaras would get along than being kept alone.
- They need constant hydration: Capybaras have dry skin, for this reason, they need a pool of water around them to always hydrate themselves. They could swim around with their semi webbed feet and could stay underwater for up to 5 minutes. They love to keep themselves in muds to help regular their body temperatures and prevent sunburn.
- They need an environment with plenty of grass: Capybaras love to have plenty of grass around their territory, so they could feed on them and also use it to hide away from dangerous predators.
What You Need To Groom Your Pet Capybara
Is Owning A Capybara Legal?
Whether it is legal or illegal to keep a capybara as a pet in your home depends on where you live. In some places, you will need a health certificate or permit to be able to own a pet capybara.
For instance, it is illegal to own a capybara in such states as Georgia or California. Meanwhile, keeping a Capybara as a pet is legal and allowed in states like New York, Texas & Pennsylvania.
Note that some states may allow keeping a capybara, but some cities in the state may not allow it, such city as the Five boroughs of New York City, keeping a capybara is illegal.
So you need to find out within the locals where you live if it is legal to keep one before you proceed to buy. That being said, the next thing you will think of is what best to feed your pet capybara.
ALL YOU SHOULD KNOW: Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In US
Buying Your Pet Capybara
Depending on where you are living, if you want to purchase a capybara you should search around for an experienced breeder and buy from him and don’t buy a wild capybara as domesticating it might be very difficult. The cost of buying a capybara ranges from $1,000 – $3,000 depending on where you are getting from.
Male capybaras are less expensive than females and always remember you have to get two since capybaras exist better in pairs or groups. When buying, ensure you get lively and active ones, also double check to be sure the fur has no redness, patches, parasites, mites, and it’s soft.
Lastly, you would need to know an experienced veterinarian to whom you would need his attention whenever anything goes wrong with your pet capybara.
Capybara Food & Diets
Capybaras are herbivores and eat only about 3 to 6 plant species in their natural habitat. They primarily consume marshland and grasses, tree bark, berries, seeds, and fruits.
The common ingredients of the giant rodent diets should mainly include fresh grass hay, which should be in bales, then most times fresh vegetables and fruits can be given as occasional meals. Orchard hay and Timothy hay sell at pet stores around you.
Capybaras do eat their own feces regularly, which helps them in food digestion. Pet capybaras can also be fed with Bermuda or Timothy (Guinea pig pellets) dosed with high fiber biscuits and vitamin C because they produce very little vitamin C naturally in their bodies. So feeding them with pellets helps prevent a condition known as scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency.
See The Fruits Capybaras Eat This Video Will Show You Capybaras Eating Different Fruits
Provide Housing For Your Pet Capybara
You will need a spacious fenced area, 12 by 20 feet sized space with a safe enclosure. The space should be large enough to accommodate not just one, but more or a group of capybaras. This is important because capybaras live better in groups than alone, so your pet will need a mate or family to live happily.
When Preparing housing for your pet capybaras, ensure there is enough space for them to move freely, and also there should be no opening or gaps within the fence to let your pet through.
READ THIS: IF YOU WANT TO HOUSE TRAIN A CAPYBARA
There should be over 3 feet deep pool of water for your Cappies to swim and regulate their body temperatures just like they have it in the natural habitats. A shaded area will be very necessary for your pet to chill and hide from sunburns.
Place some dog toys, untreated woods that can float on water, your pet capybara needs them to chew and keep busy and feel at home.
Health Problems Common With Capybaras
One of the known health issues with Capybaras is vitamin C deficiency as we mentioned earlier. Naturally, capies are very strong rodents, however, they may have mite or lice infestations in their fur, issue of respiratory infections, and digestive problems.
As a capybara owner, you have the responsibility of checking on your pet capy to make sure all is well with him, observe changes in his behavior, and take fast actions if any health issue is detected.
Home Training A Capybara
House training a capybara is very possible and very easy if you get a baby capybara. However, you must know that these animals are not human, so you have to be patient with the process and keep repeating until you are satisfied with the result you are getting.
Eating their feces is part of their normal diet so this should not look new to you when you see it happening. Capies also poop in their pool of water and will also urinate in it, always clean, keep their pool and the surroundings very clean.
Capybara’s Teeth Needs Care?
Yes, your capybara’s teeth need to be trimmed down to the right level, if not he will have difficulty in eating, and this could be a very big problem for him. When a capy’s tooth is overgrown or too long, it can drastically affect his feeding pattern and his overall health. Your capybaras must be able to move about and chew grasses or anything to wear down their teeth.
FIND OUT: Why Capyabaras Are So Friendly
Capybara Needs Some Exercise
Swimming is one of the ways capybaras exercise themselves, therefore the water pool you have provided must be spacious enough to contain them. Another thing is to make their housing large enough so they can move about comfortably than be confined in a small space. Specific exercises your pet capybara needs will be covered in a separate article soon.
Capybaras Are Excellent Swimmers, Watch How These Rodents Swim Effortlessly In This Video
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