If you’ve ever seen a capybara in real life, you know that these guys are pretty unique. They’re quiet, low-key animals that won’t stress you out daily. They are so domesticated that there are even homes that keep them as indoor pets! Even if you don’t live in such an accommodating home, it’s easy to care for capybaras as pets.
One of the best reasons to get a capybara as a pet is that they are gentle giants who get along well with other animals. This is one animal where you won’t have to worry about the bite constantly. It’s important to note that while they are gentle, they are not lap pets. You will not be able to snuggle up with a capybara like you would with a cat or dog. You can, however, expect to have a calm, quiet, and low-energy pet. If these are qualities that you’re looking for in a pet, then capybaras are made for you.
These animals may be low-key, but they’re also very intelligent. Capybaras can be trained to do a variety of tricks, you can teach them to come when you call, to walk on a leash, or to do simple commands.
While they are certainly low-key animals, you need to be sure to provide your capybara pet with a very large habitat. Ideally, you will have a big yard with a wooded area. This will give your pet capybara plenty of space to roam freely. Additionally, you will want a water source that is big enough for your capybara to splash in. As semi-aquatic animals, they love and need water. This is also an excellent way for them to cool off in the hot summer months.
Not only do capybaras like to be around humans, but they also enjoy being petted. Capybaras are rodents, and they have soft hair that’s easy to comb and handle.
Capybaras need a lot of attention, care and love to stay happy. If you want your pet capybara to be happy, then you should give them a lot of food, clean water and a safe and large place to live.
Can You Have a Capybara As a Pet
The answer to this question is not straightforward, capybaras are wild animals but due to their calm nature, they can make great pets provided they have enough space to roam relatively free.
There is also the question of legality, in some countries you are allowed to keep wild animals (such as capybaras) as pets while in others it is forbidden. In the United States the answer changes based on the state you live in, in California you are not allowed under any circumstance to have pet capybaras for example. In Texas and Pennsylvania it is allowed to keep them, and in many other places, you would need to consult your local legislation to see if you need any special permit.
But legal formalities aside, make sure you understand what keeping a capybara as a pet involves.
You can learn more about the legality of having a pet capybara HERE.
Does a Capybara Poop a Lot?
Like other rodents, capybaras tend to have a good digestive system. They eat a lot of grass every day and accordingly, they will poop a lot so it is unwise to keep them indoors for long periods of time.
How Long Does a Capybara Live
On average, a capybara lives around 8-10 years in captivity. The oldest documented capybara to ever live died when it was 15.1 years old.
Most capybaras in the wild do not tend to live that long due to their natural predators such as jaguars, pumas, eagles and sometimes humans, thus their average lifespan in the wild is around 4 years.
Before you go ahead and adopt a capybara, please reconsider your choices. While they are extraordinary animals and are very tame, there are many drawbacks to keeping a capybara as a pet.
How Much Space Does a Pet Capybara Need?
Another important aspect, consider their size. They are huge. They are more than twice the size of a jackrabbit, they are the biggest rodents. Keeping at least two big rodents in good condition may be challenging and costly in itself, but besides that, they have special needs as well.
Because they are semi-aquatic creatures, you would have to provide them with plenty of water at all times, some owners choose to create special pools for them.
Capybaras also need plenty of space to roam around. It is not a wise idea to keep them indoors, as they will chew on everything they find. Your carpet and furniture won’t be safe with a capybara nearby.
Caring For a Pet Capybara
If you still decide to get a pet capybara and provide them everything they need, make sure you have a nearby vet who can take care of the pet if needed. And make sure to fence the place where you keep them, as otherwise they will run away, as they are very fast animals.
Capybaras are very family oriented creatures. They do not do as well alone, but with a friend… other animals to bond with, it will be content. Adopting a single pet capybara is not recommended. You would need to adopt at least two capybaras, but preferably more of them. In the wild they travel in groups as a family, usually 15 to 20. You do not need to keep 15 capybaras to provide them with an adequate home though.
Do not grab them by the hind legs as you might dislocate a leg. Hold them with your hand and arm under their belly and hand under their neck. Cuddle them and they will settle.
What Should I Feed My Pet Capybara
Capybaras mainly feed on grass and aquatic plants. Do not concern yourself if they do not eat for a day. Give them corn on the cob and they will start eating. Most fruits/veggies are fine for them to eat. They need to be fed twice a day with treats around for them to snack on if they get hungry.
They rest a lot during the day and are more active in the evenings. They often have runny stools.