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Home » Blog » Tarantulas as Pets: A Guide to Caring for Your Eight-Legged Friend

Tarantulas as Pets: A Guide to Caring for Your Eight-Legged Friend

Tarantulas-as-Pets-A-Guide-to-Caring-for-Your-Eight-Legged-Friend

Tarantulas are fascinating creatures that are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Despite their reputation as dangerous and scary, many people find them to be fascinating and relatively easy to care for. Let’s explore in this article the world of tarantulas as pets, including their characteristics, care requirements, and potential benefits and drawbacks.

Tarantulas are members of the spider family and are known for their large size and hairy bodies. They are found in a variety of habitats around the world, from deserts to rainforests, and come in many different colors and patterns. While they are often feared and misunderstood, tarantulas can be incredible pets, but you must be willing to take the time to learn about their needs and behavior.

In the following sections, we will delve into the world of tarantula care, including their housing requirements, diet, and general care. We will also discuss some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of owning a tarantula as a pet, as well as some tips for finding the right tarantula for you. Whether you are a seasoned tarantula owner or are just wondering about tarantulas and their ways, in this lecture you can get the information you need to make a decision about keeping a tarantula as a pet.

pet tarantula

Overview of Tarantulas

Tarantulas are becoming increasingly popular as pets. They are fascinating creatures that come in a variety of species, each with unique characteristics. This section will provide an overview of tarantulas as pets, including their popularity and benefits of owning one.

Popularity of Tarantulas as Pets

Tarantulas have gained popularity as pets due to their exotic and fascinating nature. Because they’re very low-maintenance animals that don’t require much attention and care. Tarantulas are also relatively easy to keep, making them an ideal pet for those who are new to the world of exotic pets.

There are many different types of tarantulas as pets. Since each species is unique and has their own characteristics, which include the variation in size, color, and temperament. Some of the most popular species of tarantulas kept as pets include the Mexican Redknee, Brazilian Black, and Chilean Rose.

Benefits of Owning a Tarantula as a Pet

Owning a tarantula as a pet has many benefits. They are quiet and low-maintenance, making them ideal for those who lead busy lives. Tarantulas also do not require daily feeding, as they can go for weeks without food.

Tarantulas are also fascinating creatures to observe. They are very unique and possess distinctive behaviors, which provide them with a variety of characteristics that make them interesting to watch. Owning a tarantula can also be a great way to learn about these exotic creatures and their natural habitats.

Tarantula as pets pros and cons

Pros:

Low maintenance: Tarantulas require minimal care compared to other pets. They typically only need a suitable enclosure, water dish, and periodic feeding.

Fascinating to observe: Tarantulas exhibit interesting behaviors such as web-spinning, prey capture, and molting, providing a captivating experience for enthusiasts.

Quiet and low-impact: Tarantulas are quiet pets that don't make noise or require a lot of space, making them suitable for apartment dwellers or individuals with limited living space.

Educational value: Keeping a tarantula as a pet can provide educational opportunities for learning about arachnid biology, behavior, and ecology.

Pet tarantula 1

Cons:

Fear factor: Many people have an innate fear or phobia of spiders, which can make owning a tarantula unsettling or challenging for some individuals.

Venomous potential: While tarantula venom is typically not dangerous to humans, some species possess venom that can cause reactions ranging from mild irritation to more severe symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Limited interaction: Tarantulas are not social animals and do not seek out or enjoy human interaction. Handling them can be stressful for the spider and may increase the risk of injury to both the owner and the tarantula.

Long lifespan: Tarantulas have relatively long lifespans compared to other invertebrate pets, with some species living for several decades. This long-term commitment may be a consideration for potential owners.

Overall, while tarantulas can make fascinating and low-maintenance pets for enthusiasts who are comfortable with their unique characteristics, they may not be suitable for everyone due to their potential to provoke fear or discomfort and their specific care requirements.

In conclusion, tarantulas are fascinating creatures that make great pets. They are low-maintenance, easy to keep, and come in a variety of species.If you’re wondering if you can you keep a tarantula as a pet, whether it is your first time or an experienced user to the world of exotic pets, a tarantula can be a great addition to your collection.

Types of Tarantulas

Tarantulas are fascinating creatures they come in various sizes, shapes and colors. Here we can explore the various types of tarantulas that are commonly kept as pets.

Common Species

The most popular species of tarantulas kept as pets are the Chilean Rose Hair, Mexican Red Knee, and Brazilian Black. One of the common characteristics of these tree tarantulas, are known for their docile matter and ease of care, and availability in the pet trade.

The Chilean Rose Hair, also known as the Grammostola rosea, is a hardy species that is easy to care for. They are typically brown in color with pinkish-red hairs on their legs and abdomen. Having a calm temperament they are one of the great choices for beginners into the world of exotic pets as tarantulas.

Grammostola rosea

The Mexican Red Knee, also known as the Brachypelma smithi, is a beautiful and popular species. They have a black body with red-orange knees and a red-orange stripe on their abdomen. They are also known for their calm nature and are a great addition to any collection.

The Brazilian Black, also known as the Grammostola pulchra, is a stunning species with jet black hair covering their body. They look intimidating, but actually are one of the most docile tarantulas, and also they're visualizing appealing tarantulas.

Rare Species

For the more experienced tarantula keeper, there are many rare and exotic species available in the pet trade. These species require more specialized care and are not recommended for beginners.

The Goliath Birdeater, also known as the Theraphosa blondi, known as the largest species of tarantula worldwide, they’re native to South America and can grow up to 11 inches in leg span. They require a large enclosure and a diet of insects and small rodents.

heraphosa blondi or Goliath Birdeater

The Indian Ornamental, also known as the Poecilotheria regalis, is a beautiful and colorful species from India. They have a blue and black body with white stripes on their legs. They require a humid environment and a diet of crickets and other insects.

Overall, there are many different types of tarantulas available in the pet trade. Understanding and having a knowledge of the needs of every species of tarantulas is a great way to decide which one you can keep as a pet. Proper care, enclosure, feeding, and water are essential for the health and well-being of these fascinating creatures.

Captive Care

Housing

Tarantulas need a wide and big enough space that can enclose a lookalike of their natural habitat. Using glass or plastic terrarium with a special and secure lid  is recommended. The enclosure should be at least three times the tarantula's leg span in length and twice the leg span in width. Provide a substrate of at least 2 inches deep, such as coconut fiber or peat moss. Add hiding places, such as cork bark or a half-log, and a shallow water dish.

What do tarantulas eat as pets

Tarantulas are carnivorous and feed on live insects, such as crickets and roaches.Luckily for you they eat once a week or every other week, depending on their size. Remove uneaten prey after 24 hours to prevent it from harming the tarantula.

Temperature and Humidity

Tarantulas are cold-blooded and require a warm and humid environment. Keep the enclosure at a temperature between 75-85°F during the day and 65-75°F at night. Maintain a humidity level of 70-80% by misting the enclosure with water or using a humidifier.

Handling tarantulas is not recommended as they are delicate and can be easily injured. It is also not advisable to pet them as their hairs can cause irritation and their bite can be painful. Normally they only bite if they feel threatened, so avoid handling them and respect their space.

Although tarantulas are venomous, most species kept as pets have a mild venom that is not harmful to humans. But if you’re ever bitten by a tarantula, seek medical attention immediately. Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantulas are fascinating creatures that can make great pets for those who are not afraid of them.

Handling

Tarantulas are fascinating creatures to observe, but handling them requires caution and expertise. Here we’re gonna give you the knowledge of safety measures and techniques for handling tarantulas as pets.

Safety Precautions

Before handling a tarantula, it is essential to take some safety precautions to ensure your safety and the spider's well-being. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly to remove any scent or residue that might scare or harm the tarantula.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the tarantula's sharp fangs and urticating hairs.
  • Avoid handling tarantulas during their molting period or when they are stressed or sick.
  • Keep a first aid kit handy in case of an accidental bite or injury.

Technique

When handling a tarantula, it is crucial to use the right technique to avoid stressing or injuring the spider. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Approach the tarantula slowly and calmly, avoiding sudden movements or noises.
  • Gently coax the tarantula onto your hand or a flat surface, using a soft brush or a piece of paper.
  • Support the tarantula's weight evenly, avoiding pressure on its legs or abdomen.
  • Avoid touching the tarantula's fangs or urticating hairs, as they can cause pain, swelling, or itching.
  • Keep the handling session short, not more than 10-15 minutes, and return the tarantula to its enclosure promptly.

In conclusion, handling tarantulas as pets requires knowledge, skill, and caution. By following the safety precautions and handling techniques discussed in this section, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding experience with your tarantula.

Health Care

Common Health Problems

Tarantulas are generally hardy creatures and do not require extensive medical care. However, there are some common health problems that can occur in pet tarantulas. These include dehydration, mites, and fungal infections. Dehydration in your tarantula may look like them being lethargic, wrinkled skin and sunken eyes. Mites can cause irritation and itching, while fungal infections can lead to respiratory problems and lethargy.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent these health problems, it is important to provide your tarantula with a clean and appropriate environment. This includes providing a shallow water dish for hydration and regular cleaning of the enclosure. If you suspect your tarantula has mites or a fungal infection, it is important to seek veterinary care. Do not attempt to treat these issues at home without proper knowledge and guidance.

It is important for tarantula keepers to be responsible and ethical in their care of these exotic pets. This includes following local regulations and laws regarding ownership and care of tarantulas.Note that you must understand and investigate which are the specific needs and behaviors of your tarantula species to ensure proper care and prevent health issues.

Breeding

Breeding tarantulas can be a rewarding experience for the experienced keeper. Note, its important to understand that is not recommended for beginners due to the level of expertise required.

Setting Up a Breeding Environment

Before breeding, it is important to ensure that the tarantulas are healthy and mature enough. The breeding environment should be set up in a separate enclosure, with enough space for both the male and female tarantulas. The space of the tarantula should be very ventilated and have substrate that is suitable for breeding.

Incubation

After successful mating, the female tarantula will lay eggs within a few weeks. The eggs should be carefully removed from the enclosure and placed in an incubation container. The container should be kept at a constant temperature and humidity level to ensure the eggs hatch properly. It is important to monitor the incubation container regularly to ensure that the eggs are developing properly.

Raising the Young

Once the eggs hatch, the young tarantulas should be kept in a separate enclosure. They should be fed small insects and provided with a suitable substrate. It is important to ensure that the young tarantulas are not overcrowded and have enough space to move around.

It is recommended to seek advice from experienced breeders and join tarantula breeding groups for support and guidance. Overall, breeding tarantulas can be a rewarding hobby for experienced keepers who have the necessary knowledge and resources.

Conclusion

Summary of Benefits and Drawbacks of Owning a Tarantula as a Pet

In summary, owning a tarantula as a pet can be a unique and fascinating experience. Since they’re low-maintenance animals which don't take that much effort on your side and can be left alone for extended periods. They are also relatively inexpensive to care for, with their diet consisting mainly of insects. Additionally, tarantulas are quiet pets that do not make noise or disturb the peace in the household.

However, there are also some drawbacks to owning a tarantula. They are not suitable for everyone, especially those who are afraid of spiders. They also require a long-term commitment, as they may live 20 or more years in captivity. Furthermore, they may not be legal in some areas, so it is important to check local regulations before purchasing one.

Final Recommendations

For those who are interested in owning a tarantula as their pet, remember to educate yourself and research, planning before making the commitment. This includes researching the specific species of tarantula, their care requirements, and any legal restrictions in the area.

It is also important to consider the long-term commitment involved in caring for a tarantula, as well as the potential lifespan of the pet. It is recommended to purchase a tarantula from a reputable breeder or pet store, and to ensure that the pet is healthy and well-cared for.

Overall, owning a tarantula is a very rewarding experience for people who are interested in these unique creatures. With proper care and planning, a tarantula can live a long and healthy life in captivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal diet for a pet tarantula?

Pet tarantulas are primarily insectivores, and their diet consists of live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches. It is important to ensure that the prey is appropriately sized for the tarantula and that it is not too big/large or too small/tiny for them to handle. Some tarantulas may also eat small vertebrates like lizards, frogs, and mice.

How does one safely handle a pet tarantula?

It is generally not recommended to handle pet tarantulas as since they’re very sensitive and stress easily, they may and will bite you, if you make them feel threatened. If handling is necessary, it is important to approach the tarantula slowly and gently and to support its entire body to avoid injuring it. Remember to keep it clean, so always wash your hands right before and after handling to prevent the transfer of harmful bacteria.

What species of tarantula are recommended for beginners?

There are several species of tarantulas that are recommended for beginners, including the Chilean Rose Hair, Mexican Red Knee, and Costa Rican Zebra. These species are known for their docile nature and relatively easy care requirements.

What are the necessary conditions for a pet tarantula's enclosure?

Tarantulas require a spacious enclosure with appropriate substrate, hiding places, and proper temperature and humidity levels. The enclosure should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and mold. It is important to research the specific requirements of the species of tarantula being kept to ensure that their needs are being met.

Is it possible to train a tarantula to be docile towards humans?

Tarantulas are not capable of being trained in the traditional sense, but they can become accustomed to human presence with regular handling and interaction. However, it is important to remember that each tarantula has its own personality and may not necessarily become completely docile towards humans.

How should one respond to a tarantula bite?

If bitten by a tarantula, it is important to remain calm and seek medical attention if necessary. Tarantula bites are typically not harmful to humans, but some species may have venom that can cause an allergic reaction or other complications. It is also important to clean the bite wound thoroughly to prevent infection.

Can you pet a tarantula?

Yes, tarantulas can be kept as pets by some individuals. However, whether you can physically handle or "pet" a tarantula depends on various factors including the species, temperament of the individual spider, and your level of experience and comfort with handling them. 

Will a pet tarantula bite you?

While some tarantulas have relatively docile temperaments and can be handled with care, others may be more defensive and prone to biting or flicking urticating hairs when threatened.

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