While capybaras are naturally tame, having capybaras as pets is nowhere near like having dogs. Thus, before you go to your chosen breeder and purchase a young capybara, it is crucial that you know their needs and what it’s like to have them as pets.
Is it legal in your State?
First and foremost of course, as with other exotic pets, owning capybaras are not allowed in many states. They’re legal to own in Pennsylvania and Texas, while some states require owners to accomplish requirements and permit. If you’re not sure, then you better check it with your local registration before you drive to the nearest breeder and bring a capybara home.
Aside from the legal formalities, there are many things you need to know and understand about capybaras. Here are some facts and tips from the breeders and owners.
Get at Least Two
Capybaras are herd animals, meaning they’re highly social and they need to be with their own kind. You can bond with them, but it will be unhealthy and stressful for the animal. No one can provide them better emotional bond than their fellow capybara. And unlike cats and dogs, they have not evolved to understand human behavior, yet, making it difficult for you, and for them to communicate all the time. Thus, you need to get at least two of them and make room for both of them in your place.
Consider the Size
Capybaras are the largest rodents you will ever meet. They can weigh up to 140 lbs. This means keeping two of them can be really challenging, and costly. Aside from that, they have special needs as well. Such as:
They Need Access To Water
Capybaras are semi-aquatic animals. In the wild, they live near the river banks, swamps and wetlands, as they love to swim and feed on aquatic plants, and to get away from their predators. Thus, when domesticating capybaras, you need to mimic their natural habitat and provide access to water in your place. You can provide a pond or have them swim at your pool.
They Need Huge Space, and Fence Them
Capybaras love to roam around, walk, run and swim. And as with other rodents, it’s not a good idea to keep them as indoor pets, as with chew on everything you own, from your carpet, furniture, wires and cables of your appliances, etc.
They want to be in control of their day-to-day lives. Thus, in an outdoor environment, it is best to keep them in a fenced location. They’re fast, and they can easily run away.
They Urinate Everywhere and Poop A Lot
Capybaras use their urine and to mark their territory. It’s like their personal business card that contains their information about their sex and social status. Thus, you should be ready for it.
Also, they may eat their poop, which helps in their digestion.
Locate the Nearest Vet
Capybaras are more delicate than cats, and their needs are very different from dogs. Thus, if you have no idea on how to raise and take care of them, you better know where to go should problems arise, especially when it comes to their health.