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Do Capybaras Make Great Pets? What You Need to Know!

When it comes to finding awesome pets to bring into the family home, you have so many options. Most keep to the classic options – things like dogs, cats, birds, and the like. Rodents like rabbits and hamsters are common too if you want something very small and dainty. Among the most intriguing pets in the world for those who fancy something different, though, would be the humble Capybaras.

When it comes to Capybaras pets, though, there are quite a few things to think about. Given these are the largest rodents that live in the world today, most assume they can be quite a handful. And you would be right for assuming that. This is not like owning a guinea pig or a hamster; there is a lot more work involved!

With that in mind, you need to understand the process behind having Capybaras as pets. Let’s take a look at some of the information you need to know.

What are Capybaras?

The Capybaras is a large rodent, as we noted above. They are the largest of their kind in the world. This makes them seem both very cute and somewhat intimidating. Most see them as basically a massive hamster or guinea pig, but there is much more to them than this.

Though the Capybaras love to have a cuddle and have no problem spending time with people, they are a bit more reactive than other rodents. As long as you can give your Capybaras a good household and you can meet their rather extreme dietary needs, you should have no problem at all in having a Capybaras around the place.

Given they are semi-aquatic creatures, too, they can handle the water better than many other rodents can. Their natural habitat will be forests nearby water, most likely in South America. They can weigh as much as 170lbs, too, so these are pretty hefty big animals. They live on aquatic plants and grass, though, and they also tend to eat their own fasces. Horrible, yes, but it gives them an incredibly rich source of protein. They tend to live in large groups, though they can live a solitary life with just one Capybara surrounded by humans.

So, you do not have to worry about your Capybaras eating another beloved pet as they do not eat meat. This means that you should not have to worry about them turning into a predator at home.

How does a Capybaras act?

In terms of their general mood and behavior, the Capybaras can be quite an interesting creature. They are very friendly and kind to just about anyone and everyone. At first, though, do not expect their personality to shine through: it takes a Capybaras some time to trust you. Over time, an adult Capybaras will come to warm to you – but at first, it might be a little bit cold towards you. Like any relationship, time is key.

You should find good quality grass that is suitable for their diet and give it as much grass as you can. When they are eating, you should try and groom them with a comb. Capybaras love the feeling of being groomed, and a mixture of feeding and grooming will have them taking a shine to you in no time!

They are not aggressive, but they do have sharp teeth so try and keep that in mind. If your Capybaras feels upset or threatened then it can bear its teeth and bite. So, be prepared for that until it feels safe with you – and be sure that any children or other animals spending time with your Capybaras are made aware of this.

They tend to enjoy having a cuddle, so you should not be too alarmed if your Capybaras comes up to join you on the couch or on the floor. This is simply a sign that they like you and that they feel nice and comfortable within your presence. This is very much a positive thing!

Are Capybaras a noisy animal?

They most certainly be, yes. While not all Capybaras are going to be super noisy, they make a lot of noise in the wild. This means that they can be quite commonly heard grunting, and even whistling. This is their primary form of communications. Their vocal nature will mean that you should probably look to keep a partner Capybaras so that they always have a friend to communicate with.

If you are going to have a Capybaras as a pet, then get used to the noises they make. They are not silent animals by any means, but you do not have to search far to find something louder.

Do you need a license to have Capybara pets?

Yes, you likely need to have a license to own one of these. Most states in America look to ensure you have some kind of ownership license. In fact, in some states, you are not even allowed to own a Capybaras at all. We recommend that you speak with a local authority to find out the permits you might need, or whether or not it is legal to keep one.

Housing your Capybaras

If you choose to keep a Capybaras then you should be prepared to give it the housing and the structure that it needs to be happy at home. They need a minimum of 250 square feet of space. They must be fenced in and they must be given shelter that they can sleep in at night. Most find having an outdoor space of this size with appropriate sleeping spots very important.

Keep in mind, too, that these are natural athletes and thus they can jump and climb about the place with ease. This means your enclosure will need fencing of a minimum of 4ft in height. Always be sure to look for gaps and fill them in ASAP, as Capybaras do not mind popping out and going for a little adventure.

As aquatic creatures that can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes at a time, too, you should give your Capybaras a water space with 3ft of depth minimum. They need to spend time in water from time to time, and they also need to do so for their skin to avoid dryness. Try and keep at least some of the water protected from the sun so they can cool off in protection.

What toys do Capybaras want?

They tend to enjoy having toys made from untreated wood. Given they will use their big teeth to chew away and eat on these toys, they will be grinding their teeth down naturally and thus avoid having needlessly massive teeth.

Your Capybaras needs to have some toys to keep it happy, so try and give it a nice selection of wooden toys to play around with. This is important for their mood and morale.

What do Capybaras eat?

If you want to keep one of these creatures then their diet can become a challenge in sourcing what they eat. In the wild, a Capybaras will typically eat a small grouping of plants, grasses, and aquatic plant life. They also eat their own fasces as we noted earlier (albeit only in the morning). This allows them to get all of the goodness out of the grass they eat.

You could give them good quality hay, typically either Orchard or Timothy hays. These are good for their health, give them a portion of good food to eat, and also provide them with another teeth-wearing solution. You should look to find a pellet food source that has Vitamin C, as these little animals are prone to scurvy due to an inability to produce Vitamin C organically. Guinea pig pellets and the odd piece of fruit, like a carrot, could make a lot of sense.

Do Capybaras have any health issues?

The main issue to look out for when you have a pet Capybara is the potential for scurvy as mentioned above. Outside of this, keep an eye on their teeth and make sure their diet is producing a lot of teeth grinding for the best benefits overall. If they are not grinding their teeth they can run into overbites, which can lead to facial damage as they end up basically biting themselves.

In terms of general health issues, though, Capybaras are pretty hardy and are not known to have too many common health issues.

Should you keep a Capybara as a pet?

So, the Capybara can make a fine pet for you at home if you can give them the space and the social needs they have. They need a deep pool to reside in, they need a very particular diet, and they thrive most when they have a friend or companion to grow up with. Get used to having a Capybara around the place and you could easily form a meaningful and lasting bond for the duration of their life.

Like any other pet, though, consider your living situation and how much time you can commit to the pet before you go out and buy one.