Should You Keep A Capybara As Pet?

Thinking about rodents, what may first come into your mind? A chinchilla, a hamster, rats, or might be tree squirrels. Well, what about this big boy? A guinea pig. Well, this is the big cousin of a guinea pig named Capybara. Sounds interesting? Then hold your interest as we will discuss capybaras today, starting from their origin, behavior, and taming requirements. 

Things You Need To Know About Capybara?

Capybara Traits

Do you get the same shock as me seeing this giant rodent? Well, then, what will happen if you get to know this is the largest rodent on earth? They weigh around 170 pounds and have an astonishing height of 50- 64 centimeters. Quite bigger than a pocket pet rodent we generally encounter.

Don’t be so quick to judge, they also make great pocket pets, best should be said amazing cuddly pets. They love to cuddle other capybaras in the group all day. And if there is no capybara in the surrounding area, they will cuddle any animals nearby, including humans too. Seems, you are getting interested in having one. But wait there are more facts to consider yet. 

Capybara In Wild

Seeing these giant rodents, didn’t you think they were from the deep jungles of the Amazon or South Africa? Well, proving you wrong, they do come from the jungles of central and south America. They used to live in the forest near large water bodies. The reason behind this riverside residency is, that Capybaras are both land citizens and water babies. Even they are fully equipped with webbed legs and fast-drying brittles. But the most amazing fact is they can hold their breath underwater for up to 5 minutes.

Capybara in Wild

Though these amazing facts also increase the difficulty of domesticating capybaras. You have to create a vast living area for the capybaras, nearly 250 square feet of fenced area with at least 4 feet high fences. The reason behind this fencing is capybaras are good climbers and escape away when you are not there to look at them. And the most difficult part of housing will be creating the capybara pond. Capybaras need their own 3 feet deep pond to hang out with their cage buddy and do some swimming practices. After all, they are semi-aquatic animals. 


In the wild, they love to live in groups of at least 40. So if you want to have one in your house, it must have a cuddling and grooming partner in the cage. Mostly it’s preferred to have 2 females or 1 male and 1 female capybara in captivity, as the males can be a little aggressive toward each other. Even though you neutered them, their aggressive nature may not calm down. So, being on the safe side is best. 

Sociability CAPYBARA

Capybara Feeding

In terms of appetite needs, capybara has a very simple diet of green elements. During wildlife, the hunger for capybara is mostly quenched by green grasses and aquatic agile. Even to multiply their protein intake, capybara also eats their morning poops.

Capybara Feeding

But they actually do that to fully perceive all the proteins from their intake. It’s all because they can’t pursue all the nutrients in one digesting process, so after dumping the food, they again eat them to ensure no protein remains unconsumed. So, if any bright morning you see your lovely capybara eating poops, just try to swallow the scenario. And to help you on choosing more protein-rich food in domestication, we suggest you have some Orchard or Timothy hay for your capybara. It will give them a happy intake while helping to trim down their front teeth. And the best choice for that will be Vitakraft Small Animal Timothy Hay. 

Plus, you should give some vitamin C-infused pellets to the capybara, to incorporate the additional vitamin needs. For that, we suggest going for Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food. Though it is specifically made for guinea pigs, the cousin brothers can also take the benefits. 

Dangers Of Keeping Capybara

Well, if we discuss it deeply, there are no potential dangers of capybara domestication. Just like other furry rodents, capybaras are very loving and affectionate pets and love to hang out with other animals or humans too. 

But in the first few days, they will show shy behavior that will be a little difficult to crack. But in the case of young capybaras, taming will be much easier and fun. Whereas for adult ones, you have to wait for a little, until they warm you cordially. 

Dangers of Keeping Capybara

So, what is the danger here? Well, it’s the big teeth you can see on the front. Despite this, fur babies are very friendly with their surroundings, when they get aggressive, turning into an attacker won’t be a hassle for them. Those sharp block teeth on the front can bite pretty hard when they feel frightened of anything. So be prepared to get some sort of bites in your lovely taming times, unless it’s a great pet to have.

Now the biggest question comes, is it legal to have a capybara as a pet? Well, in most countries or states, it’s not. But in some states like Pennsylvania, Texas, and New York owning a capybara is legal. Though some picky cities inside the states don’t find it ethical. However, it seems the legality issue will also contribute to your decision-making. 

Should You Keep It As A Pet?

Overall, the decision comes, that capybaras are great pets to have. Most are for zoo keepers or those exotic animal lovers who can provide them with big housing and pool area to live happily. Otherwise, there are not many complications. But of course, you have to seek permission or gather information about the legality of keeping capybaras in your city. 

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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