Do Wild Animals Make Good Pets?
Behavioral Problems With Wild Animals
Do Wild Animals Make Good Pets?
There are many people who will have seen cartoons and movies, and wondered whether it would actually be possible to domesticate a wild animal to keep it as a pet, but is this really a good idea? There are different ways in which you can come into contact with a wild animal, and this can be either through purchasing the animal through a specialist licensed dealer or in some cases an animal that has been orphaned or separated from its mother can be found in the wild. When it comes to trying to keep a wild animal as a pet, it is very important that you get a real idea of what these animals are like, and not just fall for how cute it is.
Is Nature Or Nurture The Most Dominant Trait?
The truth is that the balance between nature and nurture can vary depending on the individual animal, but there will certainly be plenty of traits that are common among wild animals which you wouldn't see in a domestic pet. Many of these can be difficult to overcome, and one good example is that raccoons will always douse their food in water however long they have been a pet, so make sure you feed them outdoors or on a waterproof surface. There are also issues such as gnawing, scratching and defecating which will always need to be considered, and in many cases the natural instinct will be difficult to overcome.
A major problem for anyone who is thinking of keeping a wild animal as a pet is that although they can be very cute, their natural location will be in the wild, so they will not understand the idea that certain items should not be scratched or damaged. It is also worth noting that many animals will have a natural aversion to some species, and creating a bond between two pets can often be another difficult process. Even after several years as a pet, it can be difficult for all animals to eliminate their natural reactions, and in some cases where they are surprised or startled, they will react not as pets but rather as a wild animal.
What Species Can You Raise By Hand?
There are many species that can be raised by a wildlife specialist, and there are many wildlife rehabilitators who will keep wild animals where there is very little chance of being able to release those animals into the wild. It is possible to raise most species by hand, but there are plenty of difficulties to overcome during this process, with finding a suitable replacement for the mother's milk being one important aspect to bear in mind. Food and diet is also very important, as the wild animal's digestive system will not be designed to consume pet food or commercially produced feed, so you may find they are expensive to feed as well.
Can You Release Wild Animals That Have Been Kept As Pets?
This is one of the most important things to remember if you choose to keep a wild animal as a pet, because if you do try to release a wild animal that has been kept as a pet, it will have lost the innate skills that will allow it to survive. The animal will be unable to feed itself properly, as it will have come to expect food to be provided, so its natural instincts to scavenge or hunt will have faded, and this will lead the animal to a painful death either by starvation or other external factors.
Buying Wild Animals As Pets
Although many people will consider keeping an animal as a pet if they find it injured or orphaned around their properties, there are also specialist traders that do sell wild animal species as pets. These individuals are licensed and operate under strict guidelines, and if you really do want to buy an exotic pet, they will be able to guide you about their specific needs and the challenges of keeping the animals as pets. Because these animals will usually have been kept as pets for several generations, they will also be a little more domesticated and can cause fewer problems as pets.
The Commitment Of Owning A Wild Animal As A Pet
For the vast majority of people, it is important to state that a wild animal will not be a good pet, as they will need significantly more attention than a normal pet, along with being much less likely to be a good pet. Choosing to keep a wild animal as a pet is a commitment that will require significant time, effort and money, so you should only really consider this if you are ready to be completely committed to raising the animal and providing for its welfare.
Go back to the main How to Get Rid of Wild Animals
page for more information about animal trapping and information about whether wildlife and wild animals are good pets.