Should You Own a Capybara as a Pet?

Capybaras are sometimes referred to as giant guinea pigs. However, they’re not as easy to take care of as their smaller cousins. Intelligent, social animals, capybaras, are one of the largest rodents found anywhere, weighing up to 170 pounds.

Because they are large, they need lots of space and an accessible body of water. They’re generally comfortable pets for families and do best when they are in groups or pairs; therefore, you should purchase at least one.

Species Overview

Common Name: Capybara

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

SIZE FOR DULL: 3 to 4 feet tall, with a weight of up to 170 pounds

LIFESPAN between 8-12 years spent in captivity.

Are You able to Own a Pet Capybara?

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Depending on the location you reside in where you live, it could be illegal to possess the capybara. Certain areas may require a permit or a health certificate.

A few examples are not permitted for pets in California and Georgia. They are, however, legal to own throughout Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York.

If a state allows it, some cities do not. Capybaras are considered illegal pets within the five boroughs in New York City.

Before purchasing one, contact your local government agency or humane society to determine whether it’s legal to possess the capybara in your area.


A capybara or two is an expensive expense and even more of a commitment. These massive animals weigh more than 170 pounds, divided by two. Capybaras require to be in the sort of environment that professional zoos provide.

Things to Consider

Capybaras are giant, costly pets requiring a considerable lot of living space, including water. They are social animals who thrive when they are in pairs.

Therefore, you’ll have to buy and keep a couple of them, which could be two females or males and females.

Two males, even if neutered, could be violent towards one another. If you’re not able or willing to cut out this type of living arrangement, then a capybara might not be ideal for you.

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Capybara Behaviour and Temperament

Capybaras raised by hand are generally friendly; however, if you adopt an adult capybara to keep as an animal, you’ll have to wait until it gets used to you.

Capybaras do not tend to bite humans. If they are threatened or agitated and are threatened, they’ll utilize their huge teeth to protect themselves.

They may also bite. The general rule is that capybaras tend to be shy and nervous.

Males’ smell glands are situated on the top of their snouts. They serve to identify their territorial boundaries.

Females also have glands; however, they are not as prominent. Both genders also utilize their anal glands to mark. Capybaras are highly vocal with one another.

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Capybaras can walk on webbed feet, which makes them superb swimmers. They can keep their breath for around five minutes in water.

In the wilderness in Central and South America, they are frequently found in large groups wherever there is standing water as their skin is dry and requires continuous replenishment.

Capybaras prefer areas that have plenty of grasses. They consume and then use it to shield themselves from predators.

Like pigs, large rodents can be covered in mud to maintain their body temperature and avoid sunburn because they have skinny fur and do not have numerous sweat glands.

Like guinea pigs, Capybaras are incredibly social and communicate with one by making various sounds. They communicate with grunts, purrs and barks, whistles, squeals and whistles, coughs, and many more.

A pet housed on its own and unable to interact with others may become depressed and stressed. It is possible to imitate these sounds to soothe your pet.

However, the best method to ensure the happiness of your pet is to ensure that they have at minimum one companion they can talk to and groom with.

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Capybaras require a marshy habitat that is similar to their natural habitat. Capybaras are native to the forests in South America.

Since capybaras are not to be kept in a single enclosure, It is essential to ensure that you have enough space to accommodate your family of rodents.

The fence outside should not be more than 4 feet tall. It will require a large enclosed area of approximately twelve feet by twenty feet for each pair, in addition to an enclosed area that is secure and covered during the night. Be sure there aren’t any gaps your pet might squeeze through.

Scatter objects suitable for your cat to chew, for example, untreated wood or big dogs toy which can be collected and floated into the water.

Capybaras are diurnal and require daily exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. They can handle a wide variation in temperatures ranging between 45 degrees F to 100degrees; However, they need a warmer area to hide in during colder days and a well to cool down when the weather is hot.

If the temperature during the winter months is too cold in your area and they have to move indoors during the winter months, ensure that you have UVB lighting inside to last a minimum of 12 hours each day.

If the temperature in their enclosure falls lower than 45°F, you must provide heaters to warm the space. If you are in a subtropical or tropical area, they will be in a position to be outdoors for the majority of or all the duration of the.

Specific Substrate Demands

The most suitable substrates for capybaras are straw, and hay sterilized soil or grass. These foundations can be easily replaced, so the enclosure stays spotless and odorless.

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What do Capybaras eat and Drink?

Capybaras consume only three to six plant species when they are in nature. The most popular ingredient in the pet capybara’s diet is high-quality grass hay, available in bales or piles. Orchard Hay and Timothy hay are easily available at pet shops and large pet stores.

The hay does not just supply the essential roughage and nutrients that a huge rodent requires but aids in keeping a capybara’s teeth at a proper length. Similar to other rodents, capybara teeth grow continuously throughout their life.

Wood, grass, hay, and other common objects assist in filing their teeth. If their teeth fail to get filed down, they could suffer from an overbite that could cause discomfort in the mouth and even pain when eating.

If this occurs, they’ll need the assistance of a specialist exotics vet.

As with humans and guinea pigs, the capybaras don’t produce enough vitamin C within their bodies.

Also, capybaras need to be fed guinea-pig pellets containing vitamin C in a food bowl each day. The pellets can help prevent the onset of scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency.

You can offer vegetable snacks such as apples, carrots, or yams but only in small amounts. Sugar, even natural sugar, can be addictive.

It is not a good idea for your capybaras’ to become picky foodies.

Distribute hay throughout the enclosure. This will allow for the re-creation of natural grass grazing.

Capybaras can be allowed to enjoy grazing on your grass so long as you’re 100% sure that there aren’t any harmful fertilizers, weeds, or insecticides.

Check the droppings. Normal poop looks olive-shaped. Your pet could receive too much sugar or water if it becomes unruly. This could be a sign they require more hay, roughage, and fewer snacks.

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Common Health Probleme

Apart from vitamin C deficiencies, They are also pretty tough creatures. Like all rodents are susceptible to respiratory illnesses and infestations of mites or lice that live in their fur.

To avoid these problems, ensure that the pen is clean. If your cat appears uninterested or isn’t eating and eating, it could have an issue with digestion.

It is a good moment to contact your exotics vet to ensure that your capybaras remain in good health.

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Being a semi-aquatic species, capybaras require the ability to play in the water and swim at times.

Make sure you have a pen available that allows your capybaras the freedom to move without restriction.

Provide an area of water that permits the ability to swim and even wad (over three feet in depth). The pool, as well as a shaded area, must be available throughout the day.

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Capybaras are not huge shedders; they shed tiny hairs at a time. There’s nothing to worry about when you decide be adopting one.


Grooming can be a relaxing way to break the ice between capybaras. Introduce your new capybara to food, and gently brush the hair. It can be an enjoyable, bonding time.

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Size Information

Capybaras get to be around 3-4 feet tall. Adults can weigh up to 170 lbs.

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How to Train Your Capybara

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House Training

Capybaras are intelligent, social creatures that can be taught to become house-trained. It is possible to try both dry and wet pans. The best results will come from a capybara that is young.

Be aware that huge rodents have a tendency to eat their waste. It’s disgusting, we know. But they’re wild animals and gain nutrition this way.

Leash Training

Certain people can teach their capys to wash using a leash, a lead, or harness. If you are a member of an online community of capybaras, you’ll get plenty of suggestions on achieving this.

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Pros and Cons of keeping a Capybara as a Pet

Capybaras have very minimal sheds, don’t have a smell, and aren’t hostile, although it is best to let them visit you for affection if they are seeking it.

But, they’re wild animals and require access to plenty of water, and that’s the place they prefer to go to for defecation. Capybaras may be better off as animals you see at the Zoo.

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You can purchase your Capybara.

It is best to purchase an adult capybara from a reliable breeder. The price for these fish ranges from $1,000 to $3000. Females tend to be more costly.

Remember, you must purchase a minimum of two. In the beginning, ensure that you have an exotics veterinarian nearby with experience in dealing with large rodents such as capybaras.

Whatever your actions, never take in the wild Capybara. You won’t be able to keep it in your home, you’ll never be able to tell if it was subjected to illness that can cause illness, and you’ll reduce the animal’s lifespan due to stress.

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The breeder will be able to provide some tips for handling your Capybara. Along with some details about its background and past.

Adopting a pet should be given an excellent check-up and ensure that it’s active and alert, though it might take some time to warm up to those it isn’t familiar with (even those carrying food).

The fur should be smooth and free of bald patches. Any redness could be a sign of parasites or mites.

It is also advisable to discuss spaying/neutering with the breeder, as you do not intend to become a breeder.

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The Capybara is a similar pet to Capybara.

If you’re looking to get a pet capybara to, look into:

  • Guinea pig
  • Patagonian Cavy
  • Prairie dog

In addition, you can look into some other animals of exotic origin that could become your new companion.


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Are capybaras rodents?

When we think of rodents, we typically imagine tiny creatures; however, this 170-pounder is a rodent. They’re! They’re the biggest rodents in the world.

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Can you domesticate a capybara?

They are not suitable for domestication. If they are trained and handled, they can be controlled and pleasant.

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How long do capybaras live as pets?

Up to 12 years old.

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Can you have a capybara as a pet

What is the legal place to own the Pet Capybara? The semi-aquatic rodent is legally owned within Texas, Pennsylvania, and portions in New York. In certain states, they’re legal; however, they require permits. Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, and North Carolina are states where you are likely to have the capybara as a pet.

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How to get a pet capybara?

You can look online for reliable breeders or pet sellers in your local area. A capybara can cost anywhere between $1,000 and way to $4000. Be aware that you shouldn’t buy just one capybara. They don’t do well by themselves and must be purchased in pairs.

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Can you have a capybara as a pet in california?

In some states, it is legal to possess; however, the capybara species is banned in the form of California and Florida.

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Is a capybara a good pet?

Capybaras are great pets because they are friendly wild animals, are a pleasure to pet, and are easy to take care of when in good condition. Capybaras love being pet and cuddled, which makes them great pets. Furthermore, many capybaras are incredibly affectionate with their favorite humans.

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