Armadillos have become quite popular among exotic animal lovers and more and more people want them as pets. But should you actually consider this a great pet to keep inside your house?
Armadillos are pretty small animals that are mostly known for their armor-like, leathery shell. This animal can be found under around 20 different species with sizes that can range from 5 inches in the case of the Pink Fairy Armadillo, to 5 feet, when it comes to the Giant Armadillo. The most common type of armadillo you can find in the US will be the Nine-Banded Armadillo, a species that can easily grow to a size of anywhere between 20 and 44 inches.
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Aside from its skin, which is almost like armor and offers great defense against predators, another important characteristic is its claws, which make it quite the digger. Armadillos don’t have a great vision, on the other hand. These mammals can move pretty swiftly, although they have pretty short legs. They can also stay underwater for around 5 minutes before coming out to breathe. These Females have a gestation period that can last between 60 and 120 days and the normal resulting litter will contain anywhere between 1 and 8 baby armadillos.
If you aren’t an experienced pet owner, then opting for a wild animal as your first pet isn’t a great idea. This is because a wild animal can not only harm you, but it can also suffer due to improper care. Although most wild creatures won’t react all that well in captivity and might even develop signs of stress, armadillos don’t have this issue. They might feel threatened from time to time, taking an aggressive stance as a form of defense, which can lead to hurting someone or even themselves. Another negative aspect of this creature is its strong musky smell, not very enjoyable for most people. If you keep them in your yard, you should know that they are constantly either foraging or digging, which can really damage the lawn. If you don’t have a problem with these particular issues, then you can go ahead and get yourself an armadillo companion.
Before getting an armadillo, check your state’s legislation about owning one, because it is illegal to keep these types of pets in captivity in a lot of places around the US. Most of the areas that do allow you to own an armadillo will also require that you get a license to own exotic pets. IF you’re getting a baby armadillo, then you should know that you will have to feed it with an eye dropper or a feeder, just like a kitten or a pup. When it grows a little, it will slightly need to shift its diet towards natural live foods like grubs, worms, or ants. Another important task will be to train the armadillo in foraging. YOu will do this by hiding pieces of its food under shallow layers of mud.
The best way to keep an armadillo will be inside a large outdoor enclosure where it can go on with natural activities like foraging and digging. Armadillos prefer to spend a lot of time in the water, so you should also consider getting a wading pool. You will have to recreate its natural habitat if you want it to be happy. You will also have to move the armadillo inside when the climate becomes colder, as this creature won’t do well in cold weather. Armadillos don’t like company so adding more than just one in an enclosure might lead to them fighting, ultimately hurting one another.
An armadillo will be active during the night and will want to rest throughout the day so you won’t get to socialize too much with it unless you’re willing to miss some sleep throughout the night. When they are kept in captivity, they might throw tantrums at night. If you have a larger-sized armadillo, it can really create chaos around the living room.