Do Capybaras Make Good Pets

Capybaras are quiet, gentle, low-key rodent that can be quite domesticated. They get along well with other animals. 

Capybaras can make good pets for the right person. They are friendly, intelligent, and enjoy human contact. Owning a capybara requires special housing, companionship, and resources for them to thrive in captivity. 

Before committing, it’s essential to consider your living situation, abilities, and resources, legal requirements of your state.

Capybaras can be the perfect fit for those seeking a calm, quiet, and low-energy companion. But keep in mind that they are not lap pets and won’t snuggle like a cat or dog. A traditional pet may be a safer and more humane option for most households.

Size and Habitat Requirements: How Much Space Does a Pet Capybara Need

Capybaras grow to be quite large, and typically weigh between 77 and 146 pounds. They require a substantial amount of space to roam and explore. Capybaras are also semi-aquatic animals that love and need water. Such as a large swimming pool or pond. Capybaras need it to maintain their physical and emotional well-being.

The swimming pool or pond should have plenty of space for multiple Capybaras since it’s essential to adopt more than one capybara pet at a time. The pond or pool dedicated to capybara use should be full and accessible 24 hours a day.

Capybara Socialization

Hand-reared capybaras tend to be tame and make affectionate companions. But they may initially be shy around humans.

Adult capybaras may take longer to warm up to their owners. With patience, they form strong bonds. They are not aggressive but they will try to defend with their large teeth if they feel threatened.

Capybaras are highly social animals. They communicate through various sounds, such as purrs, barks, and grunts. They love to live in groups. They need companionship for their physical and psychological health. Isolation can lead to stress, depression, and health decline. To ensure their happiness, you have to spend time with your capybara daily. 

Capybaras enjoy the company of other capybaras or human family members in domestic setting. They may also bond with other animals. You have to give them scope for socialization, grooming, and swimming with their companions.

Caring For a Pet Capybara: Diet

Capybara eating
Capybara eating grasses, fruits, corn

Capybaras primarily feed on grasses, aquatic plants, tree bark, berries, seeds, and fruits. Their diet should consist of high-quality grass hay in captivity. This hay provides necessary nutrients and helps maintain their teeth. Capybaras should be fed guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Occasional fruit and vegetable treats, like carrots, apples, and yams are good options too.

Capybaras are more active in the evenings and often rest during the day. They may have runny stools and will eat their poop for extra protein. It’s important to allow them to do this despite its unappealing nature.

Capybaras need a grassy area to roam and graze. But the grass should be free of pesticides and chemicals. Providing sticks and branches for them to chew on is essential for maintaining their dental health. Safe options include willow or birch branches.

Overall, a pet capybara’s diet should be carefully monitored. Make sure they receive the proper nutrients and roughage.

Legal Considerations- Can You Have a Capybara As a Pet 

Before adopting a capybara, you must research your local laws and regulations. These usually vary greatly by state. Some states like California completely ban the ownership of exotic animals. Other states such as Texas and Pennsylvania allow it. In many other states, you may have to get special permit to keep a capybara.

Capybara’s calm nature can make them great pets if given enough space to roam. But aside from legal requirements, it’s important to fully understand the responsibilities and challenges involved in caring for a capybara.

Capybara Behavior and Temperament

Capybaras are gentle, chill animals. You can build trust with your Capybara by offering them appropriate grass and combing them while they eat. This will build a strong bond between you both.

Capybaras are vocal animals both in the wild and in captivity. They use grunts, whistles, and noises to communicate. They enjoy interacting with humans. Especially if they are kept alone. Remember that capybaras are not silent animals as pets.

Does a Capybara Poop a Lot?

Capybaras have a unique digestive system that makes them thrive consuming mainly grasses, aquatic plants, and fruits. Because of their hindgut fermentation method of processing food, they digest food in the latter part of their intestines. It’s less efficient compared to other animals. 

They need to poop around 10 to 15 times a day on average. So be prepared for their frequent pooping and don’t keep them indoors for extended periods.

How Long Does a Capybara Live in Captivity

Capybaras have an average lifespan of around 8-10 years in captivity. The oldest recorded capybara was 15.1 years old. But their lifespans are significantly shorter in the wild because of predators. Their natural predators are jaguars, pumas, eagles, and even humans. They have an average lifespan of just 4 years in the wild.

Is it Expensive to Raise Pet Capybaras?

Raising a pet capybara can be quite expensive, especially for those on a budget. The cost of special licensing, adoption fees from reputable breeders, and transportation expenses can cost thousands of dollars upfront from reputable breeders. 

Creating a suitable home environment with proper enclosure, shelter, and a large swimming pool can cost a lot. Don’t forget to account for the cost of specialized food and veterinary care from a professional with exotic animal experience throughout their lifetime. Their services are typically more expensive than those for common pets.

Obtaining a capybara typically costs at least $1,000. Due to the limited number of breeders, extra transportation fees can add to the expense. 

Training Your Capybara

House Training:

Capybaras are intelligent and social creatures. They can be house-trained using both wet and dry pans. It’s easier when they are young. You should know that these large rodents tend to eat their own poop to obtain nutrients.

Leash Training:

Capybara harness training
Capybara Harness Training

You can train capybaras to walk on a lead, leash, or harness. You can join an online capybara community to get valuable advice and tips on how to accomplish this.

Pros and cons of having Capybara as pets

Capybaras need minimal shedding. They often seek affection on their own terms. But they need a significant amount of water access for their preferred defecation habits. Ultimately, capybaras are best enjoyed during visits to the zoo.


Capybaras are gentle, friendly animals. They make excellent pets for families with children. They have highly social nature. They enjoy being around people and usually live in groups. Capybaras can be fascinating pets if you are prepared for the commitment and expense.


Capybaras can be challenging and expensive pets due to their size, social nature, and specific care requirements. They need a large habitat with access to water at all times. They might have health problems such as rabies and mange. They need vitamin C supplements to prevent scurvy.

Capybaras thrive in groups, making it necessary to adopt more than one for their psychological, physical, and social well-being.

A suitable Capybara living environment can be costly, including a large, thermally regulated pool with a filtration and water-replacement system. They eat up to eight pounds of high-quality hay daily. In winter they need heating and UVB lighting.

They can be destructive. They tend to chew on anything they can find. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How frequently should you take your capybara to the vet?

It’s best to take your capybara to the vet once a month. Your vet can ensure that your capybara is healthy and getting all of the nutrients he or she needs.

2. Can you domesticate a capybara?

No, capybaras are not able to be domesticated. With training and care, they can be tame and friendly.

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