Tarantulas might look like fun pets (especially if you’ve ever watched Home Alone), but some people are more suited to the responsibility than others. Do you wonder if you qualify? Before you make any big decisions, consider this:
- You can’t treat them like a puppy or kitten. Many people adopt animals because they want to cuddle, play, and bond with them. You’re not going to find an affectionate companion in a tarantula. In fact, they frighten easily and will bite you if they think they’re in danger. Urticating hairs are also a problem. These little hairs are released when the spider is in defense mode, making your skin itch. They won’t fetch, they won’t watch TV on the couch with you, and they certainly won’t go for a walk. Most of the time, in fact, they just sit around and do nothing in their terrarium.
- You’ll have to feed it live food. Tarantula ownership is not for the squeamish. You might be able to get away with feeding your tarantula bugs like roaches and crickets, but in some cases, mice could be necessary to keep your pet happy. If you’re a vegetarian or, again, you just can’t stomach the idea of using live food, get a hamster, instead.
- You’ll be in it for the long haul. Tarantulas don’t live for two or three years before they go to that big web in the sky – they can live for over a decade! They’re a big responsibility. If you think you’ll eventually tire of your spider, or you know your ability to care for them will drastically change in that span of time, don’t get one.
- Is any member of your family afraid of spiders? Don’t make your loved ones suffer for the sake of having a “cool” creature in the house.
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