Animals

15 Baffling Pets That Are Actually Legal to Own in the United States

More excitement from their pets than regular dogs and cats can provide is what some folks crave. There are many unusual creatures that can be kept as members of the family, even if state rules regarding exotic animals differ greatly. Do these creatures, nonetheless, make suitable pets? Discover 15 perplexing pets that are acceptable to own in the US by continuing to read.

1. Skunks

Given that it can release an unpleasant odor from its anal glands, a skunk is not a good choice for a domestic pet. Nevertheless, 17 states allow the ownership of these inquisitive and intelligent animals. In Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa, skunk owners are free to enjoy their pets without having to comply with the majority of states’ procedures, which include completing an application and submitting to a house inspection.

The only skunk species that is appropriate for pet ownership is the striped skunk. It is best to get pet skunks from breeders, and many skunk owners choose to remove the scent glands from their animals when they are still young.

Skunks can live up to ten years in captivity. They need a lot of room to walk around and investigate, as well as an area outside to dig burrows. A food strong in protein is required for pet skunks, and this might include fish, eggs, chicken, and feeder insects like roaches and worms.

2. Raccoons

Recognized for their sly and mischievous nature, 16 states allow people to acquire raccoons as pets. Raccoons are high-maintenance pets, though. A raccoon’s primary defensive mechanism is hostility, so they may be more aggressive than typical household pets.

Pet raccoons can easily reach cabinets and food containers because to their incredibly dexterous paws. Since raccoons are tenacious and can pick their way through doors, you should never leave them alone in your house. When they are away, many raccoon owners choose to confine their pets in crates.

Raccoons for pets should be bought from breeders since handling them as young animals helps them become socialized. If you wish to go out of town, finding veterinary care or boarding for your raccoon pet might be challenging, just like with other exotic pets.

3. Opossums

The only native marsupials in North America are these creatures, which are frequently misinterpreted. In addition to 23 states that allowed the ownership of opossums as pets, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Wyoming all allow the ownership of opossums as pets.

Because of its smaller size, the short-tailed opossum is the more common species to keep as a pet. Although they are sometimes friendly, opossums are sometimes recognized for their protective hissing. Opossums are not known to be violent animals, and they usually wait to attack until they have used all of their defensive strategies, such as playing dead and releasing an offensive smell from their anal glands.

Because opossums are skilled escape artists, owners are advised to keep their pets in spacious, well-ventilated cages. Pet opossums may consume a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, live insects, and cat food. Opossums can live up to six years in captivity.

4. Foxes

Due to worries about the animals’ possible negative effects on the environment and the diseases they may transmit, owning foxes is prohibited or severely restricted in many places. Nonetheless, 18 states allow the ownership of pet foxes without a permission, while three states allow it with one.

Because they are active and playful, foxes might be a desirable option for an exotic pet. They can also be trained to walk with a harness and leash and to use a litter box. They are also quite trainable.

Foxes can be difficult to live with in a home due to their high energy levels and loud, harsh vocalizations. They can quickly ruin furniture and have a tendency to dig at carpeting. Additionally, some people find the musky scent of foxes to be overbearing. In addition, foxes indicate their territory with inexplicable behaviors like urinating and defecating.

5. Squirrels

Although they are sometimes considered pests, squirrels are allowed as pets in 21 states. Only citizens of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Montana are permitted to own flying squirrels as pets. Furthermore, squirrels as pets are only allowed in South Dakota if they were acquired in a state where they are allowed.

Animals with a lot of energy and work ethic are squirrels. They exhibit remarkable intelligence as well as the capacity to pick up new skills and adjust to their surroundings. As renowned foragers, squirrels gather and stockpile nuts for the winter. Unfortunately, because squirrels may burrow under furniture in search of food, this urge could cause havoc inside your home.

They must forage and chew on nuts to maintain the health of their front teeth. Throughout its life, a squirrel’s front teeth can grow up to six inches annually. Squirrels can live for about 20 years in captivity.

6. Porcupines

A few states allow citizens to own porcupines as pets, despite the majority of states prohibiting this. Given that their fur is made up of sharp, prickly quills that they can raise or shed in response to danger, they make unique pets.

Most porcupines live alone and in peace. Because they are nocturnal animals, their vision is weak. Additionally, although they are clumsy climbers, porcupines love climbing trees, which could make their owners’ nights noisy.

Because they are omnivores, porcupines may eat roots, nuts, insects, and bark from trees. Although they typically survive 10 years in captivity, a porcupine at the Prague Zoo passed away after more than 30 years.

7. Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs are lawful to own in a number of states and are native to Central and North America. Rodents known as prairie dogs dig intricate subterranean tunnel networks to create their homes.

These creatures live in colonies made up of numerous family units and are quite gregarious. Prairie dogs make loving pets if they are trained to interact with people. But because they are social animals, they need to be with other prairie dogs almost all the time, so that’s not ideal.

Given that their teeth erupt and expand throughout their lives, they also have a strong need to chew. In addition, if they perceive a threat, prairie dogs may become territorial and hostile. Prairie dogs can live up to ten years as pets.

8. Capybara

Few states forbid keeping capybaras as pets in homes. The largest rodents in the world, capybaras are native to South America and can weigh up to 150 pounds. Being semi-aquatic, they favor environments in rivers, lakes, marshes, and swamps.

Herds, or big groupings of animals, are home to capybaras. Capybaras are very talkative animals that use a range of chirps and barks to communicate within their herds. Capybaras are mellow in their interactions with people and other animals. They live in peace and even socialize with other species, according to observers.

Despite their advantages, capybaras require a lot of care to keep them healthy. They thrive best in groups with other capybaras and shouldn’t be left alone. In order to replicate their original habitat, these animals should have access to an outdoor enclosure featuring a pond or freshwater pool. As herbivores, capybaras mostly consume grasses and aquatic plants; they need 6 to 8 pounds of food per day.

9. Wallabies

Pet wallabies are legal in several states, and they are permitted in several more with a permit. Native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, wallabies are marsupials. Several of their species are threatened or endangered.

These creatures, like kangaroos, belong to the Macropodidae family. The primary distinction between the two is size; while both have enormous tails that they utilize for balance, wallabies are substantially smaller than kangaroos.

It has been discovered by Dutch scientists that certain wallabies can make excellent pets. These animals can, however, need a lot of upkeep and care. They can jump nearly four feet high thanks to their rear legs, so the walls of any outside enclosure need to be high enough to keep them inside.

10. Monkeys

State laws pertaining to pets and monkeys differ greatly. Many states include a few acceptable species of monkeys, but some maintain complete restrictions on all monkeys. Because they are intelligent, these creatures could seem like a desirable option, but monkeys are demanding and high-maintenance pets.

Although they are gregarious and inquisitive creatures, monkeys can also be very hostile and territorial. Compared to typical home pets, certain species of monkeys have a lifespan of over 50 years. Pet monkeys need a lot of social engagement; if their demands are not addressed, they may become aggressive or make loud screaming noises.

11. Hedgehog

Just five states completely prohibit the ownership of pet hedgehogs, while other states in the union allow them. The characteristic spiky coats of hedgehogs serve as their main line of defense.

Despite their modest size—they usually weigh less than four pounds—hedgehogs can have expensive pet costs. An aquarium that holds at least 40 gallons is required for these creatures. Because hedgehogs are skilled climbers, ensure sure the lid of the enclosure is tight. A warming pad or lamp, nesting supplies, and items for the hedgehog to hide beneath should all be included in its habitat.

Hedgehogs also require toys and frequent playtime. Mealworms, fruits, veggies, and dry kibble can all be given to pet hedgehogs. They can survive for up to ten years in captivity.

12. Alligators

While they are prohibited in most areas, 17 states permit alligators as pets. Given that alligators have been known to attack people, getting an alligator as a pet is incredibly difficult. Alligators are found in freshwater swamps, ponds, marshes, and rivers in the southeastern United States and some parts of China.

These creatures hunt birds, small mammals, fish, and even larger creatures like deer. They are predators. Although it happens infrequently, alligators will also bite people who invade their domain.

Since alligators are protected as a species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, owning an alligator is subject to federal regulations in addition to state laws. Alligator owners are required to give their pets with an enclosure that has adequate space for the animal to submerge itself in water.

13. Bush Baby

Nearly half of the states in the United States allow owners of these little primates. Native to Africa, bush babies can be found in both tropical forests and wide savannas. They look like excellent pets because of their diminutive stature and withdrawn personalities, but their curiosity and agility are also factors.

Bush infants need a lot of stimulus because they are bright and lively. Sadly, because they are nocturnal creatures, the night is when they are most active. It’s best to have at least two bush babies rather than one solitary one as they run the risk of getting restless and nervous. Bush babies can leap great distances between trees and are skilled climbers. Even though they need a lot of room to roam, they are nevertheless capable of serious harm.

14. Axolotl

Axolotls are a type of salamander that is endangered and are legal to acquire in all states but Maine, New Jersey, and California. Axolotls are distinguished by their peculiar appearance, which includes tiny limbs and seemingly smiling mouths. They are indigenous to the Mexican region around Lake Xochimilco.

Because they might be somewhat difficult to care for as pets, axolotls might not be the best option for people who are unfamiliar with amphibians. Because they are apodolotls, they are delicate animals. They need clean, filtered water in their enclosures, and they have temperature requirements.

Tadpoles, worms, insects, and brine shrimp are consumed by axolotls. Finding medical care for a pet axolotl might be challenging because many vets are unfamiliar with these animals.

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15. Sloth

It is permitted to acquire a sloth as a pet in 35 states. Sloths are known for their slow pace and sleepy dispositions. Originally from South and Central America, sloths live in densely forested environments on trees.

Although they are generally peaceful, sloths can cause harm with their powerful jaws and long, claw-like nails. Their capacity to bite and claw is vital to their survival because they are too sluggish to evade predators.

For sloths to thrive as pets, certain requirements must be met. They require a constant temperature and high humidity, as well as sections of their container that they can climb. Pet sloths need a specific food consisting of leaves from their natural habitats, which can be challenging to get. These creatures make strange house pets because they don’t need to be socialized with or entertained, but they also don’t accept hugs or other forms of affection.