Capybaras as Pets – Is it Safe? Are they Cuddly? We’ll Tell you All

Nowadays, when we talk about pets, the choices are not limited to just cats and dogs. People have gotten so much craze for exotic and unique species as pets that capybaras have come to the list as well.

capybara on a green field

Capybaras As Pets

Prior to actually bringing any pet home, it is critical to do your research and fully understand their concerns. Several exotic pets are active at night, and many of them are social and require group living.

A capybara is the world’s largest rodent. They are indigenous to the majority of South America. There are some in Florida as well but as an invasive species rather than a born and bred one.

The capybara resembles a large Guinea pig, to which they are linked. Here are the social, residential, and other needs of capybaras that you must know of before bringing one home.


The most common and important ingredient in a capybara’s diet is hay. It not only provides them all the essential nutrients and roughage but also keeps their teeth at an optimal length. Other things that they can feed on are berries, tree barks, forest grasses, seeds, and fruits. They eat only up to six wild plant species. They can also chew on grass, wood, furniture, etc. to trim their teeth as they grow very fast.


Capybaras need to swim on a regular basis as they are semi-aquatic species. They must be provided with a big enough pool for them to swim in it. If not given enough space to roam around and swim, they may get aggressive and destructive. So, you must set up a suitable swimming environment for your capybaras for them to swim and play without any hassle or discomfort.


The legal process of bringing a capybara to your home might be a lengthy one. Only a few states allow the ownership of a capybara as a pet with some special permit and license. You might have to contact your state wildlife office for the rules and regulations regarding the possession of a capybara as a pet.


The maintenance of a capybara can cost you around 1100 dollars to more. Along with that, since they are bred in specific places, you will have to pay for transportation, legalities, and special permits. There will also be added cost of setting up a suitable environment large enough for them to roam around and play. Veterinarians for capybaras are also quite difficult to find hence you will have to pay them quite a lot for their grooming and other needs.


To keep their teeth healthy, capybaras must be able to chew frequently. They will have trouble eating and may even starve to death if their incisor teeth are not kept trimmed. This involves giving them daily hay supplies and, even more, allowing them to wander and chew grasses.


Capybaras that live with humans alone may get prone to stress and can act destructively. Even though they are known to be very friendly and smart, their behavior can show aggression when faces stress. They can also get destructive when they don’t get enough space to roam around freely.


They will most probably be at unease if forced to live alone as they are group animals. They need to live with their own kind in order to prosper and stay healthy. It is advisable to own more than two of these creatures to ensure their proper behavior and growth. You must also maintain the male to female ratio in the group as the competition between males is a serious issue in capybara groups.

FINAL THOUGHTS on Capybaras as Pets

Capybaras are friendly and smart creatures, but they require a lot of room and a large swimming area to be comfortable. They also require the company of other capybaras, which means at least two but ideally more capybaras.

They need a constant supply of chewable items to keep their teeth healthy, and they can be messy in your home. Also, you must make sure that you have a vet that treats capybaras near your residence to make sure that you have someone to contact in case of any kind of emergency.

It would not be a very good idea to deprive them of optimal space as they can also destroy your furniture in such situations. So, if you are someone who has everything aspect of the lifestyle of capybaras in check and has the means to fulfill all their needs without any disruption, you can surely get them as your pets. You just need to make sure that their needs and requirements are fulfilled on a regular basis in order for them to live a good life.