There are lots of animals that are not routinely owned as pets but that would make really awesome companions! Below are ten of them, a little about them, and where they are legal to own. If you are unsure, you can always call your registration office to find out.
1. Capybara – a large member of the rodent family, a capybara can grow up to 140 pounds! They’re semi-aquatic and will need access to water. They are social animals and need company. They are legal to own in Texas and Pennsylvania, and are legal in other states with a license.
2. Bearded Dragon – a large, visually appealing reptile, bearded dragons are common house pets in the U.S. They are calm and easy to care for. They can grow up to two feet long so they need adequate space. They enjoy being handled.
3. Serval – a beautiful exotic member of the feline family, servals are affectionate animals but can be difficult to train because they are considered “wild”. They are legal in about half of the states – some states require a license.
4. Fennec Fox – This is the smallest breed of fox in the world, only growing to about four pounds. They act like a combination of a dog and a cat in one animal! Playful and energetic, they will usually live 10-15 years. They are legal in most states.
5. Wallaby – This cute animal is commonly referred to as a ‘mini kangaroo’. They are common in the wild in Australia and owned as pets in the U.S. They are extremely energetic and need lots of outdoor space. They are illegal within most city limits for this reason. They can be owned as pets in many states with a license.
6. Chimpanzee – an adorable animal, a chimpanzee is a difficult animal to own as a pet for several reasons. First and foremost, they can live up to 50 years and more! Owning a chimp is a lifetime commitment. And, they can grow to be as much as 150 pounds and twice as strong as a human so designing an enclosure can be a real challenge. They are only legal in a few states with a license.
7. Hedgehog – Hedgehogs are extremely cute and caring for one is similar to caring for any rodent – they need a cage with a hiding space, food and water. Owning one is legal in most states.
8. Macaw – This gorgeous bird is extremely strong and can grow up to 40 inches tall with a 60-inch wingspan! They’re very smart and enjoy playing and climbing. They’re extremely expensive and require lots of specialized care. They are legal in most states with proper documentation.
9. Chinchilla – another member of the rodent family, the chinchilla requires a great deal of expertise and patience. They don’t care to be handled and are extremely active. They are legal to own in most states if obtained legally.
10. Ball Python – a large member of the constrictor snake family, pythons can reach up to four feet long and live from 20-30 years. They require an adequate enclosure and specialized food. Ball pythons are legal in several states without a license.