Tarantula Care Mistakes

March 14th is Save A Spider Day! While this unofficial animal holiday is aimed at wild spiders, this is a perfect time to talk about pet ones. Tarantulas are becoming more popular as pets. An Ellicott City, MD vet discusses some common tarantula care mistakes below.

Lack Of Research

While tarantulas can be a great choice for some, they aren’t for everyone. They also should never be an impulse buy. Do plenty of research before adopting one!

Improper Habitat

Getting a proper habitat setup is half the battle here. Your tarantula will need a suitable enclosure, complete with substrate, a hide, and a suitable climate. For substrate, you can use reptile bark, damp sphagnum moss, or coconut fiber. Don’t use gravel or artificial turf, as these can cause injuries. Yard dirt is also a hard no. As for temperature, most tarantulas will be fine at what we consider room temperature, or about 65 to 62 degrees. This does vary depending on the species, however. Research, research, research!

Not Being Cautious

Spiders are cute, but they aren’t the cuddliest pets around, and can bite if threatened. They may also project their urticating hairs. Those with allergies can find this quite painful. It can also be dangerous, especially if one gets into your eye. Handle your fuzzy pet as rarely and gently as possible.

Health Care

Tarantulas won’t exactly let you know if they’re sick, so you’ll need to keep a close eye out. Your eight-legged pal should have a healthy appetite, and should molt regularly. She should also be aware and responsive to stimuli. Some warning signs to watch for include a sunken abdomen, bleeding, slow or stiff movements, and incomplete molts.

Poor Diet

Tarantulas are insectivores, so their diets will consist of things like roaches, mealworms, and crickets. (This is often a dealbreaker for those considering exotic pets, but it’s probably safe to say that anyone willing to adopt a spider can probably manage this without getting too squeamish.) Not removing live food during molts is also a no-no, as even small insects can hurt pets during this vulnerable time.

Bonus Don’ts

Hopefully these go without saying, but leaving your tarantula’s habitat open is a definite don’t. Asking your squeamish grandma or roommate to spidersit probably isn’t a great idea, either.

As your Ellicott City, MD animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!

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