Tarantulas can, surprisingly, make great pets, as they're interesting to watch, easy to care for and take up little space. There are hundreds of species of tarantulas, but the Chilean rose spider is a popular species found in exotic pet shops. Although tarantulas have a venomous bite, the bite of a Chilean rose tarantula is no more serious or painful than being stung by a bee. They shouldn't be handled unless necessary, as the hairs on their abdomen can cause skin irritation and localized inflammation, but they can be ideal pets for those who don't want to commit more than a couple of hours a week to care for a pet and who would enjoy simply observing this spider in its living environment. Here's an overview of what's involved in looking after a tarantula:
Tarantulas need very little living space, so a plastic terrarium can work well, as it's inexpensive, easy to clean and allows you to see what your spider is doing at all times. Tarantulas prefer to be housed on their own, but they should have enough space to walk around in, so ensure you choose a terrarium that's at least three times as long and wide as your spider. The terrarium should have a lid with ventilation to prevent your tarantula getting out, and the base should be lined with a few inches of vermiculite to allow for natural burrowing behaviors to be expressed. No heat pads or lights are required, but you should provide somewhere for them to hide, such as a small flowerpot. The terrarium should be spot cleaned on a daily basis, and a full clean out should be carried out at least monthly.
A small dish of water should be available at all times, and you should use shallow feeding dishes to prevent drowning. Crickets make up the main part of a pet tarantulas diet, and they will also enjoy some mealworms and roaches. You can dust their food with a specially formulated vitamin powder to ensure their nutritional needs are being met. Young tarantulas will eat every couple of days, while adults will only eat around once a week.
Potential Health Problems
Tarantulas aren't prone to many health problems, but they can suffer a serious injury if they fall from a height, which is why it's essential you ensure your terrarium has a secure lid. Additionally, dehydration can occur quickly if your spider suddenly loses interest in drinking, so be prepared to take them to the vet in the same way you would if your cat or dog became ill.
Tarantulas are an ideal pet for those who are happy to observe them, particularly when housed in a terrarium that gives you a 360 degree view. If at any point you have any concerns about the health of your spider, have them checked over by your vet.Share