Tarantulas are among our favorite exotic pets to own, adore, and spoil. These amazing arachnids may be spooky to some, but to hobbyists they're unique, fascinating, and relatively easy to care for. Tarantulas are clean, odorless, and fairly quiet. If you're considering adding an eight-legged friend to your household, check out all you need to know on caring for pet tarantulas.
The tangled web of pet tarantulas just got a lot easier to unravel with this helpful guide.
Husbandry and Habitat
Designing the ultimate tarantula paradise is a great hobby for exotic pet lovers. Ground dwelling tarantulas such as the ever popular curly hair variety require a modest enclosure that is roughly three times the size of their leg span in length and double the size of their leg span long. A standard 5-gallon aquarium or terrarium works well. Tree dwellers like the pink toe tarantula need more vertical space. A foot of height along with a few branches to construct their web should do.
Line the enclosure with a layer of vermiculite that's at least 2 to 4 inches deep to allow for burrowing. Bedding should be changed every 4-6 months. Provide plenty of places for your spider to hide and keep the cage away from bright lights and direct sunlight. Be sure the enclosure has a secure, well ventilated lid, and never house more than one spider per cage.
Food and Water
A 5-star meal for a tarantula consists of gut loaded crickets, worms, and roaches dusted with vitamin powder. Food should never be bigger than your spider's body. Juvenile tarantulas may be fed every 1-2 days, while adults only require food once a week.
Always provide a small, shallow dish of water. It's a good idea to place a few small pebbles in the dish just in case your spider takes an unexpected swim.
Tarantula Temperament and Bonding
If you're looking for a pet you can cuddle, tarantulas may not be the best option for you. While most have a docile temperament, these fuzzy spiders can deliver a venomous bite. Their exoskeletons are also extremely fragile, so handling them is not recommended.
However, tarantulas can be great fun to watch and display. These intelligent creatures will come to recognize their owners over time and feel comfortable coming out of their den to climb, eat, and socialize from afar. Curly hair tarantulas are the best beginner spider as they tend to be very slow moving and gentle. Pink toe tarantulas are great for more experienced exotic pet owners as they're quite fun to watch climb and scuttle at top speeds.
Keep a small, secure container on hand for transport and cage cleaning. Always move your tarantula with caution and be careful not to startle it.
Reach out to our experts for all your eight-legged questions and be sure to stock up on the best habitat supplies prior to welcoming your new fuzzy family member.