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How To Care for a Pet Tarantula: 7 Effective Ways

How To Care for a Pet Tarantula

How To Care for a Pet Tarantula: 7 Effective Ways 

Bringing a pet tarantula home is just the beginning of your journey. Here are a few effective steps to care for your pet tarantula to give it a healthy, happy life.

Having a tarantula as a pet can be fascinating. They don’t take up a lot of space, you can maintain them very easily, and it’s very interesting to observe them in their habitat. 

Keep in mind, though, that the bite of a tarantula is venomous, so be sure to learn all you can before you bring a pet tarantula home. You will need to mimic their natural habitat and get them live prey. 

Here are seven effective ways to care for your pet tarantula.

1. Housing Requirements

It is ideal to have a single spider in a cage as spiders are not social animals. Spiders are also prone to escape, so you need to have a secure lid on their enclosure. 

You must ensure proper ventilation in the cage. To house ground-dwelling tarantulas comfortably, you need to ensure that the enclosure length is three times the leg span of the spider, and the width of the enclosure should be close to double the spider’s leg span. 

A larger tank can make it harder to locate the prey. You need to include a hollow log or a piece of cork or bark as your tarantula will need a place to hide. 

You should keep them out of direct sunlight as tarantulas don’t require bright light. You can mist the enclosure regularly for tarantulas that require high humidity levels. Plus, remove any food leftovers by spot cleaning. It’s best if you clean the entire enclosure every six months.

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2. Food and Drink

Crickets are a staple diet for your pet tarantula, so make sure to supplement it with dubia roaches, super worms, and mealworms. You can also provide small lizards and pinkie mice to the larger tarantulas. 

However, make sure to gut load the crickets before providing them to your tarantula. You can also dust them with vitamin powder. The size of the food needs to be smaller than the body of the tarantula. You need to feed the juveniles every day or two, while the adults can be fed once a week.

The best time to feed is in the evening as your spider will be most active during this time. Just drop the prey close to it and allow it to hunt it inside the enclosure. 

Fix the quantity and variety of the food after consulting with a veterinarian. This is important as the quantity will vary based on the spider’s species, age, and size. Provide fresh drinking water in a small dish. Make sure it is very shallow so that the spider doesn’t drown in it.

3. Grooming

Tarantulas generally groom themselves in a process called molting. This is something they can complete on their own without needing any assistance from you. 

Just ensure that the enclosure has the proper humidity levels according to their species and that you don’t offer them any live prey until they complete the molting process.

4. General Health Issues

Tarantulas are pretty hardy animals, and as long as you provide a proper and secure living environment, they usually don’t have a lot of health issues. However, there still are a few issues that some tarantulas face.

  • Some tarantulas are infected with a parasitic infection called oral nematodes. It doesn’t commonly affect captive tarantulas, but common symptoms can include a white material around the mouth of the spider and a decreased appetite. 
  • Molting is the process that helps them grow to a larger size. They do this by shedding their exoskeleton to produce a new one. The tarantula will lose its appetite during this time as it is a stressful process. It is best to not feed anything to the tarantula during the molting process, which typically takes several days.
  • The spider may take up to two weeks to completely recover from the molting process, and you should not handle it during this period. Don’t provide any live prey to it during the molting process as they might injure the spider before the new exoskeleton is able to finish hardening. 

5. Exercise

To keep your tarantula at a good weight and healthy overall, you must ensure that it gets proper exercise. Tarantulas don’t require a lot of exercises, though. They can get enough just by moving around in their enclosure, so you must ensure that they have sufficient space to climb and move around. 

6. Handling 

It’s usually advised not to handle your pet tarantula as they are known to bite if they feel threatened. Keep in mind that tarantulas are easily scared, so be careful around them. 

Although their bite won’t kill you, but it is extremely painful. Tarantulas are also known to flick urticating hairs if they feel threatened. If you, like many people, are allergic to these hairs, they will irritate your skin for a while. 

Handling them can lead to accidentally dropping them. They are very fragile creatures, and there aren’t a lot of medical care options available when it comes to injured tarantulas, so you need to be very careful.

7. Fungus or Mold

It is easy for fungus or mold to form inside the tank if you don’t keep it clean and allow it to get damp. This fungus or mold can also spread to your spider and can turn fatal if you don’t treat it instantly. 

The mold or fungus will look like a yellow or white plum on the spider’s legs or abdomen. If infected, use an antiseptic that is spider-friendly to treat it. 

Summing Up

Although it might not end up in the top ten list of favorite pets, it can be fun and exciting to own a tarantula, as long as you are aware of the responsibility you are taking on. 

With the seven effective ways to care for your pet tarantula, you won’t have anything to worry about. So don’t be nervous to bring home your very first pet tarantula.

How To Care for a Pet Tarantula: 7 Effective Ways

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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