There are many people having spiders as their pets. And many others may consider getting a pet spider at one point or another.
However, spiders have a very fearsome image, which means that people will have many questions about whether spiders make good pets and the advantages and disadvantages of owning a spider.
Are spiders good pets? Spiders make for good pets. They are extremely low maintenance, easy to look after, inexpensive, fun, and make for a good conversation starter. Spiders may not make for a good pet if you are looking for a pet that you can cuddle, bond, and develop a good emotional connection with.
Below I will go into more detail about the pros and cons of owning a pet spider. Continue reading; you may be surprised by some of the things you didn’t know about those little creatures.
Pros of Owning Pet Spiders
Owning and taking care of spiders is super inexpensive. The biggest investment will be the spider itself, the terrarium, and the substrate. Other than that, they are incredibly low-maintenance.
- Depending on what kind of spider you go with, it can cost you anywhere between 0$ to a little over $100 for the rarer species. (Where to Buy Tarantula Online)
- Depending on its size, the terrarium will cost you $30 to no more than $100 in most cases. (Best Tarantula Enclosures)
- The substrate and hiding place will be about $30 to $50 on average. You can expect to be spending about $10 to $20 on a new substrate every year. (Best Tarantula Substrates)
- And lastly, you will hardly be spending more than $2 to $5 a month on feeding your spider and refilling its water bowl. (Where to Buy Feeders for Tarantulas)
All that adds up to about $50 to $200 as startup costs and no more than $30 a year for food and substrate maintenance. (Some people will even breed their own mealworms which can reduce the cost of feeding their spiders to almost $0.)
Easy to Care For
Spiders, hands down, are among the easiest pets to care for—they require little to nothing in order to thrive.
As long as they get a few small bugs or insects every few days or so, regularly filled with a freshwater water dish, and their habitat is kept in good condition, they are good to go.
They do not require a lot of care or monitoring.
They do not have to be taken to the vet several times per year, neutered, sprayed, or groomed.
You do not have to worry about letting them outside and going on a walk with them, too.
You can literally learn how to care for them in a few minutes.
Take Very Little Space
Another advantage of spiders is that even the bigger species require very little to no space. Many owners will keep their smaller spiders in 5-gallon tanks and some of the bigger spider species in 5 to 10-gallon tanks.
That being said, some spiders even prefer to live in smaller enclosures, where they will feel a lot safer—so space, in general, is not going to be a big problem for spider owners.
Do Not Smell
Animals have body odor of their own. We all have heard or smelled that distinct wet dog smell. Although many people will not be bothered by their pet’s scent, some will not enjoy it.
Spiders do not have any distinct body odor or scent. This means that both spiders and their terrariums will not get stinky. If anything, you will most likely smell the substrate (depending on what kind of substrate you are using).
The only thing that will have any particular bad smell is the crickets and other food that you may be keeping for the spider.
However, some people will not keep spider food in their home unless they care for many spiders. In most cases, people will buy just enough food to feed their spiders every week or so.
Mind Their Own Business
Do you want a pet that will not bother you? A pet that is as quiet as possible? Well, it does not get any better than this.
Spiders are as quiet as they come and will mind their own business. In many cases, you will hardly remember that they are in the same room as you are—especially with nocturnal spiders like the tarantulas.
May Live for a Long Time
The majority of spiders usually do not live very long. Most of the smaller spiders will rarely live more than one to three years.
That being said, this does not mean there are no spiders that can live a lot longer.
On average, male tarantulas live between 7 to 8 years, and female tarantulas can live up to 35 years or more in certain cases if properly looked after.
This means that regardless if you are looking for a long-term or a short-term commitment, there is definitely a species of spiders that will suit your needs.
Fun to Observe
Spiders may seem like boring creatures, but this cannot be further from the truth—Especially with some of the more unique spider species like the female wolf spider, which carries its hundreds of babies on its back.
Spiders are beautiful creatures, cute, fun to watch, and excellent conversation starters.
Spiders are fearsome; however, once you get to know more about them, you will start realizing that those creatures are not those aggressive bloodthirsty monsters people believe them to be.
They Do Not Need Socialization
The vast majority of spiders are not social creatures. It is true some spiders do like to cohabitate, but the majority of them will not feel lonely or sad because they do not have a mate to keep them company.
Cons of Owning Pet Spiders
May Be Aggressive
The majority of spiders will be poisonous. How poisonous spiders are, though, will vary from species to species. Even a bite from the black widow, the Brazilian wandering spider, or the brown recluse spider—considered to be some of the most dangerous spiders in the world—are not 100% lethal.
In fact, spiders will often seek ways to run away and hide instead of trying to bite you. Even though some spiders are a little more aggressive, they will not bite you for no reason. And in many cases, they will dry bite you without releasing poison.
However, this does not mean spiders cannot or are unwilling to defend themselves if they feel threatened.
The symptoms of a poisonous spider bite can vary from small localized swelling to necrosis, hypertension, trouble breathing, kidney failure, and death. Spiders also have tiny little hairs that they can flick as a means of protection. Those hairs can cause some health problems, too.
In any case, people that may be allergic to spiders should definitely not have a pet spider.
One Is Never Enough
If you get yourself one pet spider, you are very likely that you will not stop there. Spiders are addicting. Ask anyone who’s been taking care of pet spiders for long enough, and they will tell you.
The fact that spiders are incredibly low-maintenance allows people to take care and look after multiple spiders simultaneously. Some people will have 10, 20, even more than 50 spiders under their roofs.
Read more: Can Tarantulas Live Together
No Emotional Connection
Spiders, in general, do not express emotions and will not show any affection for their owners. In fact, it is highly unlikely that they will even recognize their owners.
They also do not really like to be handled often, although they can get used to it to a certain point. Spiders are not made for petting, cuddling, or playing with.
Read more: 16 Best Pet Tarantulas for Handling
This means that people looking for an emotional connection with their pet will definitely have to look somewhere else. Spiders are not going to offer much in terms of emotions or attachment. In most cases, they will mind their own business, which may be to the liking of some but not all people.
Like to Run Away
If given a chance, a spider will run away. It is highly unlikely that they will treat this as running away per se, however, they will definitely take the chance to explore their surroundings.
This means that you need to make sure their environment is adequately sealed, but, at the same time, not airtight. They need to breathe, too.
May Not Be Good Around Other Pets
If you have other pets in your home, you may want to be extra careful while caring for your pet spider. Your other pets may easily hurt your pet spider and vice versa.
People have varying degrees of arachnophobia, and as soon as they see the terrarium, they will be ready to leave your home never to return.
You are likely to encounter almost universal negativity from people when it comes to spiders. Many spider owners will say that this will show you which people are open-minded enough to appreciate all living life.
So, I reckon it will be up to you to determine if owning a spider and potentially scaring away the people around you is really going to be a con.
May Be Illegal
It is worth mentioning that certain areas may not allow for people to purchase, sell, or own pet spiders. This will vary from place to place, so make sure to check your local ordinances just in case.