How to care for capybaras? They’re not really super high – maintenance pets. Capys are giant rodents that are affectionate to their owners and also to other animals – except predators, of course. How to care for capybaras are quite easy because they are sociable and smart pet though they have specific needs. Unfortunately, capys are not legal to own everywhere. In this article, you’ll learn how to care for capybaras.
Behavior and Temperament
How to care for capybaras is native to countries like Brazil and Panama. In the wild, they can be seen in large groups. They love to stay near fresh waters since they need to be constantly hydrated due to their dry skin. Capys like to eat lots of grasses and they also use water to hide from potential predators.
Capys are great swimmers, thanks to their webbed feet. They can also hold their breath underwater for a maximum of five minutes. These creatures are very intelligent but they need to be kept in pair if you want to know how to care for capybaras. They are very social pets and are not happy if they only live alone.
Male capys can spell trouble if they are housed together even if they are already neutered. This is because fights usually break out especially if the enclosure is too small. Males are mostly territorial creatures. They use their scent glands to mark their territories. Their female counterparts also have such glands but are not really developed. Both males and females use their anal glands to do their markings.
How to care for capybaras mostly cover themselves in mud as it helps them regulate their body temperature. Just like pigs, they don’t have that many sweat glands, so they need to be hydrated in some way. It’s also their way of protecting themselves against sunburn.
When it comes to how to care for capybaras, those who are hand – reared are usually tame, so if you plan on acquiring an adult, it’s best to be patient and wait for him/ her to warm up to you. Some capys can be shy and nervous. A great tip on how to care for capybaras to warm up to you are through grooming them. Grooming often lessens tensions, you can also offer them food so that your pet will be relax in your company.
When it comes to how to care for capybaras, you need to provide the right home for them. Capys should never be kept individually and you have to make sure that you have lots of space for these creatures.
You need to provide a pool of water that will allow them to swim. It should at least be around three feet deep. Make sure that it is accessible at all times in addition to a shaded area where they can rest. Offer them piles of hay and fresh pellets as well.
The shelter should allow your pet to move around and have the freedom to go towards the water as they please. Spread out hay around the enclosure as it will help recreate natural grazing. Items that are edible for your pet should be given including untreated wood, and large chew toys.
How to care for capybaras include providing them with large area that’s secured. It should at least measure around 12 feet x 20 feet per pair of capybara. Make sure to keep them safe at night and lock the doors of their shelter. You should also make the fence four feet high with no gaps otherwise your pet might try to squeeze through it.
Most capys are diurnal which means that they need sunlight though not directly. If you live in a cold area, make sure to provide a UVB light and open it for 12 hours to mimic day and night. You can also get some heat lights to protect them from the cold climate.
These animals are usually resilient; they can live outdoor unless it gets extremely cold or hot.
Food and Water
Part of how to care for capybaras is providing them with six to eight pounds of grass every day. During dry season however, grasses and water plants dries up which is why they turn to eating squashes, grains, melons and reeds among others. They also tend to eat their own poop in order to get beneficial bacteria that can help their tummies break down thick fiber in their meals. Sounds gross but it’s healthy for them.
Even though these kinds of rodents are not really related with grass – eating animals like cows and goats, they consume their food by chewing. They actually regurgitate their food and eat it side to side just like a camel. They do it because it’s how they eat hard plants.
Aside from unlimited hay and grass, you also want to feed them with guinea pig pellets because it’s rich in Vitamin C. Just like humans, these creatures can’t produce enough Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential part of diet so that your capybara won’t get scurvy.
Grazing outside should also be allowed as long as you are sure that there are no toxic plants or harmful materials around. You can offer your pet with veggies but try to avoid sweet fruits because it can make your pet addicted to natural sugars which is bad for their health.
If you want to know how to care for capybaras in terms of diet, you can check their feces. If you’re giving an inappropriate diet,their poop will change from a normal olive shape to something different.
Common Health Problems
In the wild, capys live relatively shorter life spans since they can be hunted by predators. In captivity, they thrive and can live longer if you provide the right diet and care for them.
Like most type of rodents species, these animals are susceptible to lung infections as well as mites/ lice infestation in their fur. Most of the health issues are caused by unsanitary living condition. Make sure that their enclosure is clean and try not to expose them to any harmful materials.
If your pet suddenly lose it appetite, this could be a sign that they have a digestive problem. Take them to the vet and make sure that your vet has an experience in treating rodents. That’s how to care for capybaras. We hope you learn a lot!