Are you thinking about keeping a big, hairy spider as a pet? Although the thought of having a pet tarantula would make some people's skin crawl, there are many people that love the thought of keeping one of these big spiders as a pet. If you are one of them, it is important for you to know how to properly care for a tarantula so you and your pet can both be happy.

Do Your Research

The most important step you can take is to avoid an impulse purchase. Rather, research the type of tarantula you will be purchasing so you can learn about its temperament as well as its needs. You may be surprised to learn that tarantulas can have very different needs, so you need to make certain you know the proper temperature requirements, diet, and humidity levels for your pet tarantula. While some tarantulas are arboreal, which means they live in trees, others are ground dwelling. In order to keep your tarantula happy, therefore, you will need to create a habitat that meets is natural needs.

Picking Out the Home

Now that you know more about your tarantula, it is time to pick out a container in which it can live. Critter Keepers make good choices, though you can use an aquarium as well. Either way, make sure the top is tightly sealed so your tarantula cannot get away. They are very adept at climbing glass walls, so don't think the smooth surface will prevent them from getting out. Also, while you do need to give your tarantula a little room to move about, you don't need to make the enclosure too large. In fact, if it is too big, your tarantula will have a difficult time finding its prey. A good rule of thumb is to make the width equal to about twice the tarantula's leg span and make it as long as about three times its leg span.

Making it Cozy

In order to give your pet tarantula a cozy place to live, you will need to put at least two inches of substrate at the bottom of its enclosure. The substrate will also help you keep the tank moist and some tarantulas like to dig into the substrate as well. For those that enjoy digging, you will need to make the layer of substrate thicker. Good substrates to use with tarantulas include peat moss and organic potting soil, just make sure no additives such as fertilizer have been added. Some tarantulas will also appreciate having a cave or other decoration in which they can hide and build a web.

Feeding and Watering

Tarantulas are very low maintenance pets that do not require a great deal of food. In fact, most tarantulas are perfectly happy with receiving six to eight crickets per week. If you overfeed your tarantula, it can become sick and possibly even die.

While you don't need to provide your pet tarantula with food at all times, it is important to keep a dish filled with water in the cage at all times. The dish should be fairly shallow and large enough for your tarantula to get inside.

Tarantulas are very interesting creatures with natural instincts. Therefore, it is important to exercise care when keeping a tarantula for a pet and to minimize handling as much as possible.

CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at Research over 430 pet breed profiles at
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