Owing to their unique innocent appearance, there are a lot of people who have been asking this question can we keep badgers as pets? In simple words, it is not a good idea to keep this wild animal as a pet. However, if you want to understand why it is harmful to keep badgers as pets, you need to go through this article. We are going to dissect every aspect of a badger’s life to clear all your confusion about badgers.
Let’s have a closer look at the badger and get to know whether it is a good idea or ill-informed recipe for disaster to keep badgers as pets.
- can badgers be pets
- Why it is not a good idea to keep badgers as pets?
- Do honey badgers make good pets?
- Frequently asked questions
can badgers be pets
As you know badgers are wild animals and it is in their natural instincts to act aggressively whenever they feel threatened. They are not like other household pets like dogs and cats which you can tame easily. Badgers are ferocious wild animals and are known for their fearless reputation. In some countries like the United Kingdom, it is illegal to keep a badger as a pet. In the united states, some states have allowed keeping badgers under certain conditions but most of the states have declared it illegal.
Why it is not a good idea to keep badgers as pets?
There are several reasons for discouraging badgers as pets. Let’s discuss these reasons one by one.
Badgers are wild animals and always prefer to live in the wilderness rather than in captivity in the household as a pet. If you try to tame them forcefully, they might act very furiously. They like to live or roam freely in their own style.
They are nocturnal animals while human beings are diurnal. It is extremely difficult for the badgers to change their sleeping habits and if they change their sleeping habits, it exerts a very big toll on their health.
Threat to other pets
If you take a badger as a pet, then it is impossible to keep other animals like rabbits, birds, dogs, and cats as pets. Badgers might attack them or kill them. However, if you still want to keep this exotic pet along with other domestic animals, then you must have a special enclosure specially designed for the badgers where they could do all their activities without engaging with other animals.
Threat to humans
Badgers are not only dangerous for other domestic animals they could also act wildly against humans. It is better to view or observe them at a distance. For instance, badger watching in the zoo is great fun in the UK where there is a large population of badgers exists.
They are not like skunks who are less aggressive and most of the time act friendly. Badgers don’t like to have the company of human beings for a longer period. They only enjoy company when they are sleepy or want to curl up on the bed.
Once they reach maturity stage, they don’t like to have the company of human beings even for a short period. They are very aggressive and could bite with a force which is the same as a German shepherd.
They can also climb a little bit and this could also be dangerous for human beings. They could jump at your face and attack you with their fierce claws. You must be careful as they could absolutely kill you as their 2-inch long strong and sharp claws could cut you like knives.
They might look cute and innocent but they release a very musky smell whenever they feel threatened, mark territory, warn predators, or during general communication. It is extremely difficult to live with this smell in your house. Originally, they use this smell as a defense mechanism and use their special glands while releasing this smell. It is comparable to the smell of skunk.
The diet of the badger is extremely expensive as they are omnivores but they prefer to eat rats, mice, worms, snails, and many other things like that. They consume almost 5 pounds a day of protein which is difficult to maintain as You can only buy these things from the superstore in a frozen form which would be extremely expensive.
Other than meat, you also have to provide some vegetables and fruits. They like to have a variety of proteins in the form of chicken, rabbit, rats, quail, and snakes. These things must not be venomous. You can hunt these things yourself or you also can buy them from the superstore.
They could not sit idle as they like to do digging with their powerful and sharp claws. They do this activity as a habit or in search of food. They also like to make tunnels underground where they could spend a lot of their time. If you keep them inside the house, they could tear up your pouch, or pillow, or in the worse case, they could also make several deep patches on your floor.
It has also been observed that when you keep them inside the enclosure, they also try to damage it, and sometimes they are successful and you have to spend a lot of money on repairs. You also need to have a very large size enclosure along with almost 3 feet of concrete at the bottom. In this way, you can prevent them from digging.
Sometimes, you also need to provide them with some artificial burrows which are at least 6 feet deep at a 60-degree angle. You also need to reinforce this tunnel at the end to avoid their expansion.
Badgers cannot be tamed easily
It is tough to tame or train wild animals because they can react wildly whenever their natural instincts overpower their training. Keeping them inside the household also reduces their immunity to survive in the wilderness.
Badgers are Costly
It is extremely costly to keep badgers as pets. In this regard, first of all, you must ensure that it is legal to keep pets in your area. secondly, they are very costly and you have to pay a lot for buying them. In US states, where it is legal to breed or sell badgers, the baby badger will cost you around 2500 to 4500 dollars. They also breed on the special season and you have to book them in advance almost a year before.
You also need to have a license for keeping these animals which could cost you thousands of dollars. There is also a need to have the inspection of the enclosure for your safety as well as other pets which will also be costly as you need to do it regularly.
You also need to hire a certified exotic veterinarian as badgers need check-ups regularly for the maintenance of their good health. It could also cost you a few grand every time you hire him for examination.
Need a large outside space
As you know, badgers live in large outside spaces where they can roam freely. They also sustain in a special kind of climate. If you want to buy badgers, then you need to provide larger space as well as an environment where they could sustain easily and survive. It might be very expensive to sustain these things.
Badgers also have a reputation for carrying diseases with them. They could transmit diseases like rabies, tuberculosis, and leptospirosis. It might not be harmful to adults but it could be extremely dangerous for children.
Disturbance in the ecosystem
If you keep the badgers as pets, then they could also disturb our ecosystem. Badgers play an important role in the wild as a predator as well as omnivorous animals. If we keep these badgers in some remote places, then it could disturb their complex web of life in the wilderness and resultantly disturb our biodiversity.
Do honey badgers make good pets?
There are tight restrictions on the ownership of these animals and it is illegal to keep them as pets in most countries of the world. However, the main reason behind keeping them away from your household is that these are very wild and vicious animals and it is extremely difficult to tame or docile them. It is likely possible that they would act more aggressively in captivity.
Secondly, as we have already covered that these are dangerous animals despite having a much smaller size and innocent appearance. It means they would definitely attack domestic animals like cats, dogs, and other pets with their sharp claws and strong teeth. They are also highly unpredictable and could also act aggressively against humans.
Overall, there is no valid reason we have found to keep honey badgers as pets. If you still want to have mammals from the Mustelidae family as a pet, then it is recommended to keep only more docile and smaller animals like a ferret.
Frequently asked questions
Simply put, having badgers as pets is an extremely dangerous idea as they are wild and ferocious animals. It is also not a good idea to keep them in the enclosure as they could still be harmful.
However, if you still want to have a badger as a pet. It is better to buy badgers just after they reach the age of maturity and they don’t need their mother for survival. In this way, you can easily tame them in whichever way you want and also have a strong bond with them. Still, it doesn’t mean that they would never act violently. They might scratch or attack with claws if triggered.
Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.