Are Armadillos Good Pets?

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There is a small but burgeoning market that provides people with exotic pets, and when it comes to armadillos, some people will find them attractive as pets because they do look very different. They are also very gentle creatures, and in this way they can be quite nice animals, but the reality of living with an armadillo day by day is quite different, and taking on an armadillo as a pet will require a significant amount of commitment. There are also some changes that you will need to make in and around your property to give the animal a suitable area to forage for food.

Burrowing Habits

The fact that armadillos will naturally prefer an underground nest makes for one challenge, and trying to stop them from digging in the soil around the house or outbuildings can be a challenge unless you are intending to keep the animal in a pen. If given some freedom, they can also dig tens of holes in a lawn as they forage for insects.

The Smell Produced By Armadillos

Another reason why armadillos do not necessarily make good pets is that they tend to produce quite a musky scent, and this is not always the most pleasant to live with. This scent can be released when the animal is afraid or startled, but is also released as a part of the everyday life of the armadillo.

Diseases And Lifespan

Part of the challenge of dealing with an armadillo is that although they are not particularly prone to diseases, the ones they can carry such as leprosy and rabies can be quite serious if transmitted to humans. It can also be difficult to find a veterinarian to give an armadillo the appropriate shots and vaccinations. It is also important to understand the commitment of owning an armadillo as a pet, as they can live up to fifteen years and are almost impossible to re home.


Armadillos are insectivores, which means that sourcing a regular diet for them will either involve you taking the animal out to forage in nearby woodland or grassland areas, or finding a local bait shop to provide the food.

The Challenge Of Caring For An Armadillo

If you are thinking about owning an armadillo as a pet, then you need to be aware of all of the problems that they can cause around a domestic property, and adapt your home to suit the animal. This is not something that should be taken on lightly, and the challenge of keeping an armadillo really is a huge commitment.

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