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Pet Spiders

While some people don’t typically think of spiders as pets, their unique physiology and relatively simple care requirements can make them excellent companions for some pet parents. While tarantulas usually come to mind when you picture a pet spider, many species can provide entertainment, education and friendship while watching them hunt, weave webs and even swim. There are friendly spider species that can often be easily handled without a significant chance of bites and require little care. There are also some spiders that only experienced spider pet parents should keep.

Frequently Asked Questions

That can depend on what you’re looking for in a pet. Many of the best pet spider species can be handled out of their habitat but will likely be less interactive than cats or dogs. Much of the joy of owning spiders comes from observing their habits and behaviors, similar to the enjoyment of owning fish or reptiles. Plus, most friendly spider species are hypoallergenic and usually make less noise than other pets.

In addition, arachnids often require much less care—and fewer care costs—than cats and dogs, and some pet spiders can go days, weeks or even months without maintenance. The majority of the costs involved in owning a spider will come from providing your pet a habitat, adequate heating and lighting and food—all of which are often cheaper than they would be for some other pets.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance companion that can be visually stimulating, then keeping spiders as pets could be suitable for you.

While most arachnids will bite, some species are known to bite more often and easily than others. Of all the recommended pet spiders for beginners, tarantulas usually bite the least frequently.

Certain species of tarantula spider pet can be friendly and gentle. However, some species can carry potent venom despite their infrequent tendencies to bite. Tarantulas like the Chilean rose, Mexican Redleg and Costa Rican Zebra are often the most docile, and their venom is comparable to a bee sting. If you are allergic to bee stings or have another known venom allergy, even friendly spider species are not recommended as pets.

While their behavior might seem affectionate at times—particularly tarantula spider pets—there are many different theories on the subject. Many arachnologists agree that arachnids generally do not possess the ability to show their pet parents affection. Spiders are mainly concerned with hunting, mating and surviving and can only feel scared or comfortable. Even with pet spiders for beginners, the more often you handle your arachnid, the more likely you will be bit. The most affection you are likely to see in your spiders is a lack of biting. However, pet spiders have shown other spiders of the same species affection—particularly their young.

While different species have different needs, most friendly spider species will require similar care. Here are some common steps to take when caring for your pet spider. 

  • Get a habitat One thing every pet arachnid will require is a habitat, terrarium or enclosure. Spiders can be skittish creatures and will likely hide in your home if left unattended in the open. When keeping spiders as pets, you should be aware that some species have unique temperature needs to survive, so you may need lamps or thermometers for their habitat. It’s also advisable to get a screen top for your arachnid’s home, as your spider may be dangerous to small children and other pets if they escape. You can provide rocks or other decorations for your spider based on their behavioral and physiological requirements. Ask a Pet Care Center Associate for more information on what your particular pet species might enjoy, and check out our deals on spider habitat solutions.
  • Feed your pet spider When it comes to food, your pet spider can be surprisingly simple. Arachnids are carnivores and can survive on a diet of insects—including crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches and even flies. At Petco, we carry a selection of live crickets and roaches in different sizes that are free of insecticides and full of protein, vitamins and minerals. Tarantula spider pets have been known to eat pinky mice, but this can be messy and risk your arachnid being injured by defensive prey. Different spiders will need to be fed at various intervals, but uneaten prey should be removed the next day.
  • Make sure they get enough water While many pet spiders for beginners can get moisture from their webs and food, it is a good idea to leave a water dish for your arachnid. You’ll likely only need to refill it when it’s empty, but it’s recommended to provide a shallow water dish, as some spiders can drown in deeper bowls.