How to Own a Pet Spider: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Own a Pet Spider: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Own a Pet Spider: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Many people are afraid of spiders, and it is undoubtedly very prudent to beware of those that are poisonous. However, there are also those who like to have them as pets, as they are inexpensive and can be a lot of fun. These arachnids are interesting creatures that work well as pets; just choose the one that's right for you. You need to give the spider a comfortable home and keep it healthy. Remember that, under Brazilian law, it is not allowed to raise them as pets. Check the laws before making any purchase.


Part 1 of 3: Finding the right spider

Keep Spiders As Pets Step 1

Step 1. Find out which spiders make good pets

It is essential to choose one that suits your needs. For example, are you looking for one that is not poisonous? A big one or a small one? Ask yourself these questions. Also, look for a spider that behaves well in captivity, as not all of them enjoy cloistered life. Analyze the following species:

  • Tarantulas.
  • Wolf Spider.
  • Jumping spider.
  • Spider Dolomedes.
  • Garden Spider (Agelenopsis).
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 2

Step 2. Buy a spider

It is with the seller that you can find exactly the species you are looking for, in addition to allowing you to ask for information on how to take care of it.

  • There are some pet shops that sell spiders, but they are very rare anywhere in Brazil, due to the difficulty in regulating wild animals.
  • Tarantula is generally the most sought after, but not all species of tarantula are always suitable for beginners. Some require more care and expense, while others may bite more often.
  • On the internet, there are also spider breeder websites. You must specify whether you plan to create it yourself and how old it should be.
  • If you live with relatives or have roommates, everyone must agree that the pet lives there.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 3

Step 3. Hunt the spiders

You can also choose to hunt them in the wild, as long as you do a good research beforehand, knowing how to identify the different species and types that live in the place and being sure that you know how to handle them. There is also a risk that the spiders are infected with parasites, so this is not always the best option.

  • You can look for wolf spiders or brown spiders, which are common in Brazil. The former are found in grass or dry leaves, while the latter can be found inside cracks in walls or windows, as well as stacked tiles and bricks.
  • The jumping spider is an interesting pet; look for it in grass and bushes. Keep an eye on the webs to find them more easily.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 4

Step 4. Capture the spider

Take a glass jar with you when you “hunt” the spiders (it needs to have a lid, with holes in it so the arachnid can breathe while being transported to the new home). Do this only with the help of adults and very safely, as there is always the risk of being bitten.

  • When you see a spider hanging from a plant, place the jar underneath it and carefully move the branch or leaf so that it falls into the container.
  • It's a good idea to have a card or a very stiff piece of paper with you so that you can catch the spider from the ground, placing it carefully inside the jar.

Part 2 of 3: Creating a Good Environment for the Spider

Keep Spiders As Pets Step 5

Step 1. Buy a cage

One of the most important parts of having a spider as a pet is ensuring a safe and comfortable “home” for it. You can purchase a ready-made habitat for her to live in, such as pet store aquariums.

  • The cage should be at least two to three times the size of the spider's legs so that it can move freely around. When creating a terrestrial tarantula, the cage should not be too tall, as there is a risk that it will fall from a great height and die.
  • Put materials that are pleasing to the spider so that it feels comfortable, such as leaves, dirt, and pebbles.
  • Furthermore, spiders also like a place to hide and shelter. In very large cages, leave a small vase of flowers on the side, or even a piece of wood.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 6

Step 2. Make your own cage

When catching a small spider, it might be better to create a smaller habitat for it, such as a glass jar. Even better would be to have a large jar (the size of a gallon); a restaurant, for example, might provide such a container for you.

  • Thoroughly clean the jar, rinsing it with water and mild soap, then drying it with a clean cloth.
  • You can decorate it like an aquarium. Peat or moss are good options to cover the floor of the container and please the arachnid.
  • Remember that air circulation is very important. Drill holes in the lid of the jug so she can breathe normally.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 7

Step 3. Choose the right place for your spider's “home”

This decision is important as the location needs to be secure and stable (such as a table or counter). An accidental fall can be dangerous for the spider.

  • Other pets or children should not be able to accidentally release the spider.
  • Most pet spiders, like tarantulas, do not need any special heat or light. Natural light in the room will suffice and you should not let the temperature drop below 21°C.

Part 3 of 3: Taking care of the spider

Keep Spiders As Pets Step 8

Step 1. Feed the spider with insects

Don't overdo it, as there is a risk of your abdomen torn apart if you fall. You will need to give food once or twice a week. Feed her immediately when you notice her abdomen is wrinkled.

  • It is also possible for you to capture the insects to feed the pet, as long as they have not come into contact with any type of pesticide.
  • There are some breeders or pet stores that offer insects for sale. Buy a stock of crickets to feed the spider.
  • It is important to close the habitat well after feeding the spider. All of them (especially tarantulas) are great at escaping from these containers.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 9

Step 2. Provide water to the pet

In addition to feeding it, it is necessary to give it fresh water so that it does not dehydrate. The plastic bottle cap will serve as a water dish if the spider (and cage) is small; otherwise, take a small bowl and fill it with water.

  • Spiders also drink water from wet webs. However, the cage cannot get wet as this is harmful to them.
  • Every two or three days (or even more often if you notice the bowl is empty), change the spider's water.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 10

Step 3. Handle the spider very carefully

Those that are small and fragile should not be held in your lap; the sturdier ones (like tarantulas), on the other hand, can stay in your hand. Never forget to be careful and handle the arachnid correctly.

  • Carefully grasp the tarantula by the legs between the second and third fingers of your hand. Place it in the palm of your hand, but don't let it walk around your body; you might end up “losing it”.
  • There is no need to handle tarantulas; ideally, do this as little as possible.
Keep Spiders As Pets Step 11

Step 4. Watch the pet

Spiders are interesting creatures, so you can keep watching what they're doing, getting to know them better. Monitor what the spider likes to eat most, what time of day it sleeps and when it is most active.

Leave a notebook near the spider's cage to note its habits


  • Don't hold the spider too much in your lap; she might get hurt.
  • Research your spider's species to understand its distinctive behavior.
  • Leave a calendar next to your pet's cage so you know when you'll need to change its water.
  • It is better to use pliers to feed poisonous spiders, avoiding stings and unpleasant situations.
  • Another option is to use rubber tweezers to feed the spider, minimizing the risk of injuring its prey.
  • The food should be half the length of the spider's legs.


  • In Brazil, it is not allowed to raise wild animals as pets. Consult this site and think carefully before buying a spider.
  • Immediately go to the emergency room after being bitten by an unidentified spider. Never trust your own ability to identify unless you have a lot of experience or adequate knowledge. There are species, such as the funnel-web spider and the armadeira, which have a lethal venom and can even kill in minutes.
  • Never take a spider in your hand if you are not sure it is poisonous to humans. Even the slightest doubt requires you to consult a specialized guide (on the internet or in books); never trust your own instincts, as there are times when dangerous species can be misidentified. When you find a poisonous spider, leave it alone and stay away; many species are aggressive and there is a risk of suffering very serious bites.
  • All spiders are venomous, as they cannot eat without liquefying their prey. However, most of them do not have poison that causes complications to most primates, including humans.

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