Keeping a tarantula as a pet certainly isn’t for everyone, but some species will make surprisingly good pets. The most popular type is the Rose Hair Tarantula, also called the Chilean Rose Tarantula. This is mostly because they’re appealing, docile and easier to care for than most of the more run of the mill pets out there – looking after them is very straightforward in contrast to dogs or cats for example.
If you have never had an exotic pet before, a Rose Hair Tarantula would be an excellent option. This is not only because of the aspects mentioned previously, but also because of the wealth of accessible information about them in books, online and elsewhere. They strike a good balance between being unusual enough to be different but being kept by enough people to make them cheap, readily available and well studied.
One natural concern about caring for a pet arachnid is the possible danger involved. This species is more likely to run away from a threat than to behave defensively, and will only very rarely bite. If they do sting, the quantity of venom injected is very small and it is not particularly potent, so this isn’t serious unless you’re allergic.
Because these creatures come from the deserts and scrubland of South America (Bolivia, Chile and Argentina to be particular ), they should be kept in a warm environment and they may be kept in relatively low humidity. Catering for all these requirements is straightforward – a basic heat mat can control the temperature simply and effectively, and allowing the water dish to overflow a couple of times per week should provide adequate humidity.
Rose Hair Tarantulas do not take up very much space and can easily fit into all but the very smallest of apartments. A 10 gallon terrarium should definitely be large enough, and they are often kept in smaller tanks also. Most Rose Hairs will use burrows in the wild, and therefore a simple little shelter should be provided to keep your pet happy – even a coconut shell or flower pot will do nicely.
They don’t have regular feeding schedules, and can even be fed only once a fortnight and then left alone, as they’ll naturally gorge themselves when they have the opportunity in case of a famine to come.
The decision to obtain a Chilean Rose Tarantula shouldn’t be taken lightly, as some will endure for twenty years or more, but rest assured that they are easy to care for and are extremely unlikely to cause you any issues. They are also a brilliant talking point, and are the perfect arachnid for your first exotic pet.