Can I Keep an Owl as a Pet?

If the laws where you live allow it, it's possible to adopt an owl as a pet. However, you must be willing to meet the specific needs of a wild animal.
Can I Keep an Owl as a Pet?

Last update: 29 April, 2021

More and more people are looking to adopt less-common animals. One of these, the owl, has become very popular as a pet in recent years. There are even very cute videos of some of them as babies showing their innocence and beauty, but is it really possible to keep these animals as pets?

Is it possible to have an owl as a pet?

As long as the laws of the country allow it, yes, you can have an owl as a pet. However, it’s true that you have to take into account that the owl is a bird of prey and, therefore, a wild animal. This means that its behavior won’t be that of other pets and will require specific care that you must be willing to give it.

If you still decide to get an owl, we recommend you to get it when it’s a baby. That way, it’ll grow up in a home and family environment, and you’ll be able to adapt it better to pet life and teach it what you want to teach it. Make sure your home has enough space or a yard where the owl can fly. You need to remember that you will have to emulate its habitat as much as possible.

If, with this in mind, you still want an owl as a pet, here are some guidelines on how to take care of it.

An owl hunting from a trainers gloved hand.


What you need to know if you want an owl as a pet

Get informed

Before adopting an owl as a pet, you should read everything you can about it and its care. Talk to a veterinarian you trust as well and even ask around at a zoo you know. Any information you can gather could be useful to you at any time.

Find the right place

Let’s not beat around the bush. If you live in an apartment, you can’t keep an owl as a pet. Your owl will need a place to fly in order to give its instincts full rein. What’s more, you need to make sure it won’t escape.

You’ll need time

Although owls are very independent in their natural habitat, they’re not when they’re not alone. As soon as they have someone nearby, they demand your attention and they’ll do the same with you. Even if you release it in your yard, it’ll start hooting and hooting to get your attention.

This could pose a problem with the neighbors as well. So, make sure that when you release it, you have time to spend with it. At the same time, owls molt their feathers every year and may spend months shedding the ones that are no longer useful. So, you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do.

Feeding

Owls, as we said before, aren’t domestic pets, so you can’t give them feed. Rather, you have to feed them with the same food they’d eat in the wild. Do you know what owls eat? Yes, mice and small mammals. This means that you’ll have to get these foods for your owl, which isn’t easy and sometimes a bit disgusting!

Needless to say, you won’t be able to keep an owl as a pet if you have hamsters, birds, cats, or dogs, as they may just go missing thanks to your owl.

Pay attention

The owl isn’t a predictable animal because, despite the studies on it, there’s never been a marked pattern of behavior. What we mean by this is that you should always be alert because, with an owl as a pet, you never know what might happen.

An owl in flight.

To avoid this, the best thing to do is to adopt a baby owl and take it to a professional trainer who’ll set certain guidelines and behaviors to follow that you’ll then be able to maintain.

As you can see, an owl as a pet might not be the best choice. Especially considering the fact that we’re taking a wild animal out of its habitat. But, if you do decide to adopt one, don’t forget to follow these tips.

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