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Can You Pet a Aardvark

  • Pet Care

The Curious Aardvark: The Unlikely Pet

With its curious nose and long, slender body, aardvarks are a fascinating species that we rarely get to see up close. Perhaps that is why they are often considered as exotic animals, rather than potential pets. But as it turns out, some people do have aardvarks as pets. So, can you pet a aardvark?

Aardvark as a pet

Does Taming an Aardvark in the Wild Make Sense?

At first glance, it may seem logical to capture an aardvark in the wild and try to domesticate it. After all, human beings have domesticated many other animal species, such as cats, rabbits, and even wolves! But before taking this route, it is important to remember that aardvarks are not social animals. This means that in order for an aardvark to feel comfortable, it must be able to live alone in a large habitat, far away from the presence of other aardvarks.

The fact that aardvarks are solitary animals also means that it is almost impossible to train them. This is because the only way to modify their behavior is through rewards and punishments, such as feeding and ignoring, respectively. Since aardvarks don’t form attachments to human beings and therefore won’t come when called, there’s almost no point in attempting to train them, as they simply don’t respond to behaviors as other domesticated animals do.

What About Captive-Bred Aardvarks?

Since it is impossible to tame and train wild aardvarks, some people may suggest obtaining the animal from a breeder. Unfortunately, breeding aardvarks in captivity is also quite challenging due to their solitary nature. Female aardvarks are only sexually receptive for a few hours each month, and even if the female does accept the male’s advances, she will kick him out of the den after a few days. Furthermore, since aardvarks are very sensitive to loud noises and sudden changes, they must be kept in a soundproof, secure and stress-free environment in order to successfully reproduce.

Keeping an Aardvark as a Pet

Should you still choose to keep an aardvark as a pet, it is essential to remember that they are nocturnal animals and as such require darkness and quiet during the day. Aardvarks also need to burrow in order to feel comfortable and hides should be provided where they can rest.

They are also largely omnivorous and can survive on a diet consisting of both plants and insects, such as crickets and mealworms. In the wild, an aardvark will also eat the occasional fruit or fallen tree branch, so make sure you have some plants and branches in their enclosure.

Aardvarks Need Human Contact

Aardvarks may have an aversion to human contact, but after some time, most will slowly warm up to their owners, as long as they are handled correctly. Of course, this does not mean that you are allowed to cuddle up with them or smother them with affection! Instead, you should approach the aardvark in a slow and gentle manner and give ample space to ensure that it feels safe.


Having an aardvark as a pet is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Even though they may look appealing, they require a significant commitment from their owners. Aardvarks have specific needs and behaviors, and without proper care, they can become stressed and unhappy, which can have serious implications for their health and well-being. If you are willing to take on the challenge, however, an aardvark can be a very rewarding and fulfilling pet.

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