Caring for a pet capybara is very similar to the steps required when any type of rodent is handled, except for on a much larger scale. The capybara is the largest rodent in the world, and is very similar to the basic guinea pig that can be purchased as a pet. It has various needs that need to be fulfilled in order for it to prosper and maintain a good quality of life. Housing is the first important aspect of caring for a pet capybara, as is feeding and health maintenance. If the rodent is a baby, even more factors need to be understood since they will require even more time and care. One of the most important caring tips to remember is that they need vast amounts of positive attention from their owner.
Housing is the first aspect of caring for a pet capybara. Even though they are large, they can either be indoor or outdoor pets. An indoor pet will need to have plenty of room to move around, and a fresh tank of water to swim in because they are semi-aquatic in nature. These rodents prefer to avoid confrontations, but they are known to be very territorial, so families with other pets or small children may not want to keep them indoors. An outdoor kennel may be more appropriate for some owners, making sure that a pool of water is available as well as some kind of shelter so that they can move out of any bad weather conditions. Since these pets are found throughout South America, they are more accustomed to warmer temperatures so an enclosed area that is heated will be required during the colder months of the year.
The feeding and watering aspect of caring for a pet capybara is just as important as it is with any other pet. They are herbivores by nature, so plenty of grass and hay needs to be available to them. It is also suggested to feed them variations of packaged rodent food so that they get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need. As a treat, they also enjoy fruits and vegetables. Fresh water must also be kept available to them so that they do not become dehydrated.
The final area of caring for a pet capybara is knowing the health issues that go along with them so that their level of health can be maintained. As a general rule, the capybara has a very high immune system, but since they are clumsy and like to play rough, small cuts and bruises are common. These can simply be treated with an antibiotic ointment on a daily basis and left uncovered to heal naturally. Broken teeth are also common if the rodent does not have enough vitamin C in their diet, and these will have to be addressed by an experienced veterinary. The last health condition that is common in a pet capybara is having eyes and nose that constantly run. This is common and is usually not a reason for concern.
As with any other type of pet, a baby pet capybara will need extra attention and care. They need to be kept indoors for the first few months, with supervised outdoor times so that they can graze and play. A heat lamp must also be available for them during these crucial months because they have a hard time maintaining their body heat without it. Since they require water the capybara will also need access to it at least once a day so that they can swim and keep their skin moist and cool.