Keeping Spiders as Pets – A Fascinating Hobby in 2023

Introduction: Why Keeping Spiders as Pets is a Growing Trend

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Over the years, spiders have been commonly feared and viewed as pests that need to be eliminated.
However, keeping spiders as pets has been gaining popularity in the UK in recent years. This growing
trend of spider keeping can be attributed to the interest in exotic pets, the ease of caring for them, and
the unique and fascinating characteristics of spiders. With an ever-increasing range of species easily
accessible online or in pet stores, keeping spiders as pets is now becoming a widespread hobby in the UK.
This essay will explore the reasons behind the increasing number of spider enthusiasts and the benefits
and drawbacks of keeping these eight-legged creatures as pets.

The Chilean rose tarantula is one of the most popular spider breeds for pet owners in the United Kingdom
due to its docile nature and ease of care. This spider breed is native to Chile and can have a lifespan of
up to 25 years. Chilean rose tarantulas have a distinctive pink colouration and are known for their calm
demeanour, making them suitable pets even for those who are new to spider ownership. Another popular
spider breed for pet owners in the UK is the Brazilian black tarantula. This spider breed is larger than
most tarantulas and can have a leg span of up to 20cm. Despite their intimidating appearance, Brazilian
black tarantulas are also known for their docile nature and are relatively easy to care for.

The Benefits of Keeping Spiders as Pets

In addition to their low maintenance needs and unique features, keeping spiders as pets can offer various benefits. For instance, they serve as natural pest control, eating other insects and helping to
keep your home free from unwanted pests. Their intricate webs and hunting strategies can also be fascinating to observe. Many people find that the process of caring for a spider can be therapeutic,
helping to reduce anxiety and stress levels. With so many different species to choose from, there is sure to be a spider that suits every individual’s interests and preferences, making them a great option for anyone looking to expand their pet collection.

Setting Up a Terrarium for Your Spider: Equipment and Materials

When setting up a terrarium for your spider, it is essential to ensure that you have all the equipment and
materials necessary to create a suitable environment for your arachnid. Firstly, you will need a glass or
plastic container with a secure lid. Next, you will require a suitable substrate, which can include soil or
vermiculite, for the spider to burrow in. You will also need a water dish to provide a source of hydration and decorations such as rocks or branches for the spider to climb on.

In addition, you will need to provide a heating source, such as a heat mat or lamp, to maintain the appropriate temperature for your spider. Finally, it is recommended to include a hiding place or shelter for your spider to retreat to when feeling stressed or threatened. By providing all the necessary equipment and materials, you can create a safe and comfortable home for your spider that will encourage its health and well-being.

Feeding Your Spider: What to Feed and How Often

Feeding your spider is an important aspect of keeping it healthy and thriving. The type of food and
frequency of feeding depending on the spider species. In general, most spiders are carnivorous and feed
on insects such as crickets, mealworms, and fruit flies. It is crucial to only feed your spider prey that is
appropriately sized, as larger prey can harm or even kill the spider.

Additionally, you should observe your spider’s eating habits to determine how often it needs to be fed. Some spiders may require daily feedings, while others only need to be fed once or twice a week. Overfeeding can be just as harmful as underfeeding, as it can lead to obesity and other health issues. Overall, it is important to research the specific dietary needs of your spider species and establish a feeding schedule that works for them.

keeping spiders as pets
keeping spiders as pets

Maintaining the Terrarium: Cleaning and Temperature Control

Maintaining the terrarium is essential in ensuring the well-being of pet spiders. One of the key aspects of
maintenance is keeping the environment clean. As spiders produce waste, the substrate in the terrarium
should be changed regularly. Additionally, any uneaten food should be removed promptly to prevent the
growth of bacteria. Temperature control is also vital in maintaining a healthy environment for spiders.

Different species of spiders require specific temperature ranges that should be monitored closely to ensure they are not too hot or cold. This can be achieved using a thermometer, heating

mat, or cooling system. Failure to maintain proper cleaning and temperature control can result in pet spiders’ death. Therefore, it is important to keep a regular schedule for maintenance
and monitoring to keep the terrarium a comfortable and healthy environment for pet spiders.

Bonding with Your Spider: Interacting with Your Pet

Bonding with your spider can be a rewarding experience, and it starts with interacting with your pet.
Because spiders do not have the same social needs as other household pets, bonding will rely heavily on
observation and familiarity. Learning each spider species’ intricate behaviours and communication can take time, but owners can develop a strong connection with their pets with patience and dedication.

Interacting with your spider can include feeding, cleaning the enclosure, and providing water for your
spider to drink. Additionally, owners can try to train their spiders o respond to certain behaviours, such as coming out of hiding for food or climbing onto their hands. These interactions may seem mundane, but they are important steps in building a relationship with your spider.

Over time, owners may even notice their spider feeling more comfortable and displaying behaviours that indicate trust, such as crawling onto their hand without hesitation.

Potential Risks and Health Issues Associated with Keeping Spiders as Pets

One of the potential risks and health issues associated with keeping spiders as pets is the possibility of
bites. While most pet spiders do not have venom that is dangerous to humans, some species, such as the
Brazilian wandering spiders are highly venomous and can cause serious health problems or even death
if not treated promptly. Additionally, even non-venomous spider bites can lead to swelling, itching, and

It is also possible for spiders to carry diseases or parasites that could be harmful to their
owners. Regular cleaning of the spider’s enclosure and proper handling techniques can help mitigate these risks, but owners should always be cautious and seek medical attention if bitten.

Breeding Spiders: The Pros and Cons

Breeding spiders has its fair share of pros and cons. On the one hand, it allows for a greater understanding of spider behaviour and can even offer an interesting educational experience. Additionally, breeding programs can help preserve certain species and prevent extinction. However, breeding spiders also comes with its own set of challenges.

The process can be complicated and requires significant time, effort, and money. Furthermore, the potential to introduce invasive species into an environment should not be overlooked. Overall, breeding spiders should be approached with caution and consideration of the
potential benefits and drawbacks.

Laws and Regulations Surrounding Keeping Spiders as Pets in the UK

The laws and regulations surrounding keeping spiders as pets in the UK are varied and complex. Firstly,
there are numerous species of spiders that are illegal to keep as pets due to being protected under the
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, such as the Fen Raft and Ladybird Spider. Additionally, the
Animal Welfare Act 2006 outlines that it is illegal to cause any unnecessary suffering to animals, including

Therefore, spider keepers must ensure that their pets are kept in appropriate enclosures, with
adequate food and water, and are not exposed to extreme conditions that may cause suffering. It is also
important to note that certain spiders, such as tarantulas, are covered under the Dangerous Wild Animals
Act 1976 means that their ownership is subject to a licensing process and certain restrictions.
Overall, keeping spiders as pets in the UK requires careful consideration and adherence to specific laws
and regulations.

The Ethics of Keeping Spiders as Pets: Arguments For and Against

In conclusion, the ethics of keeping spiders as pets can be viewed from both sides of the argument.
The primary concern of those against keeping spiders as pets is the potential danger that some species
pose to humans. However, those in favour of keeping them as pets counter-argue that it is possible to
keep non-venomous spiders and that keeping them in captivity prevents the capture of wild spiders.

Furthermore, some individuals even assert that keeping spiders in captivity provides a unique opportunity
to educate people on the importance of these arachnids to the ecosystem. Ultimately, whether or not one
believes in the ethics of keeping spiders as pets depends on individual values and priorities.

Common Misconceptions About Spiders and Their Behaviour

Despite what many people believe, spiders are not dangerous creatures that are constantly looking to
bite humans. In fact, most spiders are harmless and more interested in avoiding humans
than attacking them. Additionally, not all spiders build webs to catch their prey. Some spiders, such as
the wolf spider, actively hunt their prey and do not rely on webs to catch their food.

Another common misconception about spiders is that they are dirty creatures.

Spiders are very clean and often groom themselves to remove any dirt or debris that may have been collected on their bodies. Understanding these misconceptions about spiders can help people overcome their fear and appreciate their important role in the ecosystem.

Spider Phobias: Overcoming Your Fear of Arachnids

Despite the persistent negative stereotypes surrounding spider phobias, many individuals are taking
steps to overcome their fear of arachnids. There are a number of effective strategies for conquering
spider phobias, including gradual exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and medication.

keeping spiders as pets may not be an ideal option for those with arachnophobia, it can serve as a helpful
tool for individuals looking to desensitize themselves to these creatures. With the right resources and
support, anyone can learn to appreciate the unique and fascinating world of spiders without experiencing
overwhelming fear or anxiety.

keeping spiders as pets
keeping spiders as pets

The Social Aspect of Keeping Spiders as Pets: Joining Online Communities

In the modern age of technology and the internet, joining online communities has become a popular way
to connect with others who share similar interests, including owning exotic pets such as spiders. These
virtual social spaces allow spider owners to share experiences, ask questions, and gain knowledge from
others who also keep spiders as pets. On social media platforms or online forums, spider owners may
exchange tips on species, habitats, feeding habits, and more.

As a result, joining online communities can be an enriching experience for spider owners, providing them with a sense of community and a place to share their love and passion for these fascinating creatures.

How to Choose the Right Spider Species for You and Your Family

When choosing a spider species to keep as a pet, it is important to consider factors such as size,
temperament, and level of care required. Some species, like the Chilean rose, are relatively easy to care
for and have a calm demeanour, making them suitable for first-time spider owners. However, other species,
like the Brazilian wandering spider, require a more experienced handler due to their venomous bite and
high activity levels. It is also important to ensure that the spider’s housing and food requirements can be
met before bringing them into your home. Ultimately, the right spider species for you and your family
will depend on your experience level, lifestyle, and preferences.

Decorating Your Terrarium: Naturalistic and Aesthetic Considerations

When decorating your terrarium for your pet spider, there are two key considerations to consider: naturalistic and aesthetic factors. Firstly, creating a habitat that closely mimics

the spider’s natural environment in the wild is important, including an appropriate substrate, hiding spots, and temperature and humidity levels. However, it is also important to consider the visual appeal of the terrarium, both for your own enjoyment and to ensure that the spider’s home is a pleasant and stimulating environment.

This may involve incorporating natural materials such as rocks, branches and plants
or using artistic and creative ideas to make the terrarium aesthetically pleasing. Ultimately, the key is to strike a balance between creating a functional and naturalistic home for your pet and showcasing your style and creativity.


Why Keeping Spiders as Pets is a Fulfilling Hobby for Many
In conclusion, keeping spiders as pets is a fulfilling hobby for many individuals in the UK. Despite the
common misconceptions and fears surrounding spiders, these arachnids are fascinating creatures that are
low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for.

Not only do they provide a sense of companionship
and entertainment, but keeping spiders as pets can also have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress
and anxiety. Additionally, the wide variety of species available in the UK allows hobbyists to explore
each type of spider’s unique characteristics and behaviours. From tarantulas to jumping spiders, the
spider-keeping community in the UK is diverse and passionate.

Overall, keeping spiders as pets is a rewarding experience that allows individuals to appreciate the beauty and intricacies of these creatures.


  • Kelly Brenner. ‘The Naturalist at Home.’ Projects for Discovering the Hidden World Around Us,
    Mountaineers Books, 5/1/2023

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