Badgers As Pets | The Ultimate Guide


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Are badgers capable of being converted into a pet? It’s important to understand the personality and lifestyle of a badger before evaluating if one is capable of being a pet. You might be surprised to hear that the concept of having a badger as a pet is not completely uncommon, but it is pretty rare.

Badgers As Pets

It’s generally not a very good idea to convert a badger into a pet because their natural instincts and personality do not easily adapt to becoming a companion of a human. Badgers have always been wild animals and cannot easily be converted into a household pet like a domestic dog or cat. 

Some countries completely make it illegal to have a badger as a pet. For example, the United Kingdom does not permit any citizen to hold a badger as a pet. The United States has mixed laws regarding this issue in each of its states but several states make it illegal to own a wild animal, such as a badger.

Why Aren’t Badgers Capable Of Being A Pet?

Badgers are simply wild animals and it is extremely rare to convert a badger into a household pet. They often become very stressed or anxious if an attempt is made to convert them into a pet. They don’t like losing their freedom to roam around in the wilderness and live their traditional lifestyle.

Another factor is that they are nocturnal. Humans are diurnal, not nocturnal and while this might not seem like a major issue, it can take a major toll on the natural lifestyle of a badger. In some cases, pet badgers have adjusted their sleeping habits to fit their owners. It’s just another reason why having a badger as a pet is a major challenge, but not completely impossible.

For more information see our article for Are Badgers Nocturnal

Badgers Won’t Get Along With Other Household Pets

If you have somehow managed to go against the odds and want to try and convert a badger into a household pet, you’ll have to make sure you don’t have any other pets. This includes a cat, dog, rabbit, guinea pig, or any other common household pet. Badgers may attack your domestic pets and injure them. 

To make it really simple, having a badger as a pet by itself is a bad idea. Things can only get worse if you have a badger as a pet along with several other animals. To have an exotic pet, such as a badger, would require special enclosures, inside and outside. This would help keep housepets away from them.

Are Badgers Friendly to Humans?

Badgers are solitary creatures that try to steer clear of humans. In the wild, a badger would hide from human activity and see them as a threat. There is a chance that if a badger is threatened, that it could become aggressive.

If you are badger watching, make sure that you keep your distance. Badger watching is a great alternative to having a badger as a pet. The UK has a large badger population, and the local residents have taken up the hobby of badger watching.

The only way to keep a badger from being completely aggressive as a pet would be to tame them from a young age. Wild animals that are tamed just after birth, form a bond with the owner. This does not mean that their wild instincts won’t kick in. They can scratch, claw, and cause destruction and harm if triggered.

See our article for Are Badgers Dangerous here.

Do Badgers Smell Bad?

Badgers look like they could be soft and cuddly, but the truth is, in the wild, they can be very aggressive when threatened. One of their defense mechanisms is the use of chemical communication. They possess glands that have a very musky smell. These glands and smells can be compared to skunk, although slightly milder.

Badgers use scent marking for many reasons, communication, to ward off predators, to mark territory, and more. Living with this musky smell can be very difficult, especially if the badger is kept inside.

What Do Pet Badgers Eat?

Rats and mice make up most of a badger’s diet since they are mainly carnivores. However, they also feed on worms, grubs, slugs, snails, and other things. They are sometimes considered omnivores that eat a variety of small game mammals, rodents, and vegetation. Source.

You would need to feed your badger a raw prey model diet. This means you would have to buy frozen rats or mice, larvae, and other types of animal foods. These types of diets can be pricy, costing as much as hundreds of dollars per month.

Badgers Could Cause Household Destruction

It’s important to remember that badgers are exceptional at digging. This is one of their most common activities out in the wilderness. Badgers dig tunnels and hunt for food underground with their sharp claws. 

What does this mean for your household if you have a badger inside? It means that your carpets would likely be destroyed within a few hours and anything vulnerable to damage could be destroyed. 

If you have a cat and understand how frustrating it can be to watch your cat claw the couch, or perhaps watch your dog tear up a pillow on your bed. A badger could probably cause a lot more damage in a shorter amount of time. Simply put, having a pet badger in your house is a dangerous idea, even if you have special enclosures, they could cause damage to them that could be costly to repair over time.

Badgers Cannot Easily Be Trained

Training a wild animal can be extremely challenging and doesn’t always work. Wild instincts usually take priority in the mind of a wild animal, including badgers. Some wild animals can be tamed, however, this is not the same as domesticated, tamed animals are still wild.

Using human training to try and overrule this collection of instincts in any wild animal is almost impossible. It’s also not a very good idea because it can harm the animal’s ability to survive in the wilderness in the future if the badger is returned to the wilderness.

How Much Does a Pet Badger Cost | Badgers as Pets

The thing with exotic animals is, that there will always be people who want them as pets. In some places, it may be legal for them to be pets. If you are considering buying a pet badger, then make sure it is legal in your area first.

Badger breeders, who operate out of states where it is legal to own a badger in the US, charge around $2,500 to $4,500 for a baby badger. They are bred seasonally, and you usually have to be on the list of buyers, sometimes years in advance. Every breeder operates differently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can badgers be converted into a household pet?

There are probably more than a dozen reasons why it is a bad idea to convert a wild badger into a household pet. The primary concerns are that badgers as pets could damage carpets and delicate pieces of furniture in a short amount of time. Other pets could potentially be in danger of a badger attack and a badger’s lifestyle is simply not ideal for captivity like a domestic cat or dog. 

Is it illegal to own a wild badger as a pet?

of a region where it is illegal. The United States has mixed laws depending on the state, but many states do not allow exotic wild animals to be pets. 

How many people have a pet badger?

There’s no exact way to know the number of people that may be legally, or illegally in possession of a pet badger in their household. It’s likely a very low number if you make exceptions for the types of people that rescue and rehabilitate animals that are suffering from sickness or injury

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an outdoorsman who loves spending time in nature, working on ranches in Texas, and observing wildlife.

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