Would an Armadillo Make a Great Pet? What you need to know!

Armadillos are unique animals with the ability to live on land and in water. It has evolved over time into an extraordinary creature that can withstand even extreme weather with its natural protective covering of bone plates called ‘scales’. In fact, this armor helped him through tough times, making him one of the toughest mammals in America.

Unfortunately, armadillos are not usually considered great pets.

They have several quirks and quirks that make them undesirable to most pet owners, such as digging holes all over your yard, taking out the trash, and eating anything they can find.

However, there is more to these little animals than meets the eye! In this post, we’ll explore the armadillo’s natural habitat and behavior to help you decide whether or not an armadillo would be a good pet choice for you.

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What is an Armadillo?

Armadillos are part of the order “Cingulata” and the family Dasypodidae. They are closely related to pangolins, sloths, and other mammals that eat insects or plants, but armadillos spend most of their time on land rather than in trees, as many other Cingulate animals do.

Armadillos come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common generally reach a weight of 16 pounds and measure about 12-24 inches from head to tail. This makes them very easy animals to handle or transport if necessary for whatever reason, especially when they are curled up in a ball!

They have a hard shell made of the aforementioned scales which cover their body and give them a unique look. This “armored” skin protects them from insect bites or stings, as well as other attacks!

This unique animal is found in North America, South America, and parts of Africa. They thrive in warmer climates and are most commonly found in semi-arid or desert areas.

armadillo on the grass


Armadillos are primarily solitary creatures but sometimes live in small groups. They prefer to be on the ground and not climb trees like sloths do.

When around humans, armadillos are very calm and relaxed. They don’t need a lot of space or companionship, but they do enjoy stroking the ground with their paws as well as being petted!

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Don’t be fooled by their tough exterior, armadillos can actually be very affectionate


In the wild, armadillos have an average lifespan of about 12 years. In captivity, this can be increased to 20-30 years!

Health condition

One of the downsides to pet armadillos is that they are susceptible to parasites and pests, and certain diseases like leprosy and malaria!

Getting veterinary care for such animals can be difficult, so every potential owner needs to do their research before committing to a full one.

Feeding Armadillo Pets

Armadillos are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, they will eat a variety of things: insects, plants (especially fruit), bird eggs, snails, and slugs. They have even been known to chase other small animals such as lizards and mice.

When pet owners feed their armadillos a plant-based diet, they are usually given fresh fruit and vegetables and pellets for added protein.

Some people will also add dog or cat food to the mix, helping the animal maintain an ideal weight.

armadillo eat

What kind of housing do they need to live comfortably?

Armadillos are not domesticated, so it is best to leave them in their natural habitat.

However, if you want an armadillo as a pet and have the means to provide adequate space for it, then several requirements must be met:

  • A cage needs at least four sides.

  • Armadillos should be able to dig.

  • The cage should provide a natural habitat for the animal, mimicking its environment in its home country.

  • Armadillos must be equipped with a pool for swimming.

  • Armadillos need at least 20 square feet of space for every one foot in length.

  • Cages should provide adequate protection from the weather and plenty of room to roam freely, as well as sufficient food to support them during their stay there.

Armadillos are not pets and need space to explore, so they can’t be locked up all day. They need plenty of space and walking space to explore and live comfortably.

Can You Tame an Armadillo?

Armadillos are wild animals and are difficult to tame with a few exceptions.

Infant armadillos are more likely to be tamed because they don’t have the same aggressive tendencies as adults, and this can be seen in their more docile behavior.

You won’t be able to teach an armadillo tricks or train it to do tricks for you.

You’ll be able to hold the armadillo and pet it, but it’s not a toy, don’t treat them that way.


Are They Easy To Maintain?

The basic needs of an armadillo are not the most difficult to care for if you are an experienced pet owner. However, this is not a hands off process. They can be fed cat or dog food if they do not eat insects in the wild, which are their main diet when roaming free.

You don’t need to do any training because it won’t work, so once you give him a proper living environment, the rest will be easier.

You may also want a second opinion on whether this is really what you want from a “pet”. It should not be seen as a low-maintenance pet that will never need anything but food and water. They are wild creatures that require appropriate care and attention – not everyone finds this worthwhile enough to pursue long-term at home.

Many people are attracted to armadillos because they look so unusual, but consider all the things you should provide for your new friend before getting too attached!

Remember: No matter what breed of animal you get, they need a lot of care to thrive. Armadillos are no exception!

Do They Get Along With Children and Other Pets?

We do not recommend armadillos as pets for children. The actions of a child can cause the armadillo to feel threatened and attack, which can result in serious injury or death to both parties involved.

Adults will have more success handling armadillos with care when interacting with other pets in their home. If you plan to get another animal after your new pet, make sure they can coexist peacefully before adding them into your family life together!

Cost of Owning an Armadillo

Since they are not traditionally considered pets, you will have a hard time finding a pet store that sells armadillos. Getting an armadillo will require you to buy hatchlings from other breeders or find them in the wild.

The cost of caring for your new pet will also be expensive. You have to have a habitat, and if you want your animals to stay healthy, they need food that suits them too!

The good news is that these animals are easy to stand on, so it shouldn’t take much effort to clean them.

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Final Thoughts

Are armadillos a great pet? They are not the cuddly kind of pet, but they make a good choice for people who are looking for an interesting and unusual animal! Armadillos can live in your backyard or inside on a leash. They don’t need much space because their house is underground.

Armadillos have a keen sense of smell, so they are also good at detecting potential dangers in the area.

If you are interested in adopting an armadillo as a pet, contact your nearest zoo or wildlife rehabilitation center for more information!

Featured Image Credit: Cheryl Holt, Pixabay