20 Dangerous Animals That Shouldn’t Be Kept as Pets

If you’re an animal lover, you need to care for most, if not all, animals. However, it’s best to remember that some animals should only be admired from afar and cared for by professionals. Better yet, some animals should 100% just be kept in the wild! If you’re unsure whether the animal you’re eyeing as a pet is suitable, check out this list of the top 20 animals you should never consider.


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Turtles can seem easy enough to care for. However, before purchasing or adopting a turtle as a pet, you must do ample research because it could affect your family’s health. The Food and Drug Administration notes, “The most common germ spread from turtles is Salmonella. People can get Salmonella by coming in contact with turtles or their habitats.”


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Bats can survive for over 20 years, and because of this, people might think they’d be great companions. However, bats are not trainable. They’ve also long been considered breeding grounds for diseases like the Marburg virus and Ebola; some even say COVID-19 came from bats!


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As capybaras rose in popularity in September 2020, more and more people wanted capybaras as pets. However, WebMD notes that although people claim they’d be good pets, capybaras have unique needs that will be difficult for ordinary people to meet.


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Owls can be fascinating creatures, and if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll undoubtedly want to have your very own Hedwig at some point. However, keep in mind that caring for an owl is extremely challenging. Aside from that, it’s also illegal to own one in most countries!


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No matter how cute a raccoon is, it shouldn’t be kept as a pet. According to The Spruce Pets, raccoons are incredibly high-maintenance and unpredictable animals. They appear nice and cute on the outside but can wreak havoc in your homes, destroy your belongings, or even bite!


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Koalas are an endangered species listed under the EPBC Act on February 12, 2022. However, not enough measures are in place to preserve their habitats. Because of their sensitivity and status as an endangered animal, it’s illegal to own a koala anywhere in the world—even in Australia.


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Tigers are among the strongest predators in the world. They are huge and strong and can eat dozens of pounds of meat daily. Because the risk of attack is too high, tigers require expensive, state-of-the-art security enclosures. So, whether it’s a cute cub or a grown adult, tigers will never be suitable as pets.


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Otters are animals meant to be and stay in the wild. They can never be taken in and domesticated as pets because doing so will harm both the pet owner and the animal. World Animal Foundation notes, “Otters don’t adapt well to a domesticated life, nor do they enjoy it. They can be noisy, destructive, and potentially aggressive.”

Giant Pandas

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Pandas seem like cuddly bears that can never do anything to harm others, especially humans. If you thought the same thing, you’d be very wrong. First off, pandas eat over 30 kilograms of bamboo a day, which means you’d have to live in a literal bamboo forest so they could survive! Secondly, they have sharp claws and teeth that they may use to attack you if they feel threatened or if their cubs are in danger.


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Aside from being illegal to own, caring for a platypus can be very hard to maintain. According to Rivers of Carbon, “Platypus need regular and adequate water flows, as they cannot survive for long in isolated pools scattered along the length of a drying water course.” And, as of today, there’s no place in Australia where someone can legally purchase a platypus, and someone who sells or buys one would face pretty hefty fines!


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Some people consider snakes starter pets because they’re relaxed and chill. However, this could be a big mistake! Unlike dogs who shower you with love, snakes won’t even be receptive to your affection in the first place. In fact, they don’t like being held, touched, or petted, and aside from the illness and injury this may cause, they may also attack you out of desperation!


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Rich people may think owning a lion as a pet is a flex because it’s a show of wealth. Lions, after all, can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000! However, lions will always be wild animals; they can’t be domesticated. Lifehacker notes, “They will kill you and eat you unless you defang and declaw them, and that’s terribly cruel.”


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Kinkajous are nocturnal animals that are native to South and Central America. They can be friendly, curious, and playful, but they’re extra dangerous to have as pets. San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants explains, “Kinkajous have a painful bite and can be destructive to a home in the middle of the night when they are most active.”


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Like other primates, chimpanzees can be extremely intelligent. However, this does not mean you can domesticate, train, and teach them new tricks! They are risky to keep as pets not just because of the high possibility of attacks but also because of the diseases they may carry and spread.


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Winnie-the-Pooh makes bears seem cuddly and cute. However, bears are actually very dangerous and can kill you! Backpacker Magazine notes, “If they have a bad day and the people interacting with them aren’t experienced enough to pick up what they’re putting down, the result could be a mauling or worse.”


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Foxes may resemble our favorite furry friends, but they will never be considered great pets, unlike dogs. For one, they are wild animals with complex needs; they love hunting, foraging, and catching their own food. Secondly, foxes are disease carriers; they can carry rabies, leptospirosis, or even roundworms. WebMD adds, “Even in the states where foxes are legal, not all species of fox will be permitted; this is because foxes are undomesticated predators, which means they are considered ‘inherently dangerous’ or potentially invasive in most states.”

Alligators and Crocodiles

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If it’s not obvious enough, alligators and crocodiles are highly dangerous animals. They have almost 100 teeth and are built with muscles that can exert nearly 3,000 pounds per square inch of strength! Steemit warns, “Alligators can, and have, killed their owners, and injuries from pet crocodilians are not uncommon.”


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Unless you’re a professional or a very dedicated pet owner who can bring a wolf dog to training, you’d better think twice about keeping one as a pet. Wolfdogs have very strong personalities. In addition, they can be very aggressive and may harm you or people around you.

Pine Martens

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Young pine martens are very curious and, therefore, wouldn’t really fear humans and would approach them. This will lead some to believe they can be tamed and become great pets. However, keep in mind that making sure they thrive is a totally different idea. Pine martens, after all, need a complex habitat made of dense, multi-story forests with several kinds of fir and source; they also need logs, rock piles, fallen trees, and more.

Scarlet Macaws

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The scarlet macaw is one of the most beautiful parrot breeds. It originated from humid forests in the Americas and will not thrive in a cage, especially one that’s too small. Though some pet stores sell scarlet macaws as pets, one should think twice about owning one because they could be very high maintenance and expensive. The Spruce Pets explains, “Scarlet macaws, like other large parrots, are prone to self-mutilation and feather plucking when they are bored or neglected.”

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.