Owning an Invertebrate

13 January 2017 | Invertebrates Advice

Owning an Invertebrate as a pet

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. If you’re just a beginner and have never cared for another living being; then owning a stick insect as a pet is a great way to start.

Stick insects also make great pets for small children as they are harmless, allergy-free and feeding them doesn't cost much.

Insects and spiders fall into the animal group commonly known as "invertebrate", which is the correct term for an animal species that do not backbone or a vertebral column.

Praying mantids and stick insects make wonderful household pets as they're fascinating and often make practical pets. Invertebrates come in all shapes and sizes, colours and portray different behavioural patterns.

Stick insects are amazing at disguising themselves, they blend into the natural habitat, wonderfully.

Commonly, a stick insect has a long slender body, along with long legs, that are often disguised as small branches. These clever little creatures walk in slow motion, back and forth, creating an illusion as if a stick is blowing in the wind. With more than one million of different species on this planet without a backbone, there is definitely no shortage of people looking for an invertebrate for their pet of choice.

Choosing the right stick insect for you

There a huge variety of invertebrates that can be kept as pets within the UK that include: cockroaches, praying mantis, millipedes, stick insects, tarantula and much more. Owning an invertebrate as a pet doesn't require much space, or a huge amount of your time maintaining as opposed to other household pets like cats and dogs.

Invertebrates do not require a lot of handling and taming. However, invertebrates of every type all require unique care requirements and special attention to their security, interaction, feeding and their housing.

If you're choosing an invertebrate as a pet for the first time, you need to decide on what is right for you. You can choose between an insect and spider. The best way to approach your search for the right insect is to understand what stick insect is most suitable for you.

For a beginner, it's a good idea to choose a laidback and non-dangerous stick insect. Starting off this way will ensure that you’re in full control of the caring required and neither the stick insect or you will be harmed during the process. Owning an invertebrate can not only be extremely fascinating but also educating.

Caring for an Invertebrate

Hissing cockroaches are a good choice for a beginner as they’re robust and hardy on the outside. They're easy to care for and don't possess any threat to a new handler. Stick and leaf insects are extremely laidback and are not known to bite other insects or to be defensive. They are very easy to look after. Their frame is extremely fragile and they will need handling with care.

Tarantulas are generally a hardy species and have become more popular over the years as an exotic pet to own. They do not require much space to be looked after and feeding them doesn't cost much. Tarantulas make hardly any noise and have a laid back attitude which makes caring for them, very easy. It’s worth noting that they shouldn't be handled too much. The Chilean Rose tarantula is the most popular of tarantulas, followed by the Mexican Redknee and several other species types.

You should spend time and researching before committing to owning an invertebrate. You will need to ensure that your choice is suitable for you and your family. It's worth looking into the lifespan so that you can care for them appropriately. Some invertebrates can live up to 20 years!

Understanding how to handle and care for your pet invertebrate is so important. Different species require different approaches and levels to their care and handling. Knowing this will have an impact on your decisions as to what pet invertebrate is right for you.

As previously mentioned, owning an invertebrate doesn't really cost much in terms of feeding. However, you should still research their specific diet so you’re fully aware of how to feed them appropriately.

Another important factor to consider is the safety of owning an invertebrate. If a member of your family is scared of spiders, then you might want to reconsider owning one.

Lastly, it's important for you to check what rules and regulations there are about the ownership of an invertebrate, particularly in the case of venomous invertebrates.

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