Does an Armadillo Make a Good Pet?

armadillo-make-good-pet Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / Contributor/LightRocket/Getty Images

As a general rule, armadillos do not make good pets. This is the case for many reasons, including a few serious ones. It is illegal to own an armadillo in many states, though they may be kept with a permit. Most worryingly, a New York Times report claims that it is possible for armadillos to transmit leprosy to people.

Armadillos are wild animals and have no history of being domesticated as pets. They are not pack or herd animals, so it is not possible for a human owner to take a place in their normal social structure. They are wary of people and may behave in an aggressive manner towards their owners.

These nocturnal creatures may interrupt sleep as they are naturally accustomed to burrowing and foraging at night. They need places to burrow, and can be quite disruptive to their human housemates. Their musky odor is strong and can be offensive, particularly if they are kept inside the house.

Armadillos who are kept outside may burrow through gardens and flower beds. Because they live wild in temperate, warm habitats, they are not well suited to colder weather and may die as a result of it. Additionally, they can suffer stress-related problems from being kept indoors or in an unsuitable habitat.