Can You Own A Pet Camel?

Do camels make good pets? The short answer is yes. Unlike most exotic animals, keeping a camel as a pet can be very rewarding. But before you go and buy one you should consider some things about this species.

Pet camel

Are Camels Legal Pets?

Yes, camels are legal in the United States as well as in Australia and some other countries. However, sometimes there are some restrictions. 

Perhaps it might be that you need to own enough land to get a permit for owning camels. It would be best to inform yourself at your local government about licenses and any legal issues that might occur.

Most likely there will be no obstacle for your new friend.

Pros Of Camels As Pets

Camels make surprisingly good pets. Especially compared to zebras, moose, deer and other ungulates there is nothing to worry about with camels.

Camels Are Domesticated

Domestication is a very important thing when we talk about possible pets. Like horses, camels live together with humans for many generations.

Over time breeders selected only those individuals that met our needs best. The outcome is the camel that we know today. Different breeds are used by people in different regions as means of transportation.

Typically are:

  • The Bacterian camel can carry up to 600 pounds. Around 1.4 million individuals of this breed are domesticated around the world.
  • The dromedary is the most popular camel breed. It is native in the Sahara and over 13 million are domesticated mostly in Africa. (Source)

Through the long period camels and humans spend together, they are pretty much accustomed to each other. For the camel that means, that wild instincts are less likely to take control. 

Camels Are Intelligent

Camel in the sahara

Some people say they are stupid, stubborn and spit saliva every time they are annoyed. Nothing could be more wrong.

In fact, camels are intelligent creatures that think and remember a lot. If someone doesn’t treat them well, they are capable of waiting for the right moment to take revenge. One could say, they have a strong character.

Camels Like Human Companionship

Camels are able to build strong bonds with their owners. They like to get a lot of attention and want to be petted. While this is great for kids have in mind that there’s a downside to all that too.

Camels can get 40 to 50 years old and that time span is a big commitment. You would need to have enough free time to spend with your pet for nearly your whole life.

Camels Need Less Care Than Horses

No, camels aren’t low maintenance. I hope you got that in the section above. Any pet is a responsibility and you have to take proper care, no matter which species you own.

That being said, compared to horses there are tasks that are definitely easier with a camel. For example, hooves don’t need to be shoed. It’s enough to clip the nails of a camel regularly.

Another advantage is, that camels eat and drink less than horses. They can also get along for a relatively long time without food and water. 

But it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to spend on this concern. Be prepared to buy grass and vegetables for an estimated 250 $ per month.

What To Consider Before Getting A Pet Camel?

Camel on grass

After all these pros other things have to be considered well before you contact a breeder and buy your pet camel. A good breeder will tell you everything about his animals and you can ask him all kinds of questions before you make your decision.

Camels Are Big

Even if camels are not as big as giraffes, the size is something to think about. As it always with big animals, they need lots of space. Experts recommend having at least 0.2 acres per individual. As they are social animals you will need to keep more than one as well.

It would be ideal if you live on a farm where you have all the land together with shelter for rainy and cold days. Camels have their natural habitat in warm climates zones, so depending on where you live, you should take this into account.

Fences have to be extra high and sturdy. Otherwise, your camels will explore the grass outside of their pasture.

Camels Need Training

If you want to use a camel for riding it requires a lot of training. The most important part here is to teach it how to kneel.

Kneeling is also necessary for transportation as camels are so big that they rarely fit into a trailer while standing. For every means of transportation, there is no way to get around kneeling as well.