If you want to have an owl as your pet, you need to know what it’s like to have a pet owl. Having owls as pets is not easy because owls require special maintenance and care. They are wild birds, like vultures and eagles. The nature of owls differs a lot from other pet birds such as parrots.
Can You Own an Owl?
If you want an owl for a pet, you can definitely own an owl. Although most people believe that owning an owl is illegal, it is not the truth.
People in the UK can own various types of owls. You can also find pet owls for adoption.
What Owls Are Legal to Own?
If you want to have a pet owl, you need to know what owls are legal to own in your country. In the U.S, people cannot own any native owl such as the snowy owl. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act federally protects the native owls.
The law is so strict that people in the U.S cannot even own a feather of a native owl. People can own non-native owls such as the Eurasian eagle owl and the speckled owl legally in the U.S.
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Can Owls Be Pets?
Yes, owls can be pets. However, having a pet owl is a challenging task. Unlike other domesticated birds, owls require a large space and are high maintenance.
Let’s take a look at the things that you need to know before getting a pet owl:
You Cannot Cuddle an Owl
Owls do not prefer getting stroked or cuddled. If you have a pet owl, you cannot cuddle him. Your pet owl can bite you if you try to stroke his feathers.
The feathers of owls have a covering that makes them water-resistant. If you stroke the feathers of your pet owl, the covering will wear off. Therefore, it is not a wise idea to stroke the feathers of an owl.
Owls are Possessive
Owls can be possessive and territorial about their owners. They might not accept someone you are close to.
If they see that person as a threat, they can also attack him or her. Thus, keeping owls as pets can be risky.
Owls Get Too Attached
As owls are anti-social by nature, they get extremely attached to their owner. A domesticated owl will get stressed if he cannot see his owner. For him, his owner is his family.
Your pet owl will not like it if someone else feeds him. He will want you to feed him and care for him. Therefore, you cannot leave your owl and go for a long vacation.
It is Difficult to Train Owls
The most challenging thing about having a pet owl is that it is difficult to train them. Owl owners need to exhibit a lot of understanding and patience.
Owls are also very particular about their routine. Your pet owl can get very tense if there is a change in his daily routine.
Owls Are Destructive
The natural killing instinct of owls can drive you crazy. They can damage your pillows, blankets, clothing or stuffed animals by shredding those objects into pieces. Therefore, you must think before owning an owl.
Owls Are High-Maintenance
If you want to have a pet owl, you must be ready to make a long-term commitment. Owls require daily cleaning, feeding, and attention from their owners. They have a large life-span, compared to other birds.
You need to arrange a large cage for your owl where he can get adequate exercise.
You Can Get Hurt by an Owl’s Beaks and Talons
Owls have sharp beaks and claws which can hurt you. If your pet owl does not like something that you are doing, he will scratch you to let you know about it. You might end up bleeding due to it.
Your pet owl can accidentally scratch you while stepping up onto your fist. Even if you are wearing gloves, you can get injured.
Constant Cleaning is a Must
Owls shed plenty of feathers. They also throw up pellets of bones and fur.
Moreover, owls poop a lot which smells horrible. If you have a pet owl, non-stop cleaning is a must.
Owls Need a Carnivorous Diet
Unlike other pets, you cannot buy food for your owl from a local grocery store. Owls need a proper carnivorous diet that you can get from an Owl Center.
You will require a freezer stocked with raw animals such as rats, rabbits, and mice. Either you can buy the raw animals from an Owl Center or hunt them on your own.
It is not enough to buy raw animals for your pet owl. You also need to gut them before feeding to your owl. If you do not provide this diet to your owl, he will become unhealthy.
It is Difficult to Find a Veterinarian
If you have a pet, you need to provide the right healthcare. A veterinarian plays a crucial role in the life of a pet owner. If you have a pet owl, it will be difficult for you to find a veterinarian.
Most veterinarians are incapable of providing the right treatment to an owl. You have to face a lot of problems if your bird gets seriously ill. Every time your owl gets sick, you have to take him to the aviary.
Owls can catch various diseases such as avian tuberculosis, metabolic bone disease, pox, bumblefoot, lead poisoning, and candidiasis.
Owning a Pet Owl
Now that you know what kind of pets owls are, you can take the right decision. The best thing about owning an owl is having an interesting and exotic pet.
You must remember that keeping a pet owl can be quite expensive. There are various types of expenses such as the construction of a large cage, regular supply of carnivorous food, and an annual wellness exam. So, keep an owl as a pet only if you can afford it.
The popular Harry Potter series is the primary inspiration behind keeping owls as pets. You should adopt an owl if you are fascinated by the nocturnal bird and ready to deal with all the challenges.