With a fuzzy appearance, beaming black eyes, and a seemingly docile nature, tarantulas are perhaps one of the only spiders that some people welcome into their home, and even some kids may find this pet attractive. However, tarantulas are not always the best pet to have around if you have kids in the house--let alone leaving a youngster as the primary caregiver. There are more than a few reasons why tarantulas are not the best pets for children, but a few that you should know about as a parent.
1. Tarantulas do not enjoy cuddling or even petting. - Your child may see the tarantula as a cute fuzzy critter, but tarantulas are a bit more reserved than a lot of other creatures. In fact, they will spend a lot of their time perfectly content and hiding out in their terrarium behind a rock or leaf. If your child picks up the tarantula for petting and cuddle time, it will most likely just wriggle away and may even show some aggression. Tarantulas can and will bite if they feel like you are a threat, and while their bites are not poisonous, they can hurt.
2. Tarantulas seem docile, but can get away super fast. - At first look, a tarantula may seem to creep along at a snail's pace, but when these eight-legged pets decide they want to get away, they can move as fast as lightning. Just one small slip--whether it is an open lid on their cage or otherwise--and the tarantula will be off faster than you ever thought possible. Tarantulas can make an escape into your home possibly never to be found again because they are just as excellent at hiding as they are at escaping.
3. Tarantulas are easy to harm. - Because tarantulas have a greater heft than most spiders, a fall can be fatal even if it is onto a soft surface. If your child accidentally drops the tarantula onto its abdomen, it will almost always prove to be fatal because it can rupture the area. To make matters worse, not all veterinarians will treat an injured tarantula because they do not always have the experience or the tools. So, in order to get help for an injured spider, you may end up having to search out a vet that accepts exotic pets -- and even then, survival chances after a fall may be slim.
To learn more about tarantula care and whether they're right for your child, consider talking to a vet like those at Grove Center Veterinary Hospital.