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Do Wolf Spiders Make Good Pets? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

A wolf spider is any spider belonging to the Lycosidae spider family, which is a big group. These spiders get their name from their wolf-like behavior wherein they chase down and pounce on prey. In the United States, there are well over 100 species of wolf spiders and these robust and agile hunters are often found in lawns and gardens.

If you’re intrigued by wolf spiders and want to know if they make good pets, the answer is this: Wolf spiders can be kept as pets but they’re not for everyone. We’ll provide you with some information here concerning keeping a wolf spider as a pet so you can decide if this is the right pet for you.

new spider dividerKeeping a Wolf Spider as a Pet Requires a Time Commitment

In captivity, a wolf spider’s average lifespan increases because they’ll be protected from predators and fed well. If taken good care of, a pet wolf spider can live four years. This means you must be sure you’re in it for the long haul. If you’re not 100% sure that you can commit to taking care of a wolf spider for four years, this spider may not be the right pet for you.

Wolf Spider close up_Cornel Constantin
Image Credit: Cornel Constantin, Shutterstock

A Wolf Spider Can Bite

While wolf spiders are not deadly to people, they can still bite when provoked or when they feel threatened or stressed. If you’re bitten by a wolf spider you may feel a pinch and you could get an itchy or sore red mark at the site of the bite. Unless you are allergic to wolf spider bites, there’s nothing to worry about if you’re bitten. It’s simply good to know that wolf spiders can bite both you and other pets you keep in your home.

Setting Up a Wolf Spider Habitat

Since wolf spiders don’t spin webs, they do not need a big habitat to live in. A two-gallon terrarium is big enough to keep a single wolf spider in. Instead of spinning a web, your pet wolf spider will make its home in a hole at the bottom of some homemade substrate consisting of leaves, pebbles, and twigs. You can also add some artificial plants and rocks if you like. It’s a good idea to put something like an empty toilet paper roll inside the terrarium so your wolf spider has somewhere to hide.

The terrarium you use should have a ventilated, tight-fitting lid that will give your spider some fresh air without allowing it to escape. Even though wolf spiders are diurnal, they prefer living in the dark so you won’t need to add a terrarium light.

Keep the Habitat Out of the Sun

As mentioned above, wolf spiders prefer a dark environment. That’s why they’re often found deep in shrubbery, under bushes, in tall grass, and even in dark basements. Don’t place your wolf spider’s terrarium in direct sunlight. Instead, place it in a cool darkened area of your home away from heavy foot traffic.

How to Feed a Pet Wolf Spider

Now that you’ve got a home for your pet wolf spider, you have to feed your hairy little friend to keep it healthy and happy. A wolf spider eats lots of creepy crawlers including:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Flies
  • Moths
  • Worms
  • Mosquitos

You can find all these things in your own backyard if you feel like hunting them down. Otherwise, visit your local pet store and pick up some mealworms and grasshoppers or other small creatures the experts at the store recommend. Just be sure not to feed your wolf spider anything that can cause it harm like bees, wasps, or centipedes that can sting your spider and possibly injure or kill it.

You should feed your wolf spider twice a day. Just drop some food into the spider’s habitat and enjoy the show! If you see that your spider is leaving food behind, that’s a sign to cut back on the amount of food you’re giving it.

To ensure your spider gets enough moisture, lightly mist its enclosure with a water spray bottle. Just don’t overdo it as wolf spiders get some of the water they need from the foods they eat. To be on the safe side, gently mist the terrarium once a week with a little bit of room temperature water.

Wolf Spiders Like to Be Left Alone

If you think you can take your pet wolf spider out of its enclosure to handle it, think again. Wolf spiders are solitary creatures that want to be left alone. This type of spider is not like a pet tarantula you can tame. You can expect to be bitten if you try to pick up your wolf spider so don’t do it! You could also end up losing your spider as it would likely get away from you very quickly.

It’s not a good idea to add a second wolf spider to your pet spider’s enclosure as these spiders want to live alone. Not only would the spiders fight but one of them could end up dead so plan on keeping just one wolf spider as a pet. Of course, you can set up another habitant if you want to take on a second wolf spider, just don’t put two in the same enclosure!

Where to Get a Pet Wolf Spider

If you’re ready to get a pet wolf spider, you can hunt for one outside. These spiders typically reside in leafy, grassy areas. They also can be found on your property near doors, basements, and windows. If you’re not keen on looking for a wolf spider to keep as a pet, you can find these spiders for sale online.

If you decide to buy a wolf spider online, make sure the seller offers overnight shipping and guarantees that the spider will arrive at your home alive. A reputable seller will have young, healthy wolf spiders for sale and ship them in travel-safe containers to ensure the spiders arrive at their destinations in tip-top health.

new spider dividerConclusion

If you decide to keep a wolf spider as a pet, be sure to provide it with an appropriate home and the right type of food. Wolf spiders may not be cute and cuddly as puppies and kittens, but they are fascinating creatures that are fun to watch.


Featured Image Credit: Mario Kirschbaum, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.