Should You Have a Groundhog as a Pet?
When you see a groundhog, you might think how cute they are. Plenty see them as cute little animals, especially when young. People see the babies, pick them up, and want to keep them as their own. Is that a smart thing to do, though? Groundhogs are not in any way traditional pets, so you face some risks by attempting to make one a pet. If you see a groundhog and want it as a pet, think carefully about that decision. You have to consider the negatives of taking in the groundhog and trying to make it a pet, like any other animal. It might be more responsibility and issues than you can handle.
Groundhogs are wild animals. You might not associate them with other wild animals, especially since they tend to live around neighborhoods, but they are. These are wild, undomesticated animals. Taking care of them is nothing like taking care of a dog or cat. Even compared to other exotic pets, there are a lot of problems present when attempting to make groundhogs pets. Other exotic animals exhibit certain wild behaviors, but, generally, they are not going to be as destructive and troublesome. Groundhogs dig. It is what they do and it is what they will do. In your property, that is going to lead to extensive damage. You cannot control groundhogs or expect them to act like pets. They are not going to be domesticated at all nor are they going to work well with humans.
In the Right Environment
The right environment, for groundhogs, is the wild. Even if that means your backyard or a neighboring wooded area, it is the wild. A captive groundhog is not going to be in a good or healthy place. For rehabilitators and professionals who care for wild animals, including groundhogs, they attempt to give them as much of that freedom as possible. Even when they can give them an adequate environment, they still release them when possible. For wild animals, it is best that they remain in the wild. Unless there is a reason for them to remain in human care, that should not be the case. They grow up in human care and are reintroduced into the wild, they will have a lower chance of survival. Professionals can manage this well, but the average person wanting one as a pet cannot. Groundhogs do not make good pets. As a wild animal, they are not suited for the environment and they are not getting the best chance at life.
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