What Are the Best Pet Spiders for Beginners?

Last updated on March 22nd, 2023 at 04:03 pm

The best pet spiders for beginners come in all shapes and sizes. These days, there are a lot of kinds of spider available, not just tarantulas…

Tarantulas such as the Chilean rose, Costa Rican Zebra, and Mexican Redleg are some of the best spiders to keep as pets for beginners. These days, there are other species available too, however, that make equally rewarding captives. Though less long-lived, Huntsman Spiders, Orb Weavers and Jumping Spiders are also becoming very popular.

While some spiders are venomous and dangerous, it is suggest that you be cautious when thinking about keeping them as pets. It is always a good idea to do your research and then buy a pet spider whose care level you are comfortable with. In this article, we’ll look at some species that are both harmless, and easy to keep.

What Are the Best Pet Spiders for Beginners?
Wolf Spider on the hunt. These spiders are both hardy and harmless

Pet spiders that aren’t tarantulas

While tarantulas have become a common name in the world of spiders, there are some amazing spiders, other than tarantulas, that can be kept as pets.

Huntsman Spiders and Orb Weavers are good competition to the tarantulas for keeping as pets in your homes. Jumping Spiders are smaller, but perhaps more active and intelligent, meaning they are better for observing.

Huntsman Spiders

Huntsman Spiders are large, long-legged spiders that are mostly grey or brown in color. Most Huntsman Spiders, like the Delena, have somewhat flattened bodies that help them adapt to living in narrow spaces like rock crevices. 

Their leg joints are twisted so that they spread out forwards in a crab-like position, and that is why they are often called giant crab spiders. These spiders are carnivores and eat other insects as their food. Thus, they can be fed with almost any insect you find around your house.

Despite their scary appearances, Huntsman Spiders can become good pets. Often, these spiders can be considered more exotic than tarantulas. One good reason these spiders can be great pets is that they are non-venomous. 

Like most spiders, the Hunstman Spiders are nocturnal, therefore, it needs places to hide during the day. So, if you consider having them as your pets, then you should prepare a shady house for them accordingly.

The cold-blooded Huntsman Spiders are more for observation and watching than some pet-friendly cuddles. When handling them, be cautious not to make any sudden movements that may threaten the spider. 

Orb Weavers

Orb Weavers make a great beginner pet spider. They are usually caught in open spaces – gardens, fields, and forests. One difficulty in keeping these spiders is that they need a huge amount of space to live. 

Orb Weavers are mostly bright-colored in appearance, and are available in colors like golden, blue, white, and orange. They often have hairy or spiny legs with a large abdomen and spin large webs that can span over a foot. 

They spin some beautiful large, wheel-shaped webs. So, if you plan to keep them as pets, you may need to arrange for a large tank where they can easily spin their webs.

Orb Weaver Spider

Jumping spider pet

Keeping jumping spiders as pets can be creepy and their quirky and unexpected behavior may be one big reason why people are afraid of them. Nevertheless, having such adventurous pets can be intimidating with some real fun. 

These spiders have big round eyes and short legs, which makes them appear adorable and this cuteness is what attracts people to keep them as pets.

Can a jumping spider like you?

It is possible that jumping spiders may like humans as they do not draw blood or try to bite humans at all. They naturally depend on smaller insects that they can fit into their mouth but do not feed on blood. 

Jumping spiders are harmless and they do enjoy some adventure time with humans. They only bite in defense, but even their bite is not poisonous. It is claimed that jumping spiders do have feelings like other spiders and therefore, it may be possible that they like you.

Female Regal Jumping Spider (Phiddipus regius) on a log
Female Regal Jumping Spider (Phiddipus regius) on a log

Best tarantula for beginners

In general, there are two types of tarantulas – ground-dwellers and tree-dwellers. Ground-dwellers are often considered to be better options for beginners to keep as their pets. 

Tarantulas don’t typically require medical attention and thus it becomes easy to handle them at home. Tarantulas can bite too, and their bites are venomous, but mostly it is similar to a bee sting. 

Below are the some of the best tarantulas to keep as pets for beginners:

  • Mexican red-knee
  • Chilean rose
  • Green Bottle Blue
  • Curly Hair Tarantula
  • Arizona Blonde
  • Brazilian black
  • Pink Toe Tarantula

Spiders do not require excessive care, but it is always helpful, as pet parents, to be aware of their needs and demands. Spiders come in all forms, shapes, sizes, and colors, and clearly, all spiders are not tarantulas.

how do tarantulas reproduce?
Mexican Red Knee Tarantula above its hiding place

Are pink toe tarantulas good for beginners?

The Pink Toe tarantulas are known to be perfect spider pets for beginners owing to their more docile nature. They are good at interacting and observing. 

Pink Toe tarantulas are easily scared. Even the slightest feeling of discomfort can make this tarantula run or jump.

A tarantula’s abdomen may burst if it drops on the ground, resulting in its death. Therefore, they require good handling and care.

Pink Toe tarantulas can use their hair as a defense mechanism to eject them from their abdomen and cause irritation to their predators. However, these tarantulas are harmless and can serve as good pets for beginners.

How long do tarantulas live?
Common Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia avicularia)

Friendly spiders

The very thought of spiders may scare us sometimes. However, there are a few spiders that are harmless and friendly and can be considered to be great pets. 

There are friendly spider species, like the tarantulas, that can often be easily handled without much care. However, one must still know how to keep spiders as pets in their homes.

Mentioned below are some common house spider species that are harmless and friendly:

  • Cellar spiders
  • Common house spiders
  • Hobo spiders
  • Jumping spiders
  • Sac spiders
  • Wolf spiders
  • Black and yellow garden spiders (Argiope spiders)

What Are the Best Pet Spiders for Beginners?
Close up of Argiope spider (also known as a Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Spiders are not very ‘common’ pets and understanding them and their needs can be a tiresome job. However, they only require a small space of their own. So once they’re comfortable and get accustomed to your home and space, they may become one of the best and most friendly pets to keep.

What do you need for a pet spider?

Care for each kind of spider varies according to a few factors. For example, arboreal species will need an enclosure that is taller than wide, whereas the opposite is true for terrestrial species.

Very small species, like Jumping Spiders, need small plastic or perspex enclosures instead. I’ve always found that they do really bad in large, airy enclosures. In fact, they often dry out and die in that circumstance.

Overall, there are things you’ll need no matter what species you go for, however:

1: An enclosure

Remember – always pick an acrylique enclosure for species that require high humidity, or a mesh topped enclosure for desert species.

2. Substrate

Again, keep in mind the fact that the substrate should be good at maintaining humidity. Low humidity is the leading cause of death in pet spiders! Good examples include:

3. Hiding places

4. A water dish

The water dish doesn’t have to be big – in fact, if it’s too big or deep a tarantula may drown in it. Stick to small, shallow dishes like the ones shown below.

Micro water dishes for spiders

Pet spiders for sale

While some people just cannot think of spiders as pets, their unique physiology and relatively simple care requirements can make them excellent pets for some pet parents.

Many spider species can be adventurous and entertaining and it is complete fun watching them hunt and weave their webs. A lot of pet-selling shops have a variety of spiders for sale. 

Jumping spiders and tarantulas are among the most widely sold pet spiders. The pet shops selling spiders have detailed information about the care, cost, handling, health, and diet of the spiders.

A lot of country-specific e-commerce platforms or online shops have a big variety of spiders to be sold as pets. However, these should be researched carefully and cautiously.

Additionally, some countries prohibit the purchase of spiders, and thus one should check the legal requirements of possessing spiders as pets in their homes.

Top 4 best pet jumping spiders
The Tan Jumping Spider – a easy captive. These are very cheap, often around $20-30

Pet spider price 

Pet spiders come in a variety of prices. Since tarantulas are one of the most commonly available spiders, they are not very expensive and usually cost between $20 to $50. Female tarantulas cost more than their male counterparts. 

Globally, there are more than 800 varieties of tarantulas, and with each one having unique properties, they vary in their prices. Some specific pet spiders may cost you heavy on your pockets like the Mexican Redknee or some other exotic spider species.

If you are planning to become a spider pet parent, then do your homework properly. Search reputable sources about which spider variety is best for you and your family and do thorough research on the pet spider you are planning to buy.

Curly Hair Tarantula care
A half-grown Curly Hair Tarantula (Tliltocatl albopilosus).

FAQ relating to pet spiders for beginners

The most frequently asked question relating to pet spiders for beginners is if the spiders they are considering buying are friendly and harmless. Other frequent questions revolve around the cost of buying pet spiders.

What are the friendliest spider?

Tarantulas are the most friendly spiders with the Pink Toe tarantula being the most friendly and docile. They are a common household name and are available in a large variety.

What’s the best spider to have as a pet?

The best spider to have as a pet is a jumping spider that is more adventurous and harmless. It is far more entertaining than other varieties of spiders.

Additionally, tarantulas such as the Chilean rose, Costa Rican Zebra, and Mexican Redleg are best to keep as pets for beginners.

Would a spider make a good pet?

While a lot of people hold reservations about keeping spiders as pets, a number of strong-hearted people find spiders to be good pets and companions. 

However, since they are fragile species, they require proper handling and care. This is a reason why most spiders do not like their manual handling.

Can pet spiders show affection?

It is often claimed that spiders do show affection and liking towards humans as they have certain feelings, however, it is still difficult to showcase this with any solid proof. 

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