Before you seriously consider keeping a capybara as a pet, can I urge you to do the research. Too many capybaras kept as pets die prematurely or end up in refuges. I have written a number of blogs on Capybara Welfare and different aspects of keeping a capybara as a pet, including Diet, Pool Size, How to Treat a Pool to Make It Safe for a Capybara, etc. PLEASE READ THESE. I give links to these blogs at the end of this blog. Please also read these 2 blogs:
Capybara FAQs. The Questions People Always Ask:
A Pet Capybara, Should I Have One?:
What Should I Feed My Pet Capybara? Capybara diet
Below are two of the best links giving information about which States might allow you to keep a capybara as a pet.
However, even within States regulations often vary. Counties, cities and even neighbourhoods may also have their own laws about keeping capybaras as pets. You should also check Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC and R’s) in your area. There may also be regulations included in the Deeds to your home. You may also need to get the agreement of other residents in your area.
Your local Wildlife Fish and Game government department will have more information. Wildlife Fish and Game is also the Department you may have to contact to apply for your license/permit to keep a capybara as a pet. They will want to inspect your property, and if permission is granted there will be further inspections at regular intervals to check on the welfare of your capybara and his/her habitat.
Wildlife Fish and Game in Henderson, Nevada, admitted that they did not know much about keeping capybaras as pets when they issued the permit to keep capybaras as pets to friends of mine. Having read my blogs, they realised how little they knew and became much stricter in issuing permits! (My friends would still have got their permit, but several other would-be capybara pet owners were turned down, which hopefully saved a few capybaras from an unhappy life.)
Bear in mind that the information on the Internet about keeping wild animals as pets in different States tends to be general in nature, so you should contact your local authorities for the precise regulations that pertain to keeping a capybara in the place where you live. For example, some websites suggest you cannot keep any wild animal as a pet in Washington State, but in reality this refers primarily to dangerous wild animals. In Washington State you may be able to keep a capybara as a pet depending on the area, particularly if your area does not have sidewalks. However, you may also have to get the agreement of other residents in the area.
The following states generally allow people to keep capybaras as pets: Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, Tennessee; I have also been told parts of New York state. You will still need to get a licence/permit to keep a capybara as a pet in most of the states.
It is much more difficult to get permission to keep a pet capybara in Europe, where Animal Welfare Laws tend to be much stricter. Many European countries do not permit the keeping of wild animals as pets. In some countries you may be able to keep a capybara as a pet if you fulfil very stringent requirements; this may be the case in France and Poland. Keeping a capybara as a pet is illegal in Italy. (A friend of mine in Italy rescued a badly injured nutria who had escaped from the farm where he was being reared for his fur.) Nutrias were brought to Italy for the fur trade and some escaped. There are also escaped wild nutria in Paris in the river Seine, and other parts of France.
These are the best links I could find:
Born Free USA is a National Animal Advocacy nonprofit organisation:
This is another useful link: https://www.animallaw.info/content/map-private-exotic-pet-ownership-laws
Remember, not all the information given on the Internet is necessarily entirely accurate.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, read these blogs if you are seriously thinking of keeping a capybara as a pet. Capybaras are exceptionally sensitive and emotional (they have very high emotional intelligence) and suffer stress much more than dogs. They suffer extreme “separation anxiety” (if they are bonded with a human) every time the human leaves the home. Listening to the plaintive cry of a pet capybara (who I was pet sitting) every time his “owner” left home was heartbreaking, and the experience will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Protect Your Capybaras and Guinea Pigs from Power Cords and Electric Cables
Pet Capybara Pool Size. What Size Pool Does My Capybara Need?
Capybara Health Warning: It Will Be Potentially Dangerous To Let Your Capybara Swim in a Chlorinated Swimming Pool Designed and Intended for Human Use. One capybara died, due to the chlorine in his pool, because his owner, who knew about my blogs, didn’t bother to do any research.
Capybaras Beware of Toxic Plants, Chemicals and Poisonous Animals Like Scorpions and Snakes. Humans Remove These from Your Land, Garden and Yard.
Critical Care for Capybaras. Capybara Health Care. This Could Save the Life of Your Capybara.
I have written many other blogs which are useful for anyone thinking of keeping a capybara as a pet, at my blog site “Capybara World” on WordPress: