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How Much Does a Capybara Cost?

Are you looking for an exotic and unusual pet to welcome into your home? Often called giant guinea pigs, capybaras make great pets. They are the largest rodents in the world and are very smart and sociable creatures.

However, caring for capybaras can be tricky, and you need to make sure they have plenty of space. Plus, before deciding whether to purchase these pets, you need to take all the associated costs into account. 

So, let’s find out, how much does a capybara cost?

About Capybaras

These animals can be very affectionate and typically live to between eight and twelve years in captivity. They usually grow to between three and four feet tall and weigh up to 170 pounds. The rodents are native to South and Central America and live in and around swamps, lakes, ponds, and rivers.

About Capybaras

Capybaras have a blunt snout and barrel-shaped body, and they look a little like a pig. The animal’s fur is typically reddish-brown, with paler fur on the stomach. The animal also partially webbed feet and a vertical tail so that it can glide through the water. 

They are excellent swimmers, and they can almost match the running speed of a horse when on land. They keep cool during the daytime by wading in mud. They often submerge themselves in water when they sleep at night with only their noses exposed.

Where to get one?

Although there are strict regulations regarding the ownership of Capybaras, you are permitted to own them in certain states. As a result, you are unlikely to find the animal for sale in your local pet store. They can be owned in states such as Texas and Pennsylvania and are usually sold by private breeders. 

The price

The retail rate of these animals depends on where you get them and how old they are. If you head to their native home of South America, you can pay between $500 and $1,100 for a single animal. However, it will be difficult and expensive to bring the animal into the United States.

If you find a breeder in the United States, you would typically pay around $1,500 for a male baby. The average cost of a two-year-old female animal is $1,100. However, these are very social animals, and you should buy at least two at the same time to make sure they are happy. 

When choosing your new pet, it is best to purchase two or three female Capybaras. Males can become aggressive as they get older, even if they have grown up together. However, two or three females should play happily together without becoming territorial. Therefore, the initial price of purchasing two or three animals will be between $2,100 and $4,500.

Additional Costs

No matter which type of pet you own, you will be responsible for keeping it happy and healthy. It is important to make sure your budget will stretch to caring for this animal before purchasing it. Let’s take a look at the types of things you will need to buy to keep this animal alive and well. 

Additional Costs


These large rodents need a lot of food to keep them satisfied. The adults can eat up to 3.6 kilos of grass each day. Their diet changes in the dry season, and they need a large supply of grain, pumpkin, and melon. They also love to eat different types of aquatic plants.


If you don’t have a large garden for your animals to graze in, you will need to purchase hay. You need to make sure that the hay you choose is high-quality and free from toxic weeds and plants. The typical price for a bag of high-quality hay is $22 for forty ounces. 

Vitamin C Tablets 

These animals do not naturally produce Vitamin C, and it needs to be added to their diet. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing Vitamin C tablets that have been specially created for large rodents. The average price of a four-pound bag is around $25.

Vitamin C Tablets

Vet Bills 

Like any other pet, your capybara will need to be checked by your local veterinarian fairly regularly. You need to make sure that the vet is familiar with the needs and health of Capybaras. Males have to be sterilized at between six and nine months old to prevent them from becoming aggressive. Make sure your budget stretches to vet bills before welcoming any type of pet into your home. 


You need to make sure you have plenty of space for your new pet Capybaras to run around. Ideally, you should provide a large fenced-in area in your garden or yard. The optimum size for a pair of animals is around twelve feet by twenty feet. You also need to provide a safe indoor enclosure that is covered at night.

When letting the animals run around outside, their enclosure needs to be surrounded by a fence. The fence needs to be at least four feet high, and you need to make sure there are no gaps in them. Provide plenty of dog toys and pieces of untreated wood for the animals to chew on. 

Water Source

These large rodents are semi-aquatic and love swimming. If you don’t already have a pool in your yard, you will need to provide them with a small pond. Make sure you choose a strong and stable pool or pond that can fully support these animals. The pool should be placed in a shaded area that is ideally surrounded by vegetation.

If you keep the animals inside, they need to be able to bathe whenever they want. If their skin gets too dry, they can develop fatal skin disorders. You need to provide them with a pool that is at least three feet deep.

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Final Thoughts

While capybaras can make great pets, owning them is not legal in all parts of the United States. In some parts of the country, you need to apply for a health certificate or permit. But, it is illegal to keep these animals as pets in states such as Georgia and California.

If you are permitted to own this pet where you live, make sure you know how to care for it. Capybaras can grow up to 170 pounds and require special care. They are also very social animals and should be kept in pairs in a large enclosure.

All the best with your pet Capybaras!

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