Can you have penguins as pets?

The U. S. Department of Agriculture and even your local government officials have rules and regulations regarding importing and keeping exotic animals. So, the answer to whether you can legally buy and own penguins as a pet depends on how and where you are keeping them.

A common inquiry we ran across in our research was “Can you keep penguins as pets?”.

No, you can’t. Because all penguins are protected by laws, there is no way you’ll be able to own one. Only zoos can get permission to have a penguin.

Penguins as a pet would be quite the hassle. You couldn’t have just one because penguins are social animals.

Can you have a penguin as a pet in Alaska?

But, that does not mean there aren’t penguins in captivity.

How do you care for a penguin as a pet?

For most species of penguins, you will need to keep the temperature around 30–40 degrees F. You will also need an Olympic-sized saltwater pool for them, one with a much more vigorous aeration and cleaning system than a regular house pool. And did I tell you they poop a lot? Leave ten pounds of fish outside to spoil.

Penguin is a social animal and it cannot thrive alone. You will need at least 20 penguins to satisfy their social needs. Excessive care is the second reason why penguins are bad pets. Penguins are fragile and you have to be there all the time for them.

This begs the inquiry “How long do penguins live as pets?”

Even if you were to have a penguin as pet, it would mature very slowly and live for up to 15 or 20 years in captivity. How much does a penguin cost? Based on ads on the internet, penguin costs from $1000 to $22,000. You’ll need a female and male as they’re monogamous.

What do penguins need to survive in captivity?

Penguins need exercise, companionship of their own kind, and the freedom to roam around wherever they want. If you kept a penguin in captivity by itself, you wouldn’t be able to treat it as a normal pet because penguins are really messy and loud.