Can Wolves Be Regarded As Pets?

Wolves are incredible wild animals, they have a free spirited and instinctive nature.

While they have much in common with dogs physically and biologically, the two species are quite different.

It is their similarities, especially during childhood, that lead many people to purchase wolves and find that they retain their wild habits and behaviors as they grow older.

Wolves use their mouths to hug each other, which can be scary for adults, let alone children. In the wild, they can walk up to 100 miles a day, which means a lot of daily exercise for their owners.

In the best case scenario, the pet wolf will be semi-wild. In the worst case scenario, it will be completely unmanageable and potentially dangerous.

Nonetheless, there is no federal law prohibiting the ownership of wolves or wolf dogs. Some states, including Hawaii and Connecticut, have outlawed their ownership. In other states, it is regulated at the county level.

So, wolves are beautiful and intriguing, but they are also potentially dangerous, require considerable commitment, and keeping one may be illegal in your area. So, can you keep a wolf as a pet, and even if you could, should you? In short, keeping wolves as pets is not recommended.

Are wolves domesticated as pets?

Wolf pups cannot be domesticated by simply being raised with humans.

Even if you raise a wolf as a pet from the moment it is born, its genetic makeup is still that of a wild animal. Eventually, wolf pups will develop behaviors that will make them challenging to raise.

If you decide to keep a wolf as a pet, commit to caring for the animal throughout its life cycle, up to 20 years, as they will bond with you, but not with other humans.

A study published by the Royal Open Science Society determined that wolves kept as pets form an attachment to their human caregivers at a very young age.

This attachment lasts into adulthood, meaning that if your pet wolf is rehomed, it may be difficult for it to bond with a new person.

So, if you bring home a wolf pup, know that you are raising a wild animal with special needs.

And research the wildlife laws in your area. For example, it may be illegal to keep a wolf as a pet where you live.

Differences between wolves and dogs

There are many differences between wolves and dogs. Here are some interesting differences to consider before thinking that wolves are good pets.

  • Wolves have a larger head than dogs and a narrower, longer body. Their narrow build and long legs make wolves excellent runners for hunting prey.
  • A wolf has two more toes on its front paws than a dog, and those toes are webbed! The webbed toes help wolves walk across snowy landscapes and swim across rivers.
  • A wolf’s jaws are more grounded than a domestic dog’s because wolves need to catch and kill animals to eat.
  • Different dog breeds may have different eye colors, but wolf eyes are always yellow or golden in color.
  • Dogs are bred to communicate and socialize with people. However, the wolf’s instinct is to live independently of people and not to trust them.
  • Wolf cubs are usually born in the spring, but dogs can have litters of pups at different times of the year.
  • A dog’s instinct is to bark, while wolves are more likely to howl.

Humans find it easier to feed a dog than a wolf because dogs eat a variety of meats, vegetables, and grains. The wolf’s diet includes a lot of big game meat and small animals. The wolf must eat at least four pounds of meat each day and eat up to 20 pack animals a year.


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