Beavers are cute little adorable that may put you wondering can you make beavers pet. Are they nice enough and can they be domestic? Will they come across with my other pets? Here’s the answer to it.
The Short Answer…
While in most states, beavers are wild and illegal to make pets, despite that, you can’t really make good pets out of them. Though they are calm and social rodents, they can’t be trained and gnaws everything wooden they get inside your home, like trees, chairs and tables. They are calm and friendly animals and may come across your pet well and won’t likely harm you and your childerns. But they chew, poop, smell, dirt, mess up and gnaw everything of wood in your home. They are wild and can’t be pet neither can be trained to be and fit in your home and in the land. They also have a smell and instincts and are pretty dirty critters to live with.
From gnawing trees to building dams, beavers are perfect ecosystem engineers second to humans building and keeping ponds nice and full. Beavers have been gnawing through forests for 20 million years. They gnaw through the bark to eat the sugary layer underneath. One technique is to slice halfway through and let the wind do the rest. The beavers’ incisors are strengthened with iron, which makes them orange. Their teeth never stop growing and grows continuously and even self-sharpen just like squirrels and chipmunks so can you keep beavers as pet. They help seagrass leaves grow so fast that Hughes, a biologist at Sonoma State University was surprised of.
While beavers fit and can live nicely on the land, they mostly live in water and so they chew down trees and build their dams to live in water but in their home (lodge) which is acquired by sea otters when it’s empty. The main body of the dams and ponds is built of trees and boulders. They built dams so accurately that within a few inches, horizontal across its entire length of about 150 yards from one side to the other. The dam is so important to them, that if they detect the slightest leak, usually by hearing the sound of trickling water, they start repair work immediately. The whole family works together, carefully interlocking the timber. They dredged mud from the pond bottom to seal the dam.
Can You Make Beavers Pet Safely?
Beavers are cute little fat animals similar to bears. They build, swim, live in the wild which is very different from usual pets. Beavers have never been pets and would never be due to their destruction. Some people have kept baby orphan beavers for some time (not beavers as pet) but released in the wild when they matured. They are untrainable, dirty, and chews wood, doesn’t matter what it is, whether it is furniture, floor, or chair. For example, if you bring them indoor with you, it will start chewing the chair you are sitting on. Sounds funny 😄 right? Well, that’s actually how it is.
Despite beavers are social critters and might come across with you, your family and your pets, they won’t really be able to fit in your house and in a completely different even opposite ecosystem from where they live in that is in the water. That’s not the only reason however, there is also another risk involved.
Though beavers are friendly animals, that doesn’t mean they will never hurt you, your family or your pet. Not so many cases are reported to be fatal, but a fisherman was killed was in 2013 by a beaver when he provoked the beaver to take a photo with it. So they do become aggressive and attack when you disturb or seem a threat to them. They attack and bite with their two powerful front teeth which they use to gnaw trees.
Just like prairie dogs, beavers are territorial and anyone in their territory means fight for them, but they aren’t so wild that would attack everyone unless you interrupt or interfere into them. In fact, people report that beaver provides glucosamine to pet and become frozen sometimes for entertaining pets. However, if you would like to keep beavers as pet, you may consider these things and the risk involved with it which can cause serious injury and deep cut of wherever they bite on your body.
The Problem With Beavers As Pet
As it is pretty difficult to raise and keep any wild animal as a pet, it is also very difficult to keep a beaver as a pet. Most people don’t keep wilds as pets due to they are dangerous. But it’s completely different in this case. Beavers aren’t very dangerous and aren’t likely to attack but are super destructive. Since they primarily eat wood, they will eat whatever wood that comes first especially the bark of the trees, but also plants, vegetables. In summer, beavers are almost vegetarians and rarely eat woods. But when that isn’t available, they will certainly use trees and woods that can be chairs, tables, walls of wood and everything out of wood. They are so fast that it doesn’t take more than an hour to gnaw a door and a month to chew your entire home.
In addition to their destruction, they are also very dirty. They poop everywhere especially in the water, in the land, inside the home and anywhere. They don’t care about eating their fences, smells bad and consist lots of germs. And they also mess up and does lots of destruction and if interrupted, beavers whether as pet or not pet might attack. As beavers are mostly in water, they will need to be in water in which case, you will need to manage a pool or fill the tub to give a dip, swim, bath and defecate into. They spread all the dirt into your home, room, clothes, floor, and everywhere.
Do Beavers Attack Humans?
Beavers are pretty social rodents, and they likely won’t likely harm humans unless the people disturb, destroy their dams, ponds, interfere in their work, take their food, harm or try to hunt them. Also, not many cases have been report of beavers not as pet attacking people. But they do have strong orange front teeth which they use to gnaw, so will use to protect and defend their territory from people and other animals. The same is the case if you use to make beavers pet.
What Do Beavers Eat?
Beaver’s favorite foods are the leaves and soft outer bark of trees, but like most mammals, they don’t digest wood very well, so they eat their excrement to get the most out of a meal until it eventually comes out looking like sawdust.
Beavers are vegetarians and they mostly eat plants, leaves, fruits, vegetables in summer, spring and autumn. And they store trees, twigs, branches, leaves and logs in the autumn in beaver’s fridge where the vegetation will keep fresh through long winter when the pond is covered with ice. And since they don’t hibernate in winter, they will access and use the underwater food stores when their ponds are frozen over.
How & Where Beavers Store Food?
Beavers maintain the water at a high level and when floods, they swim to the woodland and strip off the bark fallen tree truck and nibble at it. They will bring it to their pond and there, where the water is deepest, they dive down and push each branch firmly into the mud at the bottom. And This is the beaver’s fridge where the food (trees, logs…) will be stored and kept fresh in the long winter and when the ice has covered their ponds. Stocking the fridge takes a lot of work and the beavers are their busiest in autumn.
Where Can I Get A Beaver?
While it’s illegal to keep beaver in most states, you won’t be able to get a beaver from a pet store. If you find an orphan beaver, you can’t really raise it. It’s illegal, but you can probably help it connect to her mother.
When Are Beavers Most Active?
Beavers are primarily nocturnal and are most active at night. You can usually see them at the dawn and at the dusk. Beavers usually sleep in the day and are mostly active at night. Beavers mostly find foods and build dams during the night and would even work in the day as sleep can wait and lose time especially when the winter is near and a juveline beaver has an entire dam to build. This rodent will work day and night reproducing what he has learned, tries to make the most of the materials nature provides. Typically, it takes one to two months to build a dam for a juveline beaver.
By October, winter is well underway, whereas marmots would now be hibernating, beavers will remain active throughout the winter. Even when the pond ices are over completely, they are still able to swim under the ice to get back and forth to their lodge. They bring branches from the fridge back to their lodge to feed the family. The lodge is warm and safe even in the midwinter and the only sing of activity in the snug home beneath the snow is hot air rising from the vent at the top.
Where Are Beavers Active The Most?
While beavers can get around well on land, they are most at home in the water where their webbed hind feet and large paddle-like tail make them powerful swimmers above and below the surface.
At one side of the lake stands their lodge, a fortress built of branches and boulders, that’s so strong that not even a bear could break into it. The only entrance is through tunnels that open underwater and the beavers take refuge here whenever they are alarmed. Most lodges have at least two different entrances.
When Do Beavers Mate?
Beavers mate from January to March in the winter season. Their gestation period takes 8 to 18 weeks and produces one to six litters at a time in May or June. They are monogamous and sticks to one female beaver for life unless one of them dies, it will mate with another.
What Sounds Do Beavers Make?
When they are aware of the presence of a threat or danger, beavers slaps the water with their tail and makes a noise to signal of a danger that was around. Then they hide and don’t appear for some time.
They will stay underwater and they can stay there for up to 15 minutes. They can actually get back to the safety of their lodge without putting their head above the surface for a single second.
Similar to dolphins that jump out of the water, beavers warn by making growling and hissing sound prior to attack. In addition to it, they also make distinct grunts, grumbles, and barks and as well as they make whining or high-pitched cyring sound like a baby.
Why Beavers Build Dams?
The entrance to a beaver lodge is underwater, so beavers can safely scoot in and out.
Beaver couples often mate for life and beaver kits live with their parents for a couple years while they practice their engineering skills.
In addition to creating their own lake, beavers construct a make-shift fridge and winter-time snug.
How Beavers Build Dams?
At two years old, when the young juvenile has reached sexual maturity, he will go build his own dam and lodge for his future family. He will be now on his own skills and ability to design and build his territory.
The young act as apprentice builders, learning the tricks of the trade. The final results are impressive. In the Rocky Mountains, beaver dams slowly filter billions of tons of water. The pond builds up soil and nutrients and help prevent floods and droughts.
Summer and winter makes vast structure traps water behind it and creates a pond deep enough to build a safe home.
Finding a suitable building site in a unique area is challenging and building a new dam is another whole challenge of its own. But if he finds an abandoned lodge of another beaver in a well place, it’s probably his fortune day and he will build it up preferably and easily.
The way he will do is first, he will gnaw and turn down lots of trees. Then he will take some stones and place and fit them onto the way of water to stop water from falling or running first. In the second attempt, it will send the trees over the stones on the way of water.
He will completely cover the entire structure with the branches on the way of water. Then he packs mud between the branches to make it stronger and remove the leaks and even reduce the risk of leaks in the future. Sometimes, the dams break due to the flow being stronger than usual or due to the lack of good build by juvenile beaver.
Benefits of Beavers In The Wild
Beavers are one of the ultimate keystone species that play a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community. Their dams create habitats for dozens of species filter and purify water and enrich the soil by trapping sediment and nutrients. Beaver ponds reshape landscapes on such an enormous scale it impacts all other wildlife and vegetation in the area.
Earth is home to two beaver species today. One in Europe and these here in North America. They are the second-largest rodents they have big front teeth that never stop growing. That’s how they are able to chew and chop down large trees. Besides they’re carpenters, they even play the part of plumbers. When a beaver hears the sound of running water, it drives them nuts, they know the dam has sprung a leak and they have an uncontrollable instinct to go patch it up.
Before European colonists arrived, there were as many as 400 million beavers in the US and Canada. North America was covered with tens of millions of beaver dams. Imagine between 5 and 30 beavers on every kilometre of stream or river on the whole continent!
They are responsible for most of the farmland in the West. But over a few hundred years they were almost hunted to extinction. Beavers were big business. They were trapped for fur, mostly to make hats, but also for sacs on their butts full of castoreum—a pungent substance used in perfumes. The British Hudson’s Bay Company even tried to eradicate beavers from the Pacific Northwest, figuring with no beavers left to hunt, the United States would stop its westward expansion.
Wherever pioneers went, they killed every beaver they could find, despite the fact that beavers were responsible for most of the farmland in the West. Populations dwindled from millions to the low thousands.
Without beaver dams, huge areas of land are left with less water. hundreds of species (like fish, birds, insects, and amphibians) are left without a habitat.
Now that we’ve realized how important they are, beaver populations are starting to recover. More beavers mean more homes for fish and birds, fresher water, and less damage from flooding and forest fires.
Now if you would keep beavers as pet, not only they aren’t comfortable and happy with you but they are also a loss for our nature and ecosystem.
With no doubt, beavers are pretty adorable wild critters, but beavers have never good pets, neither they are trainable to be so. Beavers are nature lovers and they live and love to be in the wild. In fact, their lodge (home) is in the water and you may take them as water creatures like fish. They build dams, chew and eats wood, vegetables and defecate and even doesn’t hesitate to eat their own defecate.
Neither it is legal nor it is beneficial or easy to keep or raise a beaver, not into a cage. That’s not the place you would put your pet. And if you find an orphan beaver, you may try your best to connect it to her family. Even if you raise him with you, he will still be a beaver and would do all those damages and things. More importantly, he will try everything to make a dam despite he wouldn’t have learned, he will. If you love them or would like to keep them as a pet, you may leave them alone in the wild. That’s the most helpful thing you can.