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Pet Otter for Sale-How to Legally Own and Take Care of a Pet Otter

Pet Otter for Sale-How to Legally Own and Take Care of a Pet Otter

Individuals often find it shocking to learn that some people may and do legally keep exotic pets like lynx, fennec foxes, wild cats, and marmosets. There are numerous exotic creatures that people fantasize about acquiring, including newborn penguins, panda bears, and dragons. Other zoological creatures including meerkats, raccoon dogs, slow lorises, and pangolins cannot be kept as pets, at least not in the United States, for a variety of reasons. The federal government also protects native birds.

Oddly enough, otters are able to be lawfully acquired for private ownership.

pet otter for sale
Pet Otter for Sale-How to Legally Own and Take Care of a Pet Otter 4

Is It legal to own an Otter as pet?

The answer depends on where you are located because there are numerous various rules and regulations pertaining to “exotic” animals kept as pets, and they change from country to country and state to state. Due to our investigation into what isn’t lawful, we can only infer where they might be allowed. Contacting your state’s Department of Agriculture/Fish and Game would be the only way to be certain, and even they occasionally aren’t sure.

That being said, the majority of states—if not all—will probably outlaw the holding of domestic otters, and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act vigorously safeguards marine species (sea otters). One species, the Asian small-clawed otter, however, might be permitted in some nations and states.

These otters might be legal if their state does not prohibit the ownership of “non-domesticated carnivores” or the family Mustelidae (which includes Asian small-clawed otters), and if it does not have a terrible list of “non-regulated” animals that all species not named on it are considered illegal. Animal control and the Department of Health will nevertheless oppose keeping them as pets, even if this is the case.

Otters as Pets: Uncertain Laws and Regulations

Even those states with a reputation for having permissive pet rules have laws prohibiting at least some exotic animals. For instance, whereas 3 pound fennec foxes are technically illegal to keep in Nevada, lions and elephants are. In most places, legislation governing specific animals are ambiguous, and otters may be subject to regulation under one set of laws even while it may appear they are not permitted under another. For instance, while most states prohibit the ownership of big cats, primates, and bears as pets, most counties and towns in those that permit more unusual animals as pets do not.

Asian Small-Clawed Otter Facts

They are the world’s tiniest otter species.

They are indigenous to the mangrove swamps and freshwater marshes of Southern Asia.

On the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they are classified as vulnerable.

They primarily consume insects and frogs in the wild.
Threats to their conservation include habitat destruction, hunting, and pollution.

Do Asian otters make good house pets?

A good pet is what? It depends on what you’re looking for in an animal, but I often say there is no such thing as a good or bad pet. Even among those who keep unusual pets, Asian small-clawed otters are not frequently kept, despite being the otter species most adapted for confinement.

As you can expect, they are thought to require a lot of maintenance. To house them, provide them enrichment, and keep them safe and secure requires a great deal of time, work, patience, and skill.

Pet Otter for sale
Pet Otter for Sale-How to Legally Own and Take Care of a Pet Otter 5

Taking Care of Pet Otters
If you have been successful in getting an otter, please make sure you are prepared to keep it for the rest of its life and that you are knowledgeable on proper otter care. Here is a basic maintenance manual.

Caging your pet otter

Otters kept as pets must be confined. Housing Asian small-clawed otters will still be difficult for the typical individual or even an experienced exotic pet keeper—a large zoo enclosure with a natural lake is not necessary, though it wouldn’t hurt. The cage should be a reasonable size so that the animal has enough space to move around and forge.

Instead of providing measurements, We would suggest just picturing what you would consider a suitable length and width for a very fun and active carnivore that will spend most, if not all, of its life in the enclosure. In this situation, a standard dog run won’t do.

These otters are typically housed by zoo specialists since they require a tropical climate. When the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you must give them access to a heated space. They need a dry place because if they are constantly wet, they risk developing health problems, thus the ideal temperature for their pool is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The cage ought to include at least 30% water, depending on size. A top is necessary since otters do climb, which increases the complexity of the habitat. Because they can also dig out, fencing needs to extend underground.

Pet otter for sale
Pet Otter for Sale-How to Legally Own and Take Care of a Pet Otter 6


In captivity, an otter’s nutrition can change. Due of their high metabolic rates as carnivores, they must consume 20% of their body weight each day.

Cat food with all the necessary nutrients could serve as the base.

The diet can contain between 70 and 80 percent meat, including day-old chicks, chicken, deer, rabbit, etc.

Fish should make up 20–30% of the total.

The diet can be supplemented with vegetables, bugs, crayfish, monkey nuts, soft-boiled eggs, etc. To prevent stereotypical behavior, which happens when some animals are fed at specific times, this can be served seldom using a “scatter” strategy.

What Do Pet Otters Look Like?


Otters and the majority of exotic animals might not enjoy being restrained, especially around strangers. Those who enjoy playing with their dogs physically will be let down. Remember that cute baby otters you see interacting with their caretakers in the films above are frequently socialized young that have not yet achieved maturity.

Nevertheless, otters live up to their image as friendly, fascinating little critters. You may find a lot of well-known films showing them interacting with their caregivers in methods other face-to-face interaction.


Because they smell, otters are typically kept outside. They spread the excrement they continuously excrete to designate their territory.

What Other Domesticated Animals Are Like Otters?

If allowed, domesticated minks are essentially semi-aquatic animals that are much easier to find. They are difficult to maintain and need big enclosures and a lot of enrichment, like any mustelids that aren’t domesticated ferrets. Joseph Carter, a mink expert, also claims that mink bites can result in serious harm, albeit this is probably not worse than what an otter bite can do.

Then, of course, there are ferrets. If you enjoy cuddling with animals, ferrets are common household pets and a good alternative to their larger, more aquatic brown counterparts.

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