Can Penguins Be Pets?

Pet means an animal domesticated for companionship in a family. They are considered a family person. Many families have animal pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds like love birds, parrots, pigeons, etc. We may have the questions that- Can penguins be pets? How much does it cost? Can we maintain like other domesticated pets? Here is the answer to the above questions.

Can we own or maintain penguins as pets legally?

Maintaining or owning a penguin as a pet is not as easy as keeping a dog or other domesticated animals. Since they are protected legally, we cannot buy them as dogs. We have to buy them from the zoo that had bred it. To buy them we have to go under a strict procedure and a lot of paperwork.

  • Among all, you have to get permission from your local state or authorities.
  • You have to contact the officials of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS).
  • Must be licensed or registered with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), the authority who breeds animals commercially for sale, research, and transport.
  • If they permit, you can buy a penguin.

USDA authorities provide you the ownership of penguins if and only if you are capable of providing the minimum standards treatment like their vegetation, food, and health care, etc., 

Needs that we have to deliver for penguins to be a pet.

Penguins are social animals; they live in the colonies with their large family. Based on classified ads, there is an estimation that penguin cost from $500 to $20,000. Needs that we must provide to penguins are,

  • An extreme cold conditioned climate like Antarctica. Since they live in Antarctica, the southern part of the world in which the temperature ranges about -10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.
  • Must have an open vast room, large pool with clean and pure water which has a freezing temperature like the Antarctic.
  • A balanced diet; regular supply of food (fish), which must be fresh with no exceptions and it is estimating that they eat around 400 pounds of fish per year.
  • Since they are monogamous (maintain a partner per year), they can’t survive alone, need a partner – must buy both the male and the female penguins.
  • Penguins have to undergo regular treatment, and we are responsible for taking good health care.                          

Penguins are more expensive compared to dogs. How?

Familiar Domesticating Pet (Dogs)                              Penguins
These can survive in the average temperature that humans can lead his life. These cannot survive in the average temperature that humans cannot survive.
They do not need a vast room and a large water pool. They need a vast room and a large water pool with clean water and icy weather. 
They do not give you risky maintenance. They need risky maintenance and extra care.
They do not need a separate shelter – they can survive in the standard room of an ordinary house. They need a separate shelter – have to provide a wide cold room.
There is no ‘must’ condition to buy a partner; they can survive alone. There is a ‘must’ condition to buy a partner because they cannot survive alone.
Expenses per annum for one dog ranges from $250-$500. Expenses per annum for one penguin is around $1,000. Since it compulsory needs a partner so the investment double per annum.
They are human -friendly animals. They are not human- friendly animals like dogs.
It is not needed to take permission from the state, authorities, and federations to buy them. It must be needed to take permission from the state, authorities, and federations to buy them.


Finally, we can conclude that maintaining a penguin as a pet is not easy. It can be maintained only by wealthy people. Since penguins are so carefully protected, you are not able to own one in the states as a pet.


How Much Does a Penguin Cost?


I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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