Gone are the days when keeping pets like dogs was just for hunting or protection.
Now, you can have pets to keep you company, reduce loneliness and give companionship.
Some pets have peculiar behaviors that could even amuse you.
Whatever your reason is, alpacas will make it worth your while as they make very good pets.
Alpacas are a specie of camelids that originated from South America. They look a lot like llamas but they are smaller.
They are easily domesticated and when treated with care, they make great pets.
When handled with care at a young age, they grow up to be friendly and docile.
They might even allow you touch their nose or pet them.
Alpacas make good pets as they do not have sharp teeth, hooves, claws or horns. They are not known to attack randomly or without cause and they make good protection for smaller animals like poultry and rodents.
Alpacas are very easy to take care of, they eat hay and also grass.
As long as you have a good pasture with plenty of green grass, you are good to go.
Alpacas are also good pets because they are neat and do not smell.
They do not litter everywhere with poo and urine and they make it easier for one to care for them.
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Are alpacas high or low maintenance?
Alpacas are low maintenance as they are easy to care for.
Keeping and maintaining them is very economical as they do not require much in terms of feeding.
They feed on pasture primarily which can be supplemented with hay.
They need shelter and protection from heat, rain and bad weather just like any other animal.
They also require certain vaccinations which are not expensive.
Their fleece is sheared once a year but this is more of an advantage than a disadvantage because their fleece is in high demand and you will get good money for it.
Some people even rear alpacas majorly for their fleece.
Their teeth and toenails need to be trimmed regularly in order to give them comfort.
You can learn to do this yourself instead of paying people to do it.
Alpacas are neat and do not make a mess of their shelter or bedding so it’s easy to care for these pets.
Do alpacas and dogs get along?
Alpacas and dogs do get along but it depends on the breed of dog and how you introduce them.
Alpacas generally dislike the canid family so they don’t relate well with dogs, especially wild dogs.
A few steps could however be taken to ensure your alpacas and dogs get along.
First, before getting a dog, you have to decide if you’ll be getting a guard dog or a pet dog.
Alpacas are preys to some animals like wolves, foxes’ etc. so getting a guard animal for them would be wise.
If you decide to use a guard dog, you have to ensure the dog is properly trained.
- It has to be trained not to chase or run the alpacas. This could lead to bitter outcomes.
- It has to be trained not to play with the alpacas. It should remain in the background and not take an interest in them. They aren’t playmates, as a lot of things could go wrong while they are playing.
- It should only approach the alpacas when they are threatened or there’s a predator present. Otherwise, the alpacas are to be ignored.
The alpacas need to be trained to let the dog be too.
They should be trained not to play with the dog or run with it.
Running with the dog could ignite a prey response in the alpacas which will lead them to attack the dog.
Pet dogs should be trained to ignore the alpacas totally and it’s better if there’s a fencing between them.
So alpacas and dogs can and do get along but after proper training has been done for both the animals.
Can alpacas be house trained?
Yes, alpacas can be house trained.
They respond well to training and grow up to well behaved if taken care of properly.
Alpacas will not litter the house with poo if allowed inside.
They choose a spot outside to do that, and they all use the same spot which makes it easier for their dung to be disposed.
They will hold it in if kept inside and unable to use their spot.
You should note however that alpacas love to be outside.
So you have to make sure you take them outside to play and run for a while.
This makes them happy and more comfortable.
You should also ensure you house more than one as they like to be in each other’s company always.
How much does it cost to buy an alpaca?
There is no fixed price when it comes to buying alpacas because a lot of factors affect the price range.
You can get one for as low as $100 or $300 and you can buy one for as much as $10,000 and even more.
Some elite alpacas are sold for $50,000 and more.
If you live in an area where alpacas are very much reared and popular, it may cost less to buy one.
Bred females and breeding male alpacas usually cost more and young alpacas that are yet to mature cost less.
So age is an important factor when determining the price of an alpaca.
Bred females can range between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on where you live. Same goes for the breeding males.
The quality of the animal is also an important factor.
What’s the quality of the fleece? What’s the conformation and facial appearance of the alpaca?
Do alpacas smell bad?
They are extremely neat creatures.
They all poo in the same spot and and do not linger around their dung, or mess with their water.
Alpacas keep themselves dry and tidy.
Do alpacas bite?
Yes, alpacas do bite.
They however do not bite humans unless threatened or cornered.
Rogue alpacas do this but they are rare.
It is essential you trim alpacas’ teeth regularly to keep it in shape, ensure their comfort and avoid them from hurting one another while fighting.
Trimming their teeth is one of the ways to care for your alpacas.
Do alpacas bond with humans?
Yes, alpacas do bond with humans.
This however requires a level of trust.
Alpacas were preys in the wild and are generally conscious or wary of intruders.
Constant care, affection, attention and treats can make them trust you and bond with you though.
They come to recognize and trust you as their owners.
This builds a strong bond between you.
Alpacas are good pets as they respond well to training and are very neat.
They are low maintenance as they are easy to care for.
Dogs and alpacas can be trained to get along. This has been proven to work.
The prices for an alpaca depends on your location, its age, gender and conformation.
Alpacas do not smell and do not bite without a cause.
When taken care of well, they bond with humans and come to trust them.