Spiders of the world are fascinating creatures. Their daily habits, the food they eat, and their abilities are unique to anything else living on the planet. This is why many of us have taken to adopting different species as pets.
Lots of young children and adults across the nation have shown an increased interest in having spiders as pets. They are quieter than other pet options and intriguing to watch for periods as they hunt and build homes of their own.
They have a lifespan of two decades, allowing owners to grow attached to them and provide a healthy environment where they can thrive. Before taking one on as a pet, however, it is essential to know how much food and water to keep on hand for pet spiders.
One of the essential parts of having a pet spider is maintaining its health through its diet. Since it will be caged and living in a controlled environment, you will be responsible for maintaining its health and providing it the food it needs directly.
Before you purchase a pet spider, you need to have a background of what they eat and how much water they need to survive. Depending on the size and species of the spider, the answer to these questions vary. This is critical to determine if you can maintain this routine and regimen for these pets.
What do spiders eat?
It is essential to understand that spiders are carnivores and will need live prey to survive. This is an important fact to establish before taking them on as a pet. They need to hunt and kill their prey as a way of survival.
There is not a bag of food you can purchase, put in a bowl, and walk away like more traditional pets. Live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and even roaches make healthy meals for your spider.
Depending on their native environment, different species have different food requirements. Some are sustainable by specific insects, and the amount they eat will range depending on their size and maturity level of the spider.
Once you have purchased the insects for your pet spider, you will have to buy them regularly from pet stores. They must be stored live and then placed into the cage as live bait so that the spider can hunt and feed.
When you provide your pet spider, there is a certain amount of insects to feed them. For smaller species, one full-grown cricket is enough for a single meal.
In fact, these smaller species are able to eat on this large cricket for several days. This means that feedings could be spread from every other daily to once a week.
For more massive spiders, they may need two or even three depending on their size. Over time, you will also start to notice which insects your pet spider prefers and can base their meals on their preferences.
Knowing what insects live in their native environments could also give you a clue to their favorite snacks and what you can provide for them if you want to mix up their meals. Over time, you will also grasp how much they can eat in a meal and how often they really need to be fed.
How frequently do spiders eat?
Depending on the size and species of your spider will determine how frequently they need to eat. If they are young, they should eat daily to build their metabolism and aid in their growth.
Once they have reached maturity and honed in on their hunting skills, they can be fed every other day and maintain a healthy weight. Giving them a cricket every other day will keep the average-sized spiders happy and healthy.
All feedings for your pet spiders should be done at night because spiders are nocturnal. They prefer to move around in the early hours of the morning and hunt their prey.
Throw in cricket or two before bed, and when you wake up, your pet spider should be comfortably fed and sleeping well. If you attempt to provide them in the day time, they may eat, but chances are they will wait until later when it is dark to hunt the live prey, especially if the spider is older.
Periodically, your spider may go on a fast and not eat as much as they would regularly. These fasts can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the spider.
This is not something to be too concerned with right away, as they may be in the mood of homemaking and eating on their reserves that they have stored before eating a fresh meal again.
Just like fasting, they can also go through periods where they are feasting, and the food that you are providing does not seem to keep them fed. Their bodies are changing and acclimating to their environment, which will trigger these different periods throughout their life.
As time goes on and temperatures change where you live, you will notice these habits develop in your pet spider and learn when to expect these different behaviors related to their eating.
How about their water intake?
Like most living things, spiders do require water to survive. They do need to drink water and can be a bit sensitive to the type of water that is available. When supplying water for your pet spider, it should be chemical-free and fresh at all times.
Consider changing the water every other day if the spider does not drink what is available to them. For small spiders, a bottle cap of water is enough to quench their thirst over a couple of days.
You can use a bottle cap or use a shallow dish that is wider so that they can easily access their water. In the wild, these spiders collect water from morning dew and droplets found on leaves in trees and bushes.
The species and size of the spider determine the amount of water intake they need and how frequently they need it.
Even the spider species that do not traditionally drink water still require water in their environment. Some spiders will absorb the moisture they need from their surrounding environment.
Spiders who require that humid tropical environment are usually those in need of more water than others. It is essential to understand the native climate of your pet spider so that you can replicate this for them and provide their water needs in addition to their diet.
How long can a spider live without food and water?
The short answer to this question is four to eight weeks is the length of time a spider can survive without food or water for most species.
All spiders can store food and water within them, allowing them a reserve of food that will hold them over during times of fasting or when they are unable to find food.
Even after their food reserve is gone, they are still able to survive for several weeks without access to food or water. This could be in relation to the fasting that spiders do periodically throughout their lifetime.
If it has been weeks since you last fed your spider and you want to try and feed them, make sure that the prey you supply is both alive and smaller than usual amounts.
Your spider will only act on the insect that they see moving and living. When your spider is finally ready to drink the water available and start eating, they need to eat something smaller than their abdomen.
If it is larger, they will overeat, making themselves sick. In these cases, this could very well be their last meal. If they are on a fast, give them up to four weeks before trying to feed them again.