10 Reasons Dinosaurs Make Bad Pets

Why You Should Think Twice About Adopting a Pet Dinosaur

It seems that everyone these days is keeping dinosaurs as pets, what with supermodels tugging tiny Microraptors on leashes and pro football players adopting full-grown Utahraptors as team mascots. You might find that to be humorous, but before you fill out the paperwork at your local dinosaur shelter, here are some things you may want to consider. (Don't agree? See 10 Reasons Dinosaurs Make Good Pets.)

1. Pet dinosaurs are expensive to feed.

If you don't happen to have a Cycad Hut or Ginkgo Emporium in your neighborhood, you might find it difficult to scrounge up sufficient vegetable grub for your pet Apatosaurus (and your neighbors probably won't appreciate him eating the tops of their shrubs). And do you know how many cute, fuzzy mice, rabbits and Labrador Retrievers the average Deinonychus goes through every day?

2. It's virtually impossible to teach a dinosaur tricks.

It's easier to train your cat to clean your windows than to teach the average dinosaur to sit, fetch, or heel. Your pet Ankylosaurus will probably just sit there on the floor and stare at you dolefully, while your teenaged Spinosaurus eats the drapes from the top down. (With a little persistence, though, you might be able to teach a purebred Troodon to roll over.)

3. Dinosaurs create a lot of poop.

Unless you live smack in the middle of a turnip farm, you may have a hard time disposing of the hundreds of pounds of poop the average Triceratops generates every day. Flushing it down the toilet isn't an option, and neither is using it for insulation in your attic. Some pet owners have experimented with creating kiln-dried dinosaur-poop furniture, with mixed results.

4. No veterinarian will want to de-claw your dinosaur.

For liability reasons, most municipalities require you to trim the claws of any raptors, tyrannosaurs, or allosaurs residing in your household. Good luck getting a vet to do this, and if you do miraculously find someone willing to take on this task, even better luck stuffing your Gigantoraptor into your Honda Odyseey and shlepping it to the clinic.

5. Your pet dinosaur will want to sleep in your bed.

In the wild, dinosaurs are accustomed to hunkering down in rotting foliage, urine-soaked sand dunes and ash pits strewn with rotting carcasses. That's why the average Styracosaurus will insist not only on sharing your mattress, but layering on every freshly washed duvet cover in the house and using your pillows as antler cozies.

6. Dinosaurs aren't very good with children

As much as kids love dinosaurs, it's unfair to expect the average Ceratosaurus to reciprocate that affection, especially since a well-fed 5-year-old can supply a week's worth of calories. Teenagers will have a slightly easier time of it; in any case, they'll put up more of a fight before being swallowed head-first.

7. Dinosaurs aren't very good with other dinosaurs, for that matter.

So you're looking forward to hauling your pet Majungatholus over the local dinosaur park and meeting that cute chick with the Archaeopteryx popping out of her handbag. Well, bad news: the only thing dinosaurs hate more than children is other dinosaurs. Take your pet to the dog run instead, then sit back and watch the fun.

8. Dinosaur pet-sitters are hard to come by.

Isn't it cute when your neighbor's eight-year-old daughter drops by to pet your kitty, feed it kibble and scoop out the litterbox? Well, she might think twice about doing the same for your pet Therizinosaurus, especially given the mysterious disappearance of the last six pet-sitters you hired to do the job.

9. Most cities have very strict dinosaur leash laws.

Unless you live in Seattle (for some reason, Seattle is very liberal about these kinds of things) you can't just saddle up your pet Centrosaurus and take it out onto the sidewalk. Flout the rules, and your municipality's animal-control squad will gladly tug your pal over to the nearest dinosaur shelter, assuming they aren't eaten first.

10. Pet dinosaurs take up a lot of room.

As a general rule of thumb, the American Purebred Dinosaur Association (APDA) recommends at least 10 square feet of living space per pound of dinosaur. That's not much of a problem for a 25-pound Dilophosaurus puppy, but it could be a deal breaker if you plan to adopt a full-grown Argentinosaurus, which will require its own aircraft hangar.