So, you want a seal as a pet? It sounds awesome to have a pet seal but this wouldn’t be easy to pull off.
First, let me give you some brief details about seals and we’ll discuss them further.
There are 33 different species of seals (pinnipeds) living today.
The average seal in the wild can live up to 30 years, grow to be between 3 to 20 feet, and weigh between 100 pounds (45 kg) to over 4 tons (3,629 kg).
Seals can be found around the world, although most of them will be found in cold-water environments in the wild.
They can range greatly in size depending on the species, their geographical area, and their age.
Can You Have a Seal as a Pet?
Yes, you can have a seal as a pet but you will need a huge saltwater pool, lots of supplies throughout the year, and lots of money to keep your new pet seal fed and cared for.
Taking care of a pet seal will not be an easy task.
Seals need to eat around 5% of their body weight PER DAY. If your pet seal weighs 800 pounds (363 kg), then it would need to eat 40 pounds (18 kg) of fish each and every day.
That is a lot of fish and a lot of money spent.
Can I Have a Seal as a Pet in the United States?
Yes, you can have a seal as a pet in the United States as long as you can provide the accommodations needed for your new pet seal. Pet seals need a special habitat, lots of food per day, and other needs your typical pet wouldn’t.
Seals are semiaquatic and need to have a habitat that has salt water, such as a saltwater pool or some type of body of water along with a pebble beach setup, and as mentioned, lots of fish to eat.
Can I Have a Seal as a Pet in the UK?
Yes, you can have a seal as a pet in the UK. The United Kingdom has bans on taking, injuring and killing seals for the purpose of commercial intent, but I didn’t find any exotic pet laws about having seals as a pet.
Click the link to view the Marine Species & Wildlife: Protection bill that provides more details about the importing and exporting of seal products in the UK for commercial intent.
Can I Have a Seal as a Pet in Australia?
Per the Australian Government’s EPBC Act, it is illegal to injure, keep, kill, move, take, or trade any marine species occurring within Australian waters, on Australian Government land, or in Commonwealth waters without having a proper permit.
However, the act also states that if the animals are in state jurisdictions, the relevant state legislation would apply.
You will need to check your state legislation to determine if owning a pet seal is legal for you in Australia, but the odds don’t look good based on the verbiage of the EPBC Act.
Things to Know Before Owning a Pet Seal
Owning a seal as a pet won’t be easy. You will need lots of supplies and the right accommodations for your new pet seal.
Let’s look at some of the things you will need to own a seal as a pet.
1. Pet Seal Habitat
Your new pet seal will need a huge habitat, something like a saltwater pool and a pebble beach.
Seals are semiaquatic and spend some of their time in the water and some on land.
They need a large space to move around and be comfortable in their habitat.
2. Pet Seal Diet
What Do Pet Seals Eat?
To have a pet seal you will need lots of money for food. In the wild, these exotic animals eat fish, squid, penguins, and other marine animals.
As a pet, you would be feeding your pet seal a boatload (no pun intended) of fish per day and year, since they eat a lot of food per day.
How Much Do Pet Seals Eat Per Day?
Since most seals consume around 5% of their body weight per day, you need to know how much your seal weighs to determine how much food is needed.
If your seal is around 200 pounds (91 kg), your pet will need around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fish per day. They have a huge diet and will not be cheap to feed.
How Much Do Pet Seals Eat Per Year?
If a 200-pound (91 kg) seal consumes around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fish per day, then it would consume around 3,650 pounds (1,656 kg) of fish per year.
If an 800-pound (363 kg) seal consumes around 40 pounds (18 kg) of fish per day, then it would consume over 14,600 pounds (6,623 kg) of fish per year.
3. Pet Seal Behavior & Temperament
Seals are not your average exotic pet. They are one of the larger types of exotic pets you can own. They can be very dangerous and they can bite.
Training a pet seal for domestic purposes will require a lot of money and a professional trainer specifically for seals.
Can Seals Be Good Pets?
Seals could be great as pets if you are able to afford the accommodations needed to ensure your pet seal is comfortable and well-taken care of.
Most people won’t think of a seal as a pet because it does require a lot of money, space, and effort.
Before you decide if a pet seal is right for you, check out 5 reasons a seal wouldn’t make for a good pet.
5 Reasons Seals DO NOT Make Good Pets
Below are 5 reasons that seals do not make good pets.
1. Seals Are Huge
Seals are huge animals and will not be the most convenient animal to have as a pet. When your dog gets sick, you just load them up in the car and take them off to the vet. Obviously, you can’t do that with a pet seal.
They would require special transport or have a vet come out to where you are, which will be even more expensive for a house call.
2. Seals Require Special Habitats
It’s not like you can buy a baby seal and then go stick them in the bathtub. They are going to need much better accommodations.
A pet seal still needs to live outside and have the ability to go into the water and shed on the land.
If you have money for a beach and a saltwater enclosure — then a pet seal may be a great pet for you — but most of us can’t accommodate like that.
3. Seals Can Be Dangerous
While seals aren’t known to harm humans when humans keep their distance, they can bite which can lead to a nasty infection.
Seals aren’t the most mobile on land but they are big enough and dangerous enough to hurt you if they become aggressive.
4. Seals Are Mammals
Since seals are mammals like us, they have the ability to pass on certain viruses and pathogens to us like rabies and herpes – as well as other bacteria and diseases.
5. Seals Are Predatory
Seals are predatory animals. They have the instinct to hunt and kill. If not trained properly, instincts could kick in.
Even though there isn’t much evidence of seals deliberately attacking a human, there’s not enough data to really know how the interaction would be when having a seal as a pet.
6 Common Species of Seals
Below are 6 of the more common species of seals.
1. Elephant Seals
The largest seal species is the elephant seal, to be more specific, the northern and southern elephant seals.
Males can grow to a length over 20 feet and can weigh more than 8,000 pounds (3,700 kg). However, the females are much smaller than the males.
2. Fur Seals
They are called fur seals because they have thick fur. Males can grow up to 7 feet and weigh around 600 pounds (272 kg).
Females are smaller than males, growing up to 5 feet and weighing around 120 pounds (55 kg).
3. Gray Seals
Gray seals can grow to about 10 feet for males and 7.5 feet for females. Adult males can weigh around 900 pounds (408 kg) while a female can weigh around 550 pounds (250 kg).
4. Harbor Seals
Harbor seals can grow to be around 6 feet in length and weigh around 300 pounds (136 kg) for adult males, while females will be slightly smaller.
Harbor seals in the Pacific Ocean are typically larger than seals found in the Atlantic Ocean.
5. Harp Seals
Harp seals grow to be around 5 to 6 feet long and can weigh close to 300 pounds (136 kg) for adult males, and slightly smaller for adult females.
They have a narrow snout with a small head and 8 pairs of teeth for the upper and lower jaws.
6. Leopard Seals
Leopard seals can grow to be around 10 feet in length and 1,300 pounds (590 kg) in weight, with the females being larger than the males.
They have a large head, large flippers, and a long body that resembles a serpent.
How Much Do Pet Seals Cost to Own?
Pet seals are very expensive animals to own. They require special accommodations and a large space.
They consume lots of food and supplies at a very high rate.
I came up with a list of everything you need and what your initial costs will be when purchasing a pet seal.
I based the calculations on a 200-pound (91 kg) seal for the price point.
I also calculated how much it would cost to feed a 200-pound (91 kg) seal for an entire year based on the average cost for salmon by the pound ($7-$15 USD) to help you budget for that.
|Cost of Purchase (USD)
|$25,000 to $80,000
|$5,000 to $10,000
|Food & Diet (1st year)
|$25,550 to $54,750
If you looked at the cost of food and went “Oh my, that can’t be correct!“, it looked crazy to me as well. But here is how I calculated to get that number.
A 200-pound (91 kg) seal eats around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fish per day.
The average cost of a pound of salmon in the U.S. is between $7-$15 based on buying in bulk.
There are 365 days in a year. Based on this data, I came up with the following formula:
|Diet Per Day
|Cost Per Pound
|$7 (USD, low end)
|$15 (USD, high end)
I know those numbers look crazy, but I did the calculations several times.
Now, for someone who “knows” a guy, they would find a way to cut down on that expense and get their fish by the pound cheaper, but it is still going to be a lot of money to feed a pet seal.
The cost to own a seal as a pet can get really expensive. If you really love seals, an alternative is to help by symbolically adopting a seal.
Where Can I Buy a Pet Seal?
Buying a pet seal won’t be easy. I researched and researched and didn’t find any valid numbers that I could present to you.
You can expect to pay a hefty price to own a pet seal, probably between $5,000 to $10,000 as the best guess. However, the initial price will just be the start.
Before buying a seal, ensure you understand what type of budget you will need to house and feed a seal as a pet by reading the entirety of this article.
Do Seals Like to Be Petted? Can I Pet a Seal?
If you see a seal on the beach, you should keep your distance. In nature, seals are large, wild animals that can be dangerous in certain circumstances, such as you trying to pet one on the beach.
If a seal feels threatened, it may attack to defend itself, especially if there is a mother and baby seal present.
Not only is it dangerous because seals are large and wild, but seals are also mammals like us.
Since they are mammals like us, they can pass on certain diseases and viruses — like herpes, rabies, and other pathogens to you.
So let’s admire these beautiful animals from afar and let them be in their natural environment.
Having a seal as a pet sounds really cool, but it just doesn’t seem possible for many of us.
Even if you have enough money to support a seal as a pet, you would need a large area to build a proper habitat for your pet seal.
In this article, I mentioned that seals are legal to have as pets and gave you different regions and what their exotic pet laws are.
I provided you with estimated costs to buy and own a seal as a pet.
I also included reasons a seal wouldn’t make a great pet for you and provided you with the 6 most common seal species.
I hope this article provided you with the information you were looking for.
I always strive to provide as much valuable information in my articles as possible without having a mountain of text.