Exotic pets such as axolotls are often evocative of distant lands, about which we know very little. As with many things we don’t fully understand, there is an element of fear. In particular, the fear of the unknown. As a result, many prospective axolotl owners wonder if axolotls are dangerous and whether or not they are safe to keep as pets.
As an axolotl owner with a child and a few years of experience keeping axolotls, here’s what I can tell you:
Axolotls are not dangerous. In fact, they are typically harmless, docile creatures and don’t represent a threat to humans. On occasion, they may mistake your fingers for food and bite.
Keep on reading below for answers to related questions!
Table of Contents
- Are Axolotls Aggressive?
- Do Axolotls Carry Diseases?
- Are Axolotls Venomous?
- Are Axolotls Poisonous?
- Are Axolotls Dangerous To Dogs?
- Are Axolotls Poisonous to Eat?
Are Axolotls Aggressive?
Axolotls are not aggressive. As a matter of fact, they are amongst the most docile creatures you can encounter in the wild, or keep as a pet. They will not seek to attack humans.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that they are predators. In other words, they have a natural tendency to hunt other animals to feed themselves and survive. These prey animals generally consist of small mollusks, crustaceans, worms, larvae, or insects. Therefore, you could argue that axolotls are aggressive toward their prey.
In the wild and until recently, they were historically at the top of their food chain. They had evolved not to require the need to defend themselves, as once they reached adulthood they weren’t under any particular threat from the species with which they shared their habitats.
Do Axolotls Carry Diseases?
Axolotls can carry a number of diseases, the majority of which can make them ill but don’t affect humans. However, like many other salamander species, axolotls can carry a bacteria known as salmonella in their digestive tracts. Salmonella is one of the most frequently reported causes of food-related illnesses in the world. It can cause an infection that causes diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and stomach pains.
Therefore, it’s always best to thoroughly wash your hands after feeding or handing your axolotl, cleaning its poop or indeed its tank. And of course, always disinfect any bites (although it’s rare for axolotl bites to pierce your skin).
Are Axolotls Venomous?
Axolotls are not venomous.
A venomous creature delivers its venom (toxins) into its victims via a special delivery mechanism such as a bite or a sting.
Are Axolotls Poisonous?
Axolotls are not poisonous.
Or at least, not based on the research I’ve carried out. This is in fact somewhat of an anomaly, as most salamander species – such as the Tiger salamander for example – secrete some sort of toxin, of varying strength and in varying quantities.
A poisonous creature – just like a venomous creature – produces toxins. However, unlike the latter, poisonous animals don’t inject their toxins but can spray, slur, or deliver them upon contact with a threat.
Are Axolotls Dangerous To Dogs?
Axolotls are not dangerous to dogs, or cats.
Axolotls spend their entire lives underwater, so are effectively always in their tanks. That being said, axolotls have been known to jump out or fall out of their aquariums.
The main risk to domestic animals is a choking risk if your dog or cat were to try to eat an axolotl. Adult axolotls can be pretty big (up to 1 ft or 30 cm in length) and are rather grisly.
Are Axolotls Poisonous to Eat?
Axolotls can be eaten.
As a matter of fact, I wrote an article about it: Can You Eat Axolotls?
That being said, I REALLY DO NOT RECOMMEND eating axolotls.