Primates are an uncommon pet in the UK and a limited number of species are available due to wildlife protection and trade regulations. Primates are not ideally suited as pets and have extremely complex behaviours and requirements that must be accounted for to ensure they have good health and welfare. If you are absolutely sure you want a primate as a pet, you MUST do your research thoroughly so you know what is required of you as an owner and you need to have everything ready before your pet arrives. You should also seek out a veterinary practice that is able to provide care and attention to your pet as there are few who will. Village Vets has a lot of experience in treating various primate species and we are happy to discuss any concerns you have about your pet.
The most common species of primates we see include marmosets, tamarins, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, bushbabys and lemurs.
Primates are omnivores in the wild and may eat fruit, nuts, seeds, meat and insects depending upon what is available. It is very hard to replicate this in a domestic environment and commercially available primate pellets are designed to suit their nutritional needs.
Ideally, housing will be similar to what the primate might see in the wild, but this is not always possible. Their enclosure should be big enough to allow them to move about freely and ideally will give them both indoor and outdoor access. They should have beams and shelves to climb on, ropes may be of use in addition to nest boxes depending upon species. As they are very curious and intelligent, toys may be of great benefit to their play. If you cannot provide outdoor access to your pet, it is important to provide them with UVB light to avoid bone problems.
Primates are social and need a lot of attention, especially if they are housed singly - whether they need housing in groups or pairs varies by species. If you keep mixed sexed groups and do not wish to breed them, you might want to consider contraception.
Please note: Due to our close evolutionary relationship, humans are at risk of catching diseases from primates and vice versa. If you are ill, avoid coming into contact with your pet primates. If they are ill it is vital that you practise good hygiene to avoid becoming ill yourself.
There are a whole range of different problems that your pet primate can experience, some of which are entirely preventable with the right advice and care:
If you are in any way concerned about the health of your pet, please contact us for advice and we will be happy to help.
Monday 09.00 - 18.00
Tuesday 09.00 - 18.00
Wednesday 09.00 - 18.00
Thursday 09.00 - 18.00
Friday 09.00 - 18.00
Village Vets Centre Ltd
65 Quarry St
Tel.: 0151 428 8600
Tel.: 0151 428 8600