Exotic Pets

12 Deer Species That Are Kept as Pets

Deer are captivating creatures, and some deer species have found their way into the hearts and homes of pet owners. Fallow deer, muntjac deer, and axis deer are among the popular choices, offering unique companionship with their gentle nature and graceful presence.

Whether you’re looking for a pet deer that’s well-suited for domestication or one that is native to your area, this guide will help you explore the various species of deer that are kept as pets. Read on to learn more about 12 popular deer species!

1. Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer, also known as Dama dama, are a popular species of deer that are becoming increasingly common as pets. This is due to their small size, friendly nature, and adaptability to different climates and environments. Fallow Deer have unique features, with their strikingly beautiful coat made up of light brown and cream spots, and their big round ears that stand out on their delicate faces.

They are herbivores, which means they can be easy to care for compared to other species of deer that require complex diets. With proper training and handling, Fallow Deer can develop strong bonds with their owners and make excellent pets. Due to their delightful nature and beautiful appearance, it is not surprising that they are considered one of the best species of deer to keep as a pet.

Fallow Deer

2. Reindeer

Reindeer, also known as caribou, are truly fascinating creatures and make excellent pets in the right environment. They have been domesticated for centuries by the indigenous Sami peoples of Scandinavia and Russia, and are now gaining popularity in other parts of the world. These majestic creatures are not only beautiful with their unique antlers and soft fur, but they also have a gentle temperament and are highly intelligent and social animals.

With proper care and attention, they can form close bonds with their owners and provide years of enjoyment. Additionally, reindeer are hardy and resilient animals that are well-suited for colder climates, making them ideal pets for those living in northern regions. So if you’re looking for a unique and rewarding animal companion, consider bringing a reindeer into your life!


3. Sika Deer

Sika Deer, also known as Cervus nippon, native to East Asia, is one of the best deer that can be kept as pets due to their docile nature and adaptability to various climates. They grow to be relatively small in size, making them ideal for those with limited space. Despite their smaller size, they are still incredibly strong and able to jump four times their own height.

These deer also have a unique pattern of antlers each year, making them an interesting addition to any home or farm. Sika Deer are social animals, making them easy to train and connect with. They are also intelligent and have been trained to participate in activities such as hiking and agility courses. Overall, Sika Deer make wonderful pets for those who are up for the task of caring for one.

Sika Deer

4. Père David’s Deer

Père David’s Deer, also known as Elaphurus davidianus, is an incredibly rare species of deer that can be found living in captivity and kept as pets. This species is native to China but became extinct in the wild due to overhunting. Père David’s Deer are easily recognizable by their large ears, distinctive white spots, and long, powerful legs.

These deer are known for their docile and friendly nature and can be quite affectionate if properly handled and cared for. They have been kept as pets for generations by Chinese Emperors, and they make wonderful companions due to their intelligence and strong personalities. While they require a larger space to roam around in, if you have the space to provide them with, they can make an excellent and rewarding pet.

Père David's Deer

5. Muntjac Deer

Muntjac deer, also known as Muntiacus reevesi, is a popular choice among deer enthusiasts as a pet due to their charming appearance and low-maintenance personality. These small and charming creatures, weighing in at around 20-25 pounds, are a joy to be around. Unlike other deer species, the Muntjac is quite docile and non-aggressive, making them ideal pets for families with children.

This deer requires minimal space and can thrive in any backyard or enclosed space. They are also known for being easy to feed, mainly eating fruits, vegetables, and some grains. Their lifespan is generally around 12-16 years if well taken care of, meaning that they make lifelong companions. Overall, the Muntjac deer is an excellent choice for those seeking a unique and loving pet with minimum care requirements.

Muntjac Deer

6. Axis Deer

Axis Deer, also known as Axis axis, is a fascinating and beautiful animal with a unique personality that makes it the perfect pet choice. Originally from India, these deer are known for their slender physique, striking coat, and gentle disposition. Axis Deer are relatively low-maintenance pets, requiring adequate space to roam and graze, and a proper diet of hay, pellets, and fresh water.

They are easy to train, respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, and can even be litter-box trained. Additionally, Axis Deer have a docile nature that makes them excellent companions and ideal for family settings. They are also sociable animals that thrive when kept in pairs, and as pets, they offer a unique opportunity to connect with wildlife in a close and intimate way.

Axis Deer

7. Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer, also known as Odocoileus virginianus, are a species of deer that is native to North America and is one of the most popular types of deer kept as pets. These majestic animals have iconic white-tailed coats and striking antlers that set them apart from other pet deer species. They are highly adaptive and able to thrive in both wild and domestic environments due to their intelligence.

Whitetail Deer can be quite affectionate towards their owners, forming strong bonds with them over time. As pets, they require plenty of space to roam around as well as a proper diet consisting of hay, fruits, vegetables, and grains. They also have a long lifespan if properly taken care of, with some individuals living up to 20 years in captivity. With proper training and handling, Whitetail Deer can make wonderful companions for those looking for an interesting pet.

Whitetail Deer

8. Chinese Water Deer

Chinese Water Deer, also known as Hydropotes inermis, make great pets due to their smaller size and friendly demeanor. These deer are known for their unique feature of protruding canine teeth, which have earned them nicknames such as “vampire deer” or “snaggletooth deer.” While they may look intimidating with their fangs, these teeth are primarily used for mating rituals and do not pose a threat to humans.

Chinese Water Deer are also low-maintenance pets as they do not shed, require little grooming, and are able to adapt to various living conditions. It is important to note that owning a deer is not legal in all areas and requires a permit in some states. As with any pet, it is crucial to research and understand the proper care and regulations before making the decision to bring a Chinese Water Deer into your home.

Chinese Water Deer

9. Moose Deer

Moose Deer, also known as Alces alces, is one of the largest species of deer and can be kept as pets in some areas. While they may look intimidating due to their size and antlers, moose are actually quite gentle animals with a calm temperament. However, it is important to note that these large creatures require ample space and resources to be kept healthy, which can make them a costly pet.

Moose Deer also require special attention when it comes to diet as they are herbivores with specific nutritional needs. They should have access to hay, grasses, and other types of vegetation, supplemented with minerals if necessary. If you’re looking for a unique and rewarding pet, the moose deer might be the perfect choice for you.

Moose Deer

10. Red Deer

Red Deer, also known as Cervus elaphus, is considered one of the best deer species as pets due to their gentle temperament and adaptability. These beautiful mammals are native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests to grasslands. Red Deer can live up to 20 years in captivity and are known to be intelligent and social, forming strong bonds with their caregivers.

However, it is important to note that owning a deer as a pet requires significant responsibility, as they require a lot of space, a specialized diet, and regular veterinary check-ups. Additionally, in some states, owning a deer as a pet may be illegal without the proper permits. If you are considering owning a Red Deer as a pet, it is crucial to do your research and make sure you are able to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment.

Red Deer

11. Roe Deer

Roe Deer, also known as Capreolus capreolus, are a species of deer that make excellent pets due to their friendly disposition and adaptability. These small deer are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa and have an appealing appearance with their characteristic white spots on their fur. They require minimal space to roam around in and can be kept in a large enclosure or backyard.

Roe Deer are also relatively low-maintenance pets, requiring regular exercise, nutritious food, and lots of love from their owners. They are playful and social animals that enjoy interacting with humans and will form strong bonds with their caregivers over time. If you’re looking for a unique and loving pet, the Roe Deer might be the perfect addition to your family.

Roe Deer

12. Blackbuck Deer

Blackbuck Deer, also known as Antilope cervicapra, are small to medium size species of deer native to India and Pakistan that are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world as pets. They are recognizable by their characteristic black and white coats, long ears, and small antlers. Blackbuck Deer are docile animals that require a lot of space to roam around in and a specialized diet to stay healthy.

These deer also need regular exercise and socialization to remain happy and contented as pets. With the right care, Blackbuck Deers can form strong bonds with their owners, and they make excellent companions for those looking for a unique pet. So if you’re looking for an interesting and rewarding animal companion, the Blackbuck Deer might be the perfect choice for you!

Blackbuck Deer

In Conclusion

There is a wide variety of deer species that can make wonderful pets if properly cared for and given the necessary space and resources. With their playful personalities and captivating beauty, adding a pet deer to your family can be a truly rewarding experience.

Before deciding to bring home one of these majestic creatures, however, it is important to do your research to ensure that they are a good fit for you and your lifestyle. With the right amount of dedication and commitment, you can be sure to find an amazing companion in one of these 12 deer species!

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