20 Real Pokémon You Can Own as Pets
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Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.
The concept of the TV show Pokémon is the ultimate exotic pet-owning fantasy. In the world of Pokémon, you can collect numerous colorful species from the wild that you can train, keep comfortable in a tiny ball, and use to win battles. It is even acceptable to trade your Pokémon for better ones without anyone criticizing you for abandoning your pet. Ironically, while it perpetuates all the worst stereotypes about exotic pet owners, it has become immensely popular around the world.
Of course, it is only fiction. Despite this, most Pokémon are based off of real animals, and many of these species are actual pets you can own. Here’s a list of some animals that inspired their Poké-forms that you can acquire in real life. Be sure, however, that you have the space, knowledge, and financial means to care for them before you try to "collect them all."
1. Springhare (Pikachu)
Pikachu, the main character of the Pokémon series, is some type of rodent and has been described as a few different animals. He is most often identified as a type of mouse or a pika (only the name matches), however, the electrified character has a lot more features in common with the springhare. The springhare is also known as a springhaas, which is an African rodent. The animal is bipedal like Pikachu, and has black-tipped ears, a long tail, and long, flat feet. Springhares are rare in the American pet trade, unfortunately.
2. Toco Toucan (Toucannon)
Toucannon is obviously a toucan, specifically a toco toucan. This species is one of the more common toucans kept in captivity, however, they can be priced as high as $15,000. Large toucans are more difficult to manage than their smaller counterparts, like the aracaris. It is recommended to keep them in large walk-in aviaries.
3. Fennec Fox (Fennekin)
Fennekin is a fiery fennec fox, a very popular exotic pet mammal. These tiny foxes are in high demand for their compact size, cool factor, and visual appeal. Their price seems to increase every couple of years. They can be, however, rambunctious, very loud, and quite energetic. Unfortunately, foxes are not legal in all states.
4. Yellow-Collared Lovebird (Chatot)
This avian musical species closely resembles the yellow-collared lovebird in coloration. They are very popular in aviculture. Considered to be "easy" pets with an inexpensive purchasing price, they can still easily live over a decade with proper care (15-20 years is not unheard of). The standard recommendation for lovebirds is that they should be kept in pairs (hence the name).
5. Kissing Gourami (Luvdisc)
This character appears to be based off of the kissing gourami, a fish species that actually "kiss" each other (which can be seen in the above video), hence the name "Luvdisc" and its heart-shaped form. The fish have large lips that are actually used for fighting (so there is no love involved after all!). These freshwater fish are popular in aquariums.
6. Nudibranch (Shellos)
Nudibranchs, also called sea slugs, are often brilliantly colored and have highly specialized diets in captivity. Some species are very hard to care for. The most commonly kept of these fragile animals is the lettuce nudibranch (Tridachia crispata) that feeds on algae. Other species need specific foods like small sea anemones, and are not recommended for novice aquarists.
7. Hermit Crab (Dwebble)
This precious Pokémon is a hermit crab with a rock instead of a shell. Many different types of hermit crabs exist in the pet trade, including terrestrial and fully aquatic species. The most popular group of land hermit crabs often quickly die in droves due to improper care. Most people don't know that they require a larger aquarium with high humidity, deep sand, climbing enrichment, and access to salt and freshwater water.
8. Armadillo (Sandshrew)
Sandshrew is not a shrew but an armadillo, most closely resembling the three-banded armadillo. They are not popular as pets but are occasionally available, priced around $2500-3000. This particular species is the only armadillo that can completely roll itself into a ball. They are not native to the U.S. and are different from what people in some states might see in their backyard.
9. Flying Squirrel (Emolga)
This character is described as a rodent. It is, therefore, a flying squirrel instead of a sugar glider. These rodents are less popular than the latter, but still available. Specialized pouches are used when the squirrels are young to help the owner bond with them, which is very important.
10. Pistol Shrimp (Clauncher)
Clauncher is a type of crustacean, perhaps a pistol shrimp. There are a few species of pistol shrimp kept in aquariums that have different coloration. They have a fascinating symbiotic relationship with specific species of goby. Since the shrimp is blind, the fish keeps watch over their cave while the shrimp does the housekeeping.
11. Japanese Pheasant (Unfezant)
As Pokémon is a Japanese creation, it makes sense that the national bird of Japan would appear as one of the characters. The Japanese pheasant, or green pheasant, has been introduced to the U.S. (Hawaii) and the populations are stable. They are uncommon as farmed birds, and the populations that do exist have been hybridized with the common pheasant.
12. Pitcher Plant (Victreebel)
While not really a "pet" so much as it is a plant, Victreebel is a pitcher plant, which is carnivorous. Pitcher plants can be grown in your home or even outdoors in some areas as they are actually native to the United States. Carnivorous plants evolved due to nutrient-poor soil, and they prefer boggy conditions.
13. Axolotl (Wooper)
Wooper is the critically endangered (in the wild) Mexican salamander or axolotl. They are popular as pets and have relatively easy care. They like their water temperature cool (66 degrees F) and are slow moving.
14. Eastern Newt (Charmander)
Charmander looks like a few things, such as a dinosaur or some kind of lizard, but he also resembles the Eastern newt, a small orange amphibian. They can be found in the wild in some parts of the United States and are sometimes captured to be kept as pets. Three newts can be kept comfortably in a 10-gallon aquarium.
15. Seahorse (Horsea)
Seahorses are more advanced fish to care for, but easier if they are captive-bred specimens of certain species and, therefore, more readily accept frozen food. They like slow-moving water and something that they can "anchor" themselves to with their tails. They shouldn't be kept with other fish that can out-compete them for food because they eat slowly.
16. Magpie Jay (Articuno)
Articuno resembles a magpie jay, which is a bird not often kept as a pet. When they are kept as pets, they are housed in large walk-in aviaries. Magpie jays are corvids, which are a group of birds known for their high intelligence. Corvids need a lot of mental stimulation in captivity as well as room.
17. Rhinoceros Beetle (Heracross)
Bug keepers love rhinoceros beetles because of their tremendous size. Because of their outstanding size, they are a sought-after species and aren't regularly available. They are generally purchased as larvae, then they go on to live for a few months. Keepers also enjoy keeping them once they pass away as an impressive display specimen.
18. Centipede (Scoliopede)
The name "Scoliopede" comes from the term scolopendra, which is the genus name for several large species of centipede. A few different species of centipedes can be kept as pets, including the Vietnamese giant centipede. They have an extremely painful bite and should never be free handled. They are also quick and can chew their way out of plastic tanks.
19. Fancy Goldfish (Goldeen)
Goldeen is a fancy goldfish (without the horn). Goldfish care is a little more complicated than traditionally thought. They can live much longer than people expect, exceeding 20 years with proper care. They also are generally not given as much space as they should have.
20. Frilled Dragon (Heliolisk)
The frilled dragon is a very interesting lizard that also resembles that frilled dinosaur in the original Jurassic Park film. Frilled dragons are somewhat common in the reptile pet trade. They are arboreal and need a tall cage that also has a decent length to accommodate their size (2–3 for males, while females are 2/3rds that size).
© 2017 Melissa A Smith
Ash Ketchum on September 06, 2020:
Swallow actually exists in real life with the same name.
Giakawaiiqueen7899 on September 03, 2020:
no on August 02, 2020:
Lilac on July 15, 2020:
You can also have a pet moth like Venomoth
Leesh on April 26, 2020:
What about something more "classic"? Everyone can have a Herdier or Meowth at home :D
Zoe&Lana on March 08, 2020:
I wish there was an eevee because i love eevees. Lana (my sister) wishes there is a ditto and a togepi because she loves dittos and togepis.
Cansu on January 24, 2020:
This is so cool♥♥♥
AP on October 15, 2017:
While it's a common recommendation to keep lovebirds in pairs, it's also a bad one, one which stems from a time when birds were seen as pets to look at rather than to interact with, but one which lingers on no doubt in part thanks to pet stores who sell twice the birds that way. They absolutely do not need to be kept in pairs if you plan on interacting with them, and generally speaking the *best-case* scenario is that they bond to one another rather than you.
The worst-case scenario, which is very common in lovebirds which weren't raised together, is that one lovebird will cause the death of the other lovebird. Among other things this may happen through outright murder (lovebirds and parrotlets are the only parrots I've known to engage in such behavior), though stress of birds who don't get along, or from a female who is too young to breed trying to lay eggs and getting egg bound.
Lovebirds in pairs look absolutely adorable together, and if you just want a pet to look at, or otherwise don't mind if they end up not especially affectionate you *can* keep them in pairs, but if you do that you should try to get siblings from the same hatch, so that they already get along and won't try to breed.
10 games like Pokemon for the discerning trainer
If you've caught them all, why not catch these games like Pokemon to scratch your trainer itch
Sometimes you've played all you can of Pokemon, and what you really need is. some more games like Pokemon. Whether you're in it for the nurturing of small and adorable creatures, forcing furry minions to fight for your honor or exploring a fantasy world with friends, we've got someone to scratch that Pikachu-sized itch. Here's our list of the 10 best games like Pokemon.
How to choose the right dog or breed for your lifestyle
You may already have a specific breed of dog or puppy in mind before you begin searching for your next best friend. Not all dogs and families are a good match, and there are many factors that need to be considered before making a decision. Of course, the best way to know for sure that you have found your perfect match is to visit any potential dog candidates in-person. Consider some of these questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog.
- What size dog would best match a family with children?
- How do I match a dog’s energy level to my lifestyle?
- Which type of temperament works best with my personality?
- Which dogs have high and low grooming and maintenance needs?
25 Trophy Pikachu Trainer No. 1: Priceless
The Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card is a Pokémon card so rare, it's basically priceless. As far as we know, nobody has ever tried to sell one, and why would you? The only people to own one of these cards are those Trading Card Game players who've placed highly at an official competition. The rarest of the cards are the ones from the 1990s tournaments and are usually in Japanese. Since owning a Trophy Pikachu card is basically a status symbol, we doubt anyone will be flogging one on eBay any time soon!
Pet Tracking and General Combat
The ability to track wild pets will allow you to see which critters are capturable and which aren't. If you have the tracking ability selected for your mini-map, a green paw print will show up if a wild pet is nearby. This same icon will also appear above a critter if it is a pet you can battle and catch.
When you've chosen a wild pet you would like to battle, right click on the critter and it will take you into a unique Pet Battle UI. You can't engage a Pet Battle if you are in combat, and any attack from a player or nearby creature will remove you from the Pet Battle.
For the duration of the fight, creatures in the immediate area will not be visible to you (but they may still attack you if they wander too close). Keep in mind that other players will still be able to see you and attack you if you are eligible for player vs. player (PVP). Other players will also be able to view your pet battle in real time, including the pets involved as well as their health as the match progresses.
The Pet Battle UI
The Pet Battle combat UI will show you your active pet's abilities, your opponent's health, stats, quality and abilities, and there will be options for you to switch pets, pass a turn, capture a pet or forfeit the match.
The golden border and the 'speed' mini-icon surrounding a pet's portrait indicate its initiative (i.e., whether it will be the first to use an ability or attack each round). Initiative is based on a pet's speed, and if this stat is higher than your opponent's, you will be designated to go first.
Your Pet-Powered Arsenal
Each pet has 3 abilities it can use during a battle, but a total of 6 to choose from. They will also have a total of 3 active spell slots that show which abilities can be used during a Pet Battle. The first spell slot will already be unlocked, but the second and third will only become available once the companion has reached a certain level. Other spells will also unlock after reaching higher levels.
Each slot has two spell options, and you can switch abilities in each, but only before and after your pet battles—not during. To switch an active ability, click on a pet's active slot in your Pet Journal, and a select which ability you'd like your pet to use from the drop down menu.
When hovering over an ability, the tooltip will tell you whether or not that attack is weak or strong against certain pet types. Additionally, you can hover over the opposing team's pets and view their attacks during combat. This will be important since it’s a good idea to pit a pet that's strong against the opponent's pet who's vulnerable to that type.
How Pet Battles Work
Combat is turn-based and there is no time limit on each round in a PVE Pet Battle. You can take your time to determine which spell to use next. Some pet abilities have multiple round cooldowns, while others can do extra damage if certain conditions are met. Be creative and have fun testing which combination of attacks works best against different wild pets!
If your pet's health gets too low or its attacks aren't very effective against a certain combatant, you can always switch out your current pet with another companion on your team. Only pets that are considered active (i.e., those in your three Battle Pet Slots), may be switched in and out during the battle. Once the match is over, you can always change up your active pet team, which is useful if one of your pets is low on health or dead.
Each battle that you win will yield experience for each pet that participated. However, deceased companions will not receive any experience (so make an effort to keep them alive by swaping in a different pet). Experience gains are based on your pet's level compared to the wild pet. Defeating a higher level opponent will grant more experience than a much lower level one, but be ready for a tough fight!
Higher level wild pets are often accompanied by more than one critter in battle. Only after beginning the battle will you be able to see any accompanying pets on their team. To win the battle, you will need to defeat (or capture) all of the opposing battle pets, even the newly joined ones.