Axolotls, also known as Mexican Walking Fish, have recently seen a major increase in popularity among exotic pet owners. Despite this, owning a pet axolotl can be quite a hassle. Many states in the United States have ruled out the ownership of axolotls with the implementation of various laws.

As a citizen of Texas, the question may arise for you: Are axolotls illegal to own in the state of Texas?

Well, the good news is axolotls are not illegal to own in Texas at all! However, there are some strict rules and laws that need to be followed in order to own one of these goofy creatures.

In this article, I have described many things you need to keep in mind as a Texan in order to lawfully own axolotls.

Are Axolotls Endangered in Texas?

In the state of Texas, axolotls are classified as “critically endangered. They have been listed as endangered species on the IUCN conservation index.

Is it illegal to own an Axolotl in Texas?

If the owner of an axolotl abides by all applicable rules and laws, they are permitted to be kept as pet in Texas. You do not require a permit in order to own one, which is quite surprising considering the fact that axolotls are exotic creatures.

In Texas, axolotls are considered domestic animals, and laws of owning any domestic animals apply to the ownership of axolotls as well.

While owning an axolotl is legal in Texas, bringing or taking one out of the state without a license is against the law. The state has outlawed such behavior.

Is it illegal to own an Axolotl in
Image Credit: axolotlsent, Instagram

How much do Axolotls cost in Texas?

Owning and keeping an axolotl can be quite expensive. Here, I’ll give you a rough estimate of how much it can cost to own and maintain an axolotl in Texas:

  • You can find common, mass-bred axolotls for as little as $35. However, if you want some of the rarer breeds, they will cost you well over $100. Some online vendors are even asking for as much as $800 for some truly unique variants.
  • You must factor in the delivery fee in addition to the animal purchase. This usually depends on your location and your merchant.
  • An aquarium will also be something you need to buy. The more affordable models cost around $100. The cost can quickly increase, though, if you want something more robust and opulent.
  • You can’t just put an axolotl in your aquarium with water. A filtering system and some lighting are absolutely necessary. You’ll be able to purchase both of them for less than $80.
  • You might also want to include some ornaments and additional live plants. They are reasonably priced. You can find a variety of decorations for just under $20.
  • You should budget $250–300 overall, just for the tank’s setup. The cost of the animal itself is then added on top of that.
  • You will then be responsible for ongoing maintenance. You’re fortunate, though, that feeding an axolotl is quite inexpensive. The annual cost of food will be less than $100.
  • Finally, you might need to take your axolotl to a veterinarian. These can be very expensive. The majority of axolotls won’t require this treatment, though.

Where can I buy Axolotls in Texas?

Despite the wide range of options available online, we advise you to only purchase an axolotl from a reputable pet shop.

Purchasing an axolotl from a reputable retailer gives you the assurance that the animal was cared for properly, is healthy, and isn’t harboring any pests or diseases that could kill it or infest other animals kept in the same tank.

Unfortunately, PetSmart doesn’t sell axolotls online or in any of its branches. They would have been a nice option to purchase from because of their reputation, had they sold any!

So, I think it’s best to purchase axolotls from online vendors that have good customer reviews. Also, after purchasing one, make sure you quarantine the animal for a couple of weeks to get rid of any potential bacteria and diseases.

Where can I buy Axolotls in
Image Credit: zetzali_tonatiuh_axolote, Instagram

Why are Axolotls illegal in some states?

People who reside in states with active axolotl pet bans may find the law unruly. You must remember that these laws were put into place for valid reasons.

One could easily come to the conclusion that the primary justification for this ban is the axolotl’s “critically endangered” status. Although this is a contributing factor, it isn’t the primary one. Keeping them in captivity with proper care will only increase their generational span.

Under captive care, axolotls seem to undergo significant genetic changes in between generations, to the point where they lose all similarities to wild axolotls. Due to this factor, it is forbidden to breed and release axolotls in the wild, as this serves as a means to ensure their originality.

Were they ever to be mass-bred and released in the wild, axolotls would pose a massive threat to the ecosystems of states such as California. For this specific reason, California has outlawed the private possession of any axolotl.

Why are Axolotls illegal in some states
Image Credit: zetzali_tonatiuh_axolote, Instagram

Wrapping Up

Now that you know that axolotls are legal to own in Texas, are you considering buying one? If so, which variant are you interested in? Let me know in the comments down below!

No legal advice or suggestions regarding the ownership of axolotls in Texas or elsewhere are made in this article. It is crucial and imperative that you conduct your own research, draw your own conclusions, and get in touch with local authorities for more information about keeping pets in your state and with specific exotic species.

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