Do deer make good pets?

Deer may look endearing and adorable, but they have specific needs and requirements that make them unsuitable to be kept as pets. This is because deer have an inherent wildness that they can never completely lose and they require a lot of specialized care. The only people having the expertise and specialized habitat to safely do so seem to be deer farmers, when they decide to treat some of their animals as pets. But why can’t everybody else have themselves a little Bambi?


First of all, deer are naturally skittish animals. They easily become startled and flee in fear if they are not accustomed to people. As such, it is very difficult to tame them, and even if they do become used to being around humans, they will still startle and bolt upon unexpected movements or loud noises. Even then, deer can never truly be domesticated like cats or dogs and will always retain a certain amount of wildness.

Of course, if a fawn has grown among people it will shake off a lot of its natural fears, but never truly lose that innate frightfulness. New neighbors move in, bring in completely new noises – and your tame fawn is jumping the fences in panic.


Besides their temperament, deer also require specialized habitats, and medical care that can be expensive and difficult to provide. They need a place with plenty of space to roam and graze, and a rigorous diet of vegetation such as twigs, bark, leaves, and grass, not the type of food that is typically found in a human household. Sure, you may have fed wild deer some carrots and they’ve enjoyed that, but a healthy deer diet can not consist of supermarket fruits and vegetables alone.


It is also important to remember that deer can be carriers of various illnesses and parasites, so one must make sure to take special precautions when handling them. They could be more prone to diseases than domestic animals, due to their lack of immunity against certain pathogens. This can not only be detrimental to your pet, but to you and your family as well.

The rut

When bucks mature, they become very aggressive around the mating season. This is the time when in nature they fight each other for the right to dominate and reproduce.

Bucks that have no other bucks around can start attacking humans. There have been reports of owners being killed by their previously gentle bucks.


Deer are wild animals, meaning they prefer to live in their natural habitats, such as forests or grasslands, and do not do well when confined to small spaces. They are also social animals and need to interact with others of their own species, which is difficult to provide in captivity.

Their intensive fear and panic could cause them to become aggressive or dangerous.

For all these reasons and more, it is highly recommended that deer not be kept as pets.

Jessica Stone

Jessica is a passionate pet lover and veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. Her blog serves as a reliable source for pet health advice, ranging from preventive care to handling emergencies.