How to Take Care of a Zebra

Caring for a zebra is similar to caring for a horse.
Caring for a zebra is similar to caring for a horse. (Image: Zebras image by Peter Hedges from

Unusual pets have become more popular in recent years. You can’t get much more exotic than a zebra. With its distinctive black and white striped coat, the zebra is a long-lived member of the horse family native to Africa. Zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing, and can run at speeds of more than 30 mph. Commonly found in zoos and safari parks, zebras require the same sort of care as horses. If you wish to keep a zebra as a pet, you most likely will need an exotic pet license, although requirements vary between states.

Things You'll Need

  • Field
  • Fence
  • Stable
  • Winter food

Keep at least two zebras rather than a single animal. The zebra is a social, herding species that is not suited to single living.

Provide a fenced field or paddock for the zebras. A zebra's natural habitat is the African Savannah and they need plenty of space to run around. The field should be at least one-half acre in size and preferably larger. The surrounding fence should be at least eight feet high.

Ensure the field has a plentiful supply of growing, flowering grass. Zebras are grass-eating herbivores that graze for many hours each day. Zebras also will eat leaves and bush stems. In the winter, provide zebras with suitable equine feed, such as hay, alfalfa and carrots.

Board zebras in a stable during winter months if you live in a cool climate. Zebras will often not survive in climates with below-freezing temperatures.

Register with a specialist equine veterinarian. Zebras may suffer from infectious diseases. Vets recommend vaccination against rabies and tetanus.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check state regulations before acquiring a pet zebra.

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