Skip to Content

Slugs are Not Pets!

Summer at the cottage means long days riding bikes and exploring our neighborhood for Evan. It also means playing 3 days a week with other kids at kids club. This was the last week and I thought Evan might come home with a memento of his time there. He did bring something home but it was NOT what I expected. He didn’t bring home a picture or a craft. Nope. He brought home….


He asked for a jar (without telling me for what). I handed one over and he brought it home full of slimy, nasty slugs. He then proceeded to cover the top with aluminum foil with holes poked in it. Add a bit of grass to the bottom and we had a slug habitat.


Now don’t get me wrong, I had my share of critters as pets when I was a child. I love catching tadpoles in the creek, a bucket containing a turtle was never far away and lightening bugs in a jar made a fantastic nightlight. Slugs, however, are not pets. Nope. Not even a little bit.

Evan was excited, though, so I decided to let it go. Until….

Me: Evan, come here!
Evan: I’m right here….
Me: No come look. I am in the kitchen.
Him: What?
Me: *Pointing at the slug crawling across the floor* Your pet escaped. It’s time for them to go outside (instead of in a jar on my kitchen counter).
Evan: You NEVER let me keep pets!
Me: *points at the dog*
Him: Not the same thing.
Me: I don’t think you understand the definition of “pet”.

Yep, I had a slug crawling across my kitchen floor. I can overlook a LOT of things but a slug on my kitchen floor? Not likely. So I yelled and Evan pleaded. I put on my “Meanest Mommy EVER” hat on and said “They HAVE to go!”. I did throw him a bone, though, and said he could put them in my flower bed. He was not happy but he set them free.

Fast forward to yesterday. He went to check on the slugs. He came in crying. “Mama! YOU MADE ME KILL THEM. BOOOHOOOHOOO!” Yep. I am winning mom of the year again this year too. Doesn’t this remind you of when we killed Elmo and I murdered the caterpillar. I am WINNING at this mom thing for sure.


Slugs are NOT pets...A Living With Boys Story....


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

There are lots of critters that we find icky or gross until we get curious and spend some time with them. Researching and learning to give a living creature what they need even though it's very different from what we need is something everyone needs to experience. It makes us better people no matter how small and humble the critter.

With slugs, just remember to wear plastic gloves. The debate about the parasites they can have and pass to you is still ongoing. Besides, it's safer for your slug--wet the gloves a little and that will make them happier. Human skin takes moisture away from them.

I have a large group of leopard slugs that love to clean the empty cat tins I generate twice a day when I feed my little stray. They get fat and happy and save me a little work. I'm enjoying the daily hello to the little guys. My neighbors think I'm nuts, but that also is ok, lol.


Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Slugs and snails actually make great pets for kids, you just have to know how to care for them. All animals deserve some respect, and slugs are special. They just need a proper tank and proper care and they make good pets fork kids because they're relatively low effort but could still teach them responsibility, and it's nice to let them indulge in their curiosity


Sunday 19th of September 2021

I keep pet slugs and snails and I'm proud of it. Slugs are pets as much as dogs are.

Dylan Witkowski

Sunday 27th of September 2020

I just found one on a rug in the bathroom. I threw him outside


Thursday 19th of July 2018

I have 2 pet slugs and 2 pet giant African land snails, Shelly, Shelldon, Slim and Slime and they are very cute and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and Slim and Slime live in an aquarium from pets at home for 6 pounds with some bottle caps as drinking bowls and sticks and stones to climb on. Shelly and Shelldon however, live in an enormous glass terrarium as big as a flat screen TV ( I love them and they are spoilt to death) I actually find them rather cute and enjoy caring for them as though they were my own children rather than just thinking that they are horrible.

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 19th of July 2018

Very cool. I wrote this post quite a long time ago. Since then we had two snails as pets while we were traveling in the US.