Mules, also popularly referred to as donkeys or burros, are often kept as “beasts of burden”, not as pets.
With a mule being part of a cast of farm animals in the 2006 animated feature Barnyard, questions over what a mule was doing in the movie were not raised or encountered, but if Miles the Mule – voiced by Danny Glover – were in an urban setting, the idea of a mule being kept as a pet in the city would have been off.
A number of pet mule owners note that mules are actually NOT the temperamental or dumb animals popular media has defined them to be. Actually intelligent and highly observant, mules are known for being cautious with their surroundings, taking the time in understanding what is going around them before undertaking a particular task or doing anything in particular.
This penchant to better understand what’s happening around them before doing anything else has been ascribed to be the source of the “stubborn” reputation mules have been pegged with, along with their slated
Though open space where zoning restrictions allow for mules are necessary in keeping them, pet mule owners don’t always have to need a barn where their pets are housed, but mules themselves are keen on having their own space, allowing them to stay clear from the heat and the elements.
Access to pasture spaces is, however, important for mules, particularly in areas where foraging conditions are at their best. Clean up and mule maintenance is also necessary, with an allocated stall being cleaned two or three times in a week.
The cost of keeping a mule can be compared with that of keeping a horse, thus the reason why they are not particularly popular as pets. With horses, owners are afforded with a means of efficient transport, while with mules, their inherent strength simply makes them ideal as “beasts of burden”, which is a trade-off most mule owners would opt to pick in keeping mules.