What you should know before getting a pet reptile

As you consider getting a reptile pet, there are several things you should know. It’s important to consider them well in advance of purchasing an animal as it might end up being unsuitable for you and your family. Make sure to thoroughly research a species before you get one of them. Choosing and caring for a reptile is anything but easy. Here are some of the essential factors to consider before welcoming your reptile pet to your home.

bearded-dragon
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Do research

The essential step you should begin with before doing anything else is to find as much information as you can about the specific reptile you are about to adopt as a pet. Digging up the information from the internet, going through the reptile books, and consulting with your veterinarian is mandatory. Educate yourself about things like how big it’s gonna grow and what kind of special care and maintenance it requires. Even when getting a dog you should know well in advance what to expect, let alone a reptile we naturally know nothing about.

Housing needs

As reptiles naturally live in the wild, one of the crucial things is providing the proper living environment for your new pet. Cages or vivariums need to be designed according to the preferences of the species, but regardless of getting a lizard or a python as a pet, their terrarium must be escape-proof and has to provide enough space for mobility. You also need to consider factors like cleaning, sanitizing, and routine maintenance as they play the biggest role in keeping their health on the highest level.

Nutrition needs

All reptiles are divided into categories depending on their nutrition needs – insectivores, herbivores, and omnivores. While Insectivores are fed on insects mostly, herbivores eat plant-based diets including vegetables and fruits. Omnivores eat everything above and more. Some herps must be fed on live food like mice and worms, fleas, or crickets. The reptile experts at Reptile.Guide offer more detailed insights on the nutritional and overall maintenance preferences of each specific reptile species. As soon as you decide what kind of a pet you are going to have next, make sure to visit it and read all about it.

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Photo by Marcus Lange on Unsplash

Temperature

Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, meaning they are not able to maintain their body temperature within the range that it needs, by themselves. They rely on you to provide the optimal temperature. You will also need a good thermometer and lighting. A temperature gradient should be provided to allow your pet to move from place to place if it needs to warm up or cool down. Depending on the species you choose, you might need to invest in specialized heating equipment like nocturnal heat lamps, under-tank heaters, radiant terrarium heaters, etc.

Lightning and humidity

Light provides your pet with essential vitamins needed for their metabolism, but also creates an environment that caters to the animal’s nature. While for many herps, a light source can be used for both light and heating, for some, these sources must be separated. You may need to install misting equipment to provide the regulation of humidity in your new pets’ home or get a good humidity alert device, in case you are getting the one that’s sensitive to humidity.

Care and handling

If you choose a herp that requires constant monitoring, you have to be prepared to commit the time and energy to provide that monitoring. It is also important to be prepared for cases of equipment failure, illness, stress, malnutrition, and other difficulties requiring professional assistance. Besides that if you are looking for a pet you can cuddle and pet a lot, you probably don’t want a herp. They are all considered highly independent creatures that need their personal space. This is an important factor to consider when deciding to get a reptile as a pet.

The vet factor

You probably haven’t thought much about it but, not all veterinarians are professionals in the reptile medicine field. It can be very hard to find a reliable vet for your snake or a lizard in your neighbourhood, so If you cannot find one in your area, be prepared to geographically widen your search, It is also strongly advised not to rely on pet store personnel for medical advice. take the time to find a reputable veterinarian specially trained in the medical care of reptiles.

Spending time and effort in researching the needs of your chosen pet reptile before acquiring the animal is essential for the quality of their life in your family. Hopefully, this article will help you fully understand them and their need so you can provide a natural, realistic, and healthy environment for their new home.

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