When it comes to owning reptiles, they sometimes require some special attention. Though they hardly differ from cats and dogs when it comes to loyalty, reptiles are a bit different in terms of care.
Here are some ideas to get started when you finally have your first reptile:
1. Get adequate space and ventilation
Unlike dogs and cats, most reptiles need a certain ambiance and atmosphere in order for them to feel really at home. Not only this, some of them require a lot of space and air so that they will be able to breathe properly. It is suitable for your critter to be able to live in a glass box or something similar with holes at the top or at the bottom, but just big enough so they won’t escape.
2. Clean safe water
Reptiles have a special need for water, as they are not like dogs and cats that can sweat their bodily heat away. Appropriate substrate water is a must for your reptile’s domain as it will help them cool off when the heat comes. Not only this, this will help them calm themselves and make them feel more at ease.
3. Quality lighting
For some reptiles, UV lighting is a must. Reptiles such as snakes don’t really need UV lighting, but for others it is needed. It is because they are dependent on skin-manufactured Vitamin D3 and such a vitamin cannot be obtained from the food that they eat, as the name implies. Thus, in order to keep your reptile happy and healthy, give them some UV lights to bask in.
4. Vitamins and mineral supplements
Many reptiles are not able to get the vitamins they need from their food alone. Thus, to keep them in tip-top shape, it is best if you provide them with vitamins and supplements that will help enrich their diet.
5. Secure latches and lids
Of course, your prized pet does not need to roam the house freely unless you want it to be stomped on and bite your family. This is why latches, locks and lids are important. Not only is this for your own safety, but also for the reptile’s.
6. Appropriate environment
Certain reptiles need a certain environment that mimics their natural environment so they can thrive. Simply having them live at room temperature when the temperature is way beyond their bodily capacities might just kill them, so controlled temperatures are ideal for such creatures.
7. Learn your reptile’s diet
Not all reptiles have the same diet. It may be a tedious task, but knowing what your reptile eats is crucial for its survival. If you were in the reptile’s shoes and you were forced to eat what you don’t eat, you wouldn’t like that as well, right? Not only that, giving the reptile the wrong food could spell disaster for its health.
8. Learning if your reptile is tamable
It would be nice if your reptile knows how to do tricks just like the ones you see on television or online, but you have to first learn if your reptile is even fit to be tamed or not. Even if it isn’t, however, you shouldn’t throw away your reptile just yet as the reason why you chose it as your pet in the first place is because you like it and want to make it a part of your family, and not to make it a circus act.
9. Knowing your reptile’s life span and other basic stuff
Okay, so this may be rather easy to do, but keep in mind that captive reptiles generally have a longer lifespan than wild reptiles as long as they are given enough love and care. Before purchasing a reptile, you should first know the basics of your chosen pet and what they do, what they eat and how to tell if they are healthy.
10. Avoiding the temptation to release your reptile
This is very hard if you don’t want your reptile anymore, and don’t know anyone who can keep your reptile for you. Releasing your reptile into the wild will not only disturb the local ecosystem, it might even potentially kill your reptile as it has grown in captivity and does not know the skills on how to survive in the wild. In instances like these, you should probably go to the nearest zoo or pet shop and sell or have them adopt your reptile for you.
Now that you know the basics of keeping a reptile, you should now be all set.