Would you prefer to own a nontraditional pet? Maybe you have plenty of extra time (and cash) to care for a more exotic creature. Before you head over to the nearest pet store or reptile breeder, there are many distinct components to acquaint yourself with. Since reptiles are so unique, a special set of responsibilities and guidelines accompany the separate species. You should be well-informed in what they will need to remain healthy, such as their food and space requirements. Fortunately, there are “care sheets” all over the Internet that you can easily access. Be sure to read up on as many as you can in order to get a real grasp on your potential pet reptile!
Prior to bringing a reptile home, a habitat must be assembled. Ample time and effort has to be put into this project to ensure everything is just right. Keep in mind that you will need much more than just a cage to keep your pet happy and healthy. These creatures have a wide range of needs that rely on several factors, such as where they hail from and what time of day they’re most active at. It is always a great idea to create an environment where they have several things to do, places to hide under and items to climb upon. Other items that may be required in their habitat may include lighting equipment, as well as air and heating machines. In the case that your animal would rather not be held or outside of their haven, you can be assured that they will enjoy exploring their habitat. On the other hand, if they like going outside of their area, make sure they are safe and will not get lost.
You have set up an exquisite environment for your pet, but your work does not end here. It must constantly be adjusted and modified as necessary, whether it just be the daily temperature or the overall size as your reptile grows larger. A majority of reptiles are cold-blooded creatures, which means that they need your help to sustain an appropriate body temperature. Furthermore, the space itself has to be regularly cleansed and disinfected. Simply put, habitat maintenance should always be one of your top priorities. The fact of the matter is that you are working hard to accommodate an animal that has extremely specific dietary and living needs. Your home is going to feel very dissimilar than what it is instinctively used to. As its owner, you need to go that extra mile and ensure your reptile is living its best life as comfortably as possible.
What do reptiles dine on? That is a loaded question, as it will depend on the species. By now, you know that nearly all reptiles are carnivores. This, of course, means that you will have to somehow stock up on dead animals to keep them correctly nourished. Others can survive on insects, fruits and vegetables. You should have already figured out what your chosen species eats and where you can find those items. Before your animal even arrives at their lovely habitat you have laid out for them, they should already have a generous inventory of food waiting for them.
As important as their feeding is, you must additionally be aware of how frequently to feed them. Just as it is with humans, an overweight or undernourished reptile can experience health issues. Although there is canned food available for purchase at your local pet store, it is always best to provide most species with freshly prepared ingredients and meals. This may mean more trips to the grocery store a week! Reptiles have the ability to absorb water directly through their skin. Therefore, they do not have to sip from their water bowl and can remain hydrated by just bathing. Make sure the water is clean, not too hot and not too cold!
Your pet reptile will most likely be on edge when you first bring them home. Thus, they need to be continually handled with extreme care. This type of pet will not show as much emotion as a dog or cat would, and the most obvious behaviors in your pet will stem from fear and aggression. You should be able to better notice these after spending quality time with your animal.
Even though reptiles appear to be resilient, they should never be handled roughly. This is not only for their safety, but for yours, as they may act out by biting or scratching in order to defend themselves. Also, they may try to rapidly free themselves from your grasp or accidentally spray the owner. In consideration of these types of events, an adult should always be the primary caretaker of a pet reptile. It is suggested that they are not left in the sole care of a young child. It can be hard to ensure that the child will be able to properly handle the reptile and clean themselves afterwards.
Although reptiles are beloved among many people, it is essential to take all the necessary measures when handling and caring for them. For instance, Salmonella is commonly transferred from reptiles to humans. It can happen if the person handling an infected reptile does not wash their hands correctly afterwards, but there are other ways it can be spread if proper hygiene is not practiced.