It’s true – the majority of people don’t ever even consider getting a reptile as a pet since they just find them scary, unusual, or something similar. But in actuality, reptiles are extremely interesting, both as pets and as animals in general, and they make great pets! Some of them are even easier to tend to and way less dangerous than some pets that are way more common. But that being said, if you are considering getting a pet reptile, it’s really important to know a few things beforehand – and that’s where this article comes in.
Here, we are going to explain everything that you need to know before you buy a pet reptile.
01. It’s Really Important to Do Your Research
You should never, in general, approach getting any pet impulsively, without any research to back it up, especially if we are talking about reptiles. Sure, you may be able to adopt a kitten on a whim, but if we are talking about lizards as pets – it’s just not that simple. Dogs, cats, birds, fishes – their needs, preferences, behavior – all are much more known and obvious than when it comes to reptiles.
Also, all of the characteristics mentioned above differ greatly depending on the reptile – be it a turtle, lizard, snake, or something else, it’s extremely important to do your research beforehand in order to be able to take care of your pet.
02. Can You Provide the Right Amount of Space?
First of all, you should consider how much the reptile is going to grow when it reaches its full adult state, and plan how to provide it the necessary space accordingly. That being said, let’s go back to the basics for a bit – how much space is your reptile even going to need? Well, certainly not as little as just to house them, regarding their size. They are going to need enough space to be able to move around without major constriction, so you should know that you are going to need to invest in a terrarium.
A bit more about terrariums
You should know that the exact conditions that need to be provided heavily depend on the reptile in question, but the most important variables are the right temperature, bottom cover, humidity, and lighting. Be sure to look into these, since they are the keys to making your pet comfortable and happy.
03. Be Sure to Find out If There Are Exotic Vets in Your Area
Many people tend to view reptiles so differently than other animals that they seem to overlook the fact that they can get sick and injured too, and if that happens – it’s extremely important to already have a plan regarding which vet is going to tend to your pet.
04. Consider How to Provide Everything That Your Reptile Needs
Typically, depending on what reptile you are getting, they are going to need certain things that are crucial to their health, comfort, and happiness. We have already mentioned some important things while discussing terrariums, but there are also two more major things – food and supplements. It’s really important to figure these out before getting the pet in order to be able to fully commit to their needs while not being in over your head.
05. Handling an Animal with Potential Defensive Behavior
This is actually a very important thing that many people don’t consider in enough detail, or even completely overlook. If you are going to buy a reptile, don’t do it just because you think that the animal is going to be “nice”. Every animal has a certain personality and behavioral pattern that can’t always be easily predicted, and when it comes to reptiles – they can get scared if you are not careful. And when they get defensive, they may try to bite, and you should be aware of this. So, it’s important for you to decide sooner than later if you are able to commit to the animal, even with this type of behavior.
06. Daily Care
When it comes to reptile keeping, some of the reptiles truly are low maintenance, but this isn’t true for all of them, and even with those that require the least amount of time – you still need to take care of them and tend to their needs every day. The basics can never be overlooked, like checking if they have fresh water, for instance. So, overall, you just need to make sure that they have everything that they need and that they are doing well.
Truth be told, many reptiles don’t eat every single day since they really don’t move around all that much, so they require less maintenance in that regard than mammals, but even considering that – they should still be checked on every day.
In the end, it all comes down to research and commitment. If you have truly considered everything that we mentioned above and are able to implement it, you are ready to go and get that pet reptile!