6 Interesting Tips on How to Care For Pet Reptiles

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
If you’ve just introduced a reptile to your life, then you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared to give them the best life possible. Taking care of them isn’t always straightforward, reptiles have different needs than us. But, a few tips can keep you on track so read on and see what you’re doing right or wrong.
1. Use a Top-Grade Habitat
Reptiles, especially snakes, are crafty when it comes time to escape from their cages. They’ll use anything available to get out and “explore.”
That’s a dangerous proposition for the pet owner.
When you’re putting together the proper environment for your new reptiles, you need to make sure that you’re using the best cage possible. A great terrarium should be escape-proof for your chosen animal and easy to access.
One of those qualities is often lacking in the terrariums sold as cheaper entry-level kits, so don’t get caught in the trap of a cage that will unleash your pet without your knowledge.
2. Find a Good Reptile Veterinarian
Before you bring your new pet home, you should have a veterinarian in mind. There are many that specialize in the common species of pet reptile, so find one as soon as you can. Of course, many people skip this step initially and end up in a hurry later.
Just like a dog or cat, you should bring your reptile to a vet regularly to check them for health issues. Many of these can be corrected in the reptile’s environment. It’s not hard for a novice keeper to make a mistake when setting things up, even if they tried to do their research.
The price can add up, but don’t skip this step. It’s vital, especially since many captive reptiles end up leading short lives even though their owners have only the best intentions for them
3. Find Likeminded Groups
You should look for likeminded people. Almost every species will have a group of dedicated keepers somewhere that can help guide you in real-time. It’s always good fun to share pictures of your pet as well.
Many people look to groups on social media websites like Facebook but don’t count out more anonymous communities. Many older message boards are still thriving and filled with people who know every minute detail surrounding their pet’s diet, behavior, and environmental needs.
Google is a great place to start and finding your tribe isn’t just fun: it’s a great idea to help you keep your pet’s health in tip-top shape and keep you aware of any new developments in their care.
4. Replace UVB Bulbs Annually
The average UVB bulb gives off light for more than a year. They should still be replaced on an annual basis.
UVB is a required part of a reptile’s health. It helps maintain their condition and keeps them in good general health by mimicking the ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight. This is the less harmful kind to humans, but reptiles will suffer serious health consequences without it.
The bulbs will slowly degrade over time. Most importantly: the UVB is the first thing to go as the spectrum gets thinner and the bulb dies. You could invest in expensive spectrometers to make sure the bulb is working… or you can just replace them once a year and call it good.
UVB bulbs are relatively inexpensive, so just replace them to be sure
5. Research Their Diet
The diet of many reptiles goes far beyond what we give them credit for. There’s more to life than crickets and wax worms or mice for our scaly friends.
You should always research the required diet of the animals you’re keeping. Some may do just fine with a bit of calcium dust on their bugs, others may have more complex needs.
One mistake which many people make is not allowing some animals’ access to greens. Many reptiles, especially those who are herbivores, have complex diets overall. Doing the research is necessary to make sure your animal stays healthy long into the future.
You should also have what you need to prepare their food. Cricket breeding pens, places for worms to breed, or even a blender for herbivores can make your life a lot easier. Get them as soon as possible
6. Know Handling Protocols
There are some trends that disturb people who know about reptiles. They’re often breaches in handling protocol for animals.
Those cute chameleons? You should handle them as little as possible. It stresses them severely and will end up shortening their lifespan if you engage in it on a regular basis.
A boa may not do much damage, but a big one can leave a hefty, bloody bite on your arm if you irritate it during a cage transfer.
Spend some time learning how to handle your animal, how often you should handle it, and how to know if things are going south.\It’s one of the best ways to keep you and your pet safe in the long run.
For most pets, they’re not complicated, but they’re not always intuitive either. Handling is a vital piece of information for the novice keeper, so don’t disregard it during the learning process
Knowing is Half the Battle
There’s always more to learn about our scaly friends, but having the basics down is a requirement to have any success in keeping them. Whether it’s a turtle, a snake, or a lizard… just make sure you’re willing to keep learning and the two of you will be just fine!