A common misconception with reptiles are that they require very little care and looking after, when in actual fact reptiles require specialized care and do in fact enjoy human attention and interaction. Preventing a reptile from this lifestyle can seriously effect there lifespan, health and wellbeing. If you are someone who is interested in being a reptile owner, then it is very important that you do thorough research on the care, food, and lifestyle the specific reptile needs. However if you are already a proud owner of one of these fantastic creatures, it’s always useful to read up on some helpful tips!
Firstly, contrary to what people believe reptiles don’t start and end with snakes. There are so many unusual, exotic and fantastic reptiles!! However the main types that people tend to keep as pets include…
All which can be amazing pets, if looked after and cared for properly. Below are some helpful facts and tips that will help you look after your reptile, and could perhaps save you money in vet bills and reduce re-homing!
If cared for properly, snakes can live a happy and healthy life for decades! They can grow to extreme lengths and be a great pet to own. They require a fresh, clean and spotless environment to live in as they are very clean reptiles; and with this means that they require there home to be cleaned frequently. Snakes need strictly controlled temperatures for both daytime and night-time. They require at least a 30 gallon tank, frequent check-ups, and care by a reptile specialist veterinarian. Furthermore, snakes need a careful application of pesticides in order to protect against mite infection. Therefore, as you can imagine snakes don’t come cheap! They need to be well looked after and cared for, in order to get the most out of your pet.
Tortoises are another reptile that need specific temperature and housing requirements, in order to keep them alive and healthy. Firstly, Hatchling's up to two or three years old should be kept in a vivarium with a suitable heater connected to a thermostat to maintain a day temperature of 78F-82F with a basking area creating a hotspot up to 90F. They require specific lighting that need to be on for 14 hours a day, and off for 10 hours. Again, this will not come cheap so be prepared for expensive electricity bills before purchasing your tortoise! They also need suitable indoor and outdoor enclosures. The outdoor enclosure should have shaded and covered areas for protection from sudden changes of weather and from predator's. As the UK weather tends to fluctuate, it is not enough to maintain your tortoise’s home throughout the summer.
The Lizard Family- Iguana’s, Geckos and more
An iguana can live more than 20 years, if looked after properly. However iguana’s can be very expensive to look after and they require lots of specific requirements in order to keep them healthy, alive and problem free. If an iguana is cared for properly, they can grow more than 6 feet long!! Therefore if you are someone that has the time and money to input into an iguana’s life, then these can be fantastic pets to own!
- Enclosure needs to be at least 18 feet long
- Enclosure needs to be humidified
- Maintained at a particular temperature with specific timetables for darkness and UV light
- Strict vegan diet which are limited to a specific range of greens and fruits
Therefore iguana’s can cost hundreds of pounds a year when taking into account food, electricity, vet bills, enclosure, etc. As an iguana owner, you need to be very patient with your pet as it can take about a year of daily interaction to socialize an iguana.
This is why people who do not particularity have the commitment and patience to look after a 6 foot iguana, sometimes opt for geckos instead. In comparison with an iguana they are easier to take care off, however geckos also require a very specific environment with a maintained temperature. Geckos feed on insects and baby mice, so if you are squeamish… I would suggest not buying a gecko! If looked after properly a gecko can live up to 30 years! They can make fantastic family pets and geckos love human interaction. With this said, geckos are very small and frail so it is important to not allow small children to handle them to avoid injuring the tiny gecko.
There are many pros and cons to becoming or being a reptile owner. With the correct environment and care, owner a reptile can have some amazing outcomes as you get to be a proud owner/parent of a very distinct and unusual pet. However, with this said, it is very important that you ensure you have the correct time, money and patience to take on one of these fantastic creatures in order to provide a reptile with the happy and healthy lifestyle that they deserve.
If in doubt it is always a great idea to contact your local vet, where they can advise further on requirements and care that the pet will need.
Be sure to enter our pet competition ‘What Makes Your Faithful Friend Part of the Family’, to get the chance to win your pet a year’s supply of pet food! We have a number of categories and welcome all pets!! Click the link below for more information on our competition.
Click here for our pet competition!