New to Reptiles? Here Are the Essentials You Need to Know

For some folks, a cat or a dog is not enough! For them, adopting a non-traditional pet is the way to go. It’s a way for them to experience the jungle up close; therefore, they go for different types of reptiles.

Reptiles make excellent pets, and some of the most common reptile pets are turtles, lizards, snakes, and bearded dragons, among others. But before you rush out and adopt any reptile like a turtle, you need to understand several things about them such as the diseases they usually get. Reptiles also need to be cared for, fed, and given some affection, just like dogs and cats.

Don’t get me wrong, reptiles are low-maintenance and exciting creatures, but there are some essential things you need to know before adopting a reptile.

water turtle

8 Essential Things You Need to Know Before You Adopt a Reptile

1)   Know the Space, Money, and Time You’ll Need for the Reptile

Reptiles are different, and they all don’t make good pets for first-time pet owners. Therefore, you should ask around and determine which pet will fit your needs. You also need to find out how much space the pet will need and how much time and money you need to spend. Knowing these basic things can help you prepare for your home for your new reptile pet.

Since they are wild animals, you need to go through the proper channels when adopting a reptile. This means avoiding the pet stores and websites selling pets that have been captured from the wild. Instead, it would help if you go for reptiles that have been bred in captivity. Owning a previously wild pet can be the primary source of your temperament issues and a wide range of destructive behaviors.

2)   Pick the Right Reptile

After doing your research, the next step is to look for a species that is easy to maintain. Most lizards, including a leopard gecko and a bearded dragon, are exceptional for beginners. But you should always do your research and learn more about their peculiar behaviors before introducing one in your home. For example, most folks get worried when they find their bearded dragon mouth open. They don’t understand that it is normal, and beardies do this when the temperature is too high for them.

3)   You May Require a License to Own Certain Reptiles

Since they are wild animals, you may require a license to adopt certain reptiles, including a bearded dragon, in most states. So make sure you find out if a license is mandatory in your hometown. And if it is, make sure you get a permit before bringing home your pet home.

4)   Reptiles Don’t Exhibit Any Emotional Bonding Behavior

Unlike cats and dogs, reptiles exhibit little to no emotions. They are cold-blooded creatures, and while they can recognize your smell and voice, their lives are all about instinct. In fact, all they want is to mate, eat, sleep, walk and at some point die.

Fortunately, they don’t shed hair; therefore, they don’t pose any threat to folks with pet allergies. Plus, they don’t need to be taken for a walk; they can exercise in their cage after all.

Therefore, if you don’t want to be greeted every time you enter your door and want to be more of a hands-off kind of pet owner, then you should get a reptile.

5)   Reptiles Are Easy to Take Care Off

One thing that makes them popular is that most reptiles, including lizards, are very easy to maintain. Reptiles are not needy like dogs, so you don’t have to spend your entire day with them or take them for a walk. The only things you have to do are provide a comfortable and loving home and make sure they are well fed. You may have to clean it once in a while to keep it healthy.

python snake

6)   Reptiles Can Carry Diseases.

Reptiles carry germs and bacteria that can affect human beings. One of the most common germs that are carried by reptiles is Salmonella. Most reptiles have salmonella bacteria in their digestive systems. Even healthy reptiles have these bacteria in their digestive systems. So be sure to wash your hands after handling your reptile and avoid contact with their saliva or feces. It’s also important to clean their habitat regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

7)   Prepare Your Supplies Before Bringing Home Your New Pet

Proper preparation is essential, especially when introducing a new pet to your home. Get a new reptile tank, food, water, and all the needed cleaning supplies. If it requires an artificial light or heat source to thrive, make sure you purchase one and install it in advance.

Different reptiles require different environments, so the habitat you create in the cage matters a lot. Remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. You might need to create some hiding spots, sources of water, and some vegetation.

8)   Always Be Responsible and Safe

Adopting a non-venomous pet is not more dangerous than keeping any other type of reptile. But it’s crucial that you learn how to keep everyone in your home safe, so you need proper safety protocol. This means establishing appropriate techniques for handling and disease prevention.

Reptiles are known for scratching or biting when mishandled, so you need to be very careful. But as long as your reptile wasn’t obtained from the wild, you won’t have to worry about any dangerous behavior. If you have kids in your home, you’ll have to teach them how to handle the reptile safely and to emphasize to them the importance of always washing their hands after handling the pet.

Final Word

If you’re thinking of adding a reptile to your family, congratulations! You’re in for a fun and rewarding long-term experience. But before you run out and buy the first cute little lizard you see, there are some things you need to know. In this article, we’ve outlined the basics of reptile care so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not reptiles are suitable for you. We have also elaborated more on why reptile pets have become very popular. We hope you find it helpful. Now, you’re ready to embark on a new adventure!