Reptiles are an extremely diverse group of animals, including snakes, turtles, and lizards. Depending on the species, reptiles can live for decades and grow extremely large. Each species will have unique requirements for housing, such as size and temperature, as well as nutrition and safe handling practices. If your reptile needs to spend time in water, be sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other dangerous materials from your tap water. Thoroughly research any species you are considering before making the final decision to add it to your family. Be sure you are prepared for the commitment and can provide for your reptile’s needs.
Some reptiles can carry diseases that can spread to humans, even if the reptile itself shows no symptoms. Use proper hygiene and safe handling practices to prevent the spread of illness.
- Basic reptile care
- Lifespans of common pet reptiles
- Guidelines for housing and environmental enrichment
- Cleaning and disinfecting cages
- Tips for safe and proper handling
- Health risks to humans from reptiles
Unlike most pets, many species of reptiles do not need to be fed on a daily basis. Fresh, clean water should always be available, but food may only need to be provided every few days, depending on the species. Reptiles can be carnivores, omnivores, or herbivores. Be sure to research what and how often your reptile should eat. Know your own comfort level. If you are not comfortable feeding whole prey to a carnivorous snake, perhaps a herbivorous tortoise is a better choice for you.
- More information about reptile nutrition:
- Turtles and tortoises
Unlike dogs and cats, reptiles do not receive vaccinations. However, this does not mean that reptiles do not need routine vet check-ups. A yearly wellness exam can help you catch a disease before it becomes too serious. Regular exams can also help you and your vet know what is normal for your pet, in order to more easily recognize when something is abnormal. As with any animal, be sure to contact your vet if you suspect your reptile may be ill or injured.
- More information about routine healthcare for reptiles
- Finding A Vet For Your Reptile