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Reptile Care Tips

Are you planning to adopt a reptile? Perhaps you’ve always found snakes, lizards, and other reptiles fascinating, and are now in a position to have one. Or maybe you’re just looking for an unusual pet. Adopting an animal is a big decision … and a big commitment! A Matthews, NC vet offers some tips for first-time reptile owners below.

Research

Reptiles and amphibians—and for that matter, any other exotic pets—all have very unique care needs. Many need very specific environmental conditions, which will require extra equipment and careful monitoring. It’s not a bad idea to get some books about your potential pet. Look into things like life expectancy, adult size, nutrition, grooming and bathing, and signs of sickness to watch for. Your vet will also be a huge help here.

Get A Good Vet

Speaking of veterinarians, it’s absolutely crucial for you to find one that’s experienced in treating exotics. Your pet’s doctor will be your number one ally when it comes to keeping your scaled (or shelled) buddy in good health!

Make The Cage Escape-Proof

While some reptiles move slowly, others are pretty quick. Many reptiles are quite talented escape artists. Make sure that your cage is secure, so your pet can’t slip away. Locking screen clips can add extra protection here.

Provide Proper Nutrition

Reptiles’ nutritional requirements vary widely from animal to animal. While some, like iguanas and some turtles, are vegetarian, many others eat things that are often referred to as ‘creepy crawlies,’ such as bugs and worms. You’ll need to make regular pet-store runs for these critters. You’ll likely also have to dust them with nutritional powder, such as calcium and vitamin powders.

Ensure Ideal Conditions

As mentioned above, many reptiles need specific levels or types of light, heat, and/or humidity. These vary from animal to animal. Most require—or benefit from—having UVB and UVA lighting. In fact, many reptiles can get very sick without UVB lighting. Some can even die! This is definitely not equipment you want to skimp on. You’ll need to monitor the conditions closely, and replace light bulbs regularly.

Handling

You’ll need to handle your pet regularly, to keep him tame. Always wash your hands before and after. Also, be sure to pick up and hold your pet properly. Ask your vet for more information. 

As your local Matthews, NC veterinary clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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