Tips for keeping your Reptile pet happy

There are many different animal species you can pick as your pet, and a lot of people choose to go with a reptile. Why is that? Reptiles are great pets for many indoor locations, and they also look amazing. Plus, many of them are very friendly and just fun to be around. But once you get a reptile pet, how do you keep it happy? Here are some ideas you need to take into consideration!

Understand your reptile pet’s nutritional needs

Every reptile has different nutritional needs, based on their species, size, health concerns and other factors. But there are some common things you will encounter in the diet of most reptiles. For starters, you will notice most reptile pets like mealworms and mice, although some just consume fruit and veggies. That’s why you need to understand the diet of a reptile, because you never really know what you can expect and how different it might be. Making the right changes can indeed bring in tremendous results, so you have to take that into account. Roach jelly can also be an option, so think about it too. It’s important to study your reptile’s diet beforehand to avoid any issues. 

Invest in a good terrarium

Most reptiles need plenty of space to move around. They aren’t like aquarium fish which will be ok even with a small aquarium. Instead, reptiles do want to have as much space as possible, because they enjoy moving all the time and that’s something you must take into account. Ideally you want to have a dedicated room for the terrarium, try to offer your reptile tons of space, and it will be very happy that you did so.

Provide the right amount of heat and lighting

You need to keep in mind that reptiles are cold-blooded. As a result, they rely on heat and lighting in general in order to keep their body warm. That’s why you need to invest in a good lighting system for them. They get calcium and vitamin through sunlight exposure. So yes, you do need to bring in as much light as possible for your lizard pet. For example, a bearded dragon habitat needs a heat lamp to regulate body temperature. They also need a UVB light to ensure they get enough vitamin D.. Even if it might not seem like a lot at first, it’s important to invest in high quality lighting, your reptile pet will love it.

Infrared heat lamp for reptile and amphibian care. Green iguana relaxing and warming up under the red glow of a heat lamp in the tank.

Never grab your reptile by its tail

One thing to note about reptiles is that they like being petted, however you should never grab them by the tail. This causes undue stress most of the time. It will make the body unsupported and to make things worse, your pet will go into defense mode right away. That’s something you want to avoid if you’re looking to keep the reptile pet happy. The same thing happens if you’re using any head restraints. Your pet doesn’t like that and it will most likely attack you. 

Keep the terrarium humidity in mind

Most reptiles are known for enjoying places where they have a lot of humidity. What you really want to avoid is a terrarium which is very dry. That can be extremely bad for your pet, and in time it can lead to its death. So yes, humidity is one of those things that might not seem pivotal, but it really is extremely important for your pet, a lot more than you might imagine. 

But then again, you don’t want an environment that’s too moist. This will have a lot of fungi and bacteria that can harm your pet. So you need to be mindful of the situation and see how you can approach this properly. Reptiles control their exposure to humidity by moving to a proper microclimate or even burrowing. In the case of reptiles that live in captivity, you need to control everything and that can be a bit more challenging than you imagine.

Replace the UVB bulbs every 12 months

As time goes by, the UVB bulbs just won’t have the performance and results you need from them. So even if they are still working, you do want to replace them and offer your reptile pet the right amount of lighting with a new set of bulbs. It’s a crucial aspect to consider, although a lot of pet owners tend to forget about it. All you need is to take your time and monitor all these things for the best results.

Keep your terrarium way from sunlight

If your pet reptile needs sunlight, why should you keep it away from it? The truth is that the sun can lead to the tank becoming too hot. That can make it hard for your pet reptile to live in there properly, so it’s crucial to avoid this type of situation. It’s recommended to keep it in a place without a lot of direct sunlight. After all, you have a lighting and heating system inside the terrarium anyway, so you don’t need direct sunlight. Rely on things that you have under your control, as it’s a much better option. 

Avoid holding your reptile in the air for a very long time

The reason you want to do that is because reptiles can sometimes slip from your hands. Having them drop from various heights can be damaging to their organs. So yes, it’s crucial to try and not hold your reptile pet up in the air. It might seem fun while you do it, but they don’t like it at all and it can be very dangerous too. So that’s certainly the type of thing that you must take into consideration. 

Make sure that your terrarium is escape-proof

This is important because a lot of reptiles are very sneaky and they are known to escape from their case. The simple idea of locking screen clips can be a good one in a situation like this. You do want to check the terrarium often to ensure that your pet is happy at all times. Once you do that, it will be easier than ever to keep your pet safe. If the pet escapes, it’s really hard to bring it back in the terrarium, and it can be exposed to all kinds of harmful things.

Provide your reptile pet with vitamins

Just like humans, reptiles won’t get all the nutrients and vitamins they need from their diet. Which is why offering them vitamins and calcium in particular can help a lot. You can add it to their diet, in their water and so on. Not only is it going to keep your reptile pet healthy, but you will prevent any possible problems. You won’t have to go to the vet that often either. 

Decorate the tank

It’s important to be creative when it comes to decorating your reptile’s terrarium. You can add all kinds of items like logs, living plants, vines, substrate, rocks and so on. The main focus here is to try and recreate the environment where your reptile usually lives in the wild. The closer you get to that, the happier your pet will be. Yes, it does take a bit of trial and error, but it will be worth the effort.

You should always try to come up with all kinds of designs or items to add inside the terrarium. Your reptile pet loves items that it can interact with, so that alone is a very good idea. Keep it simple, don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is for your pet to choke on stuff. Plus, you want it to move without any problems within the terrarium, so overfilling it can be a problem.

Provide your reptile pet with plenty of water

Just like any other creature, your reptile pet needs plenty of water to survive. You need to make sure that your pet is not dehydrated, as that can be very harmful for its health. So if you want to have a happy reptile, plenty of food and lots of water are pretty much mandatory.

Go to the vet periodically

You should always consider taking your reptile pet to the vet periodically, just to be safe. Yes, this might not be fun for your pet, but the truth is that it will protect him from any possible problems. At the end of the day, proper maintenance and care can indeed make quite the difference. Reptiles are prone to many diseases, especially skin diseases. That’s why you must ensure your pet is safe and away from any possible health problems. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are lots of different things you can do in order to keep your reptile pet happy. You always need to check and see how your pet reacts to things and what you can do in order to keep it happier than ever. It’s not easy to do that, especially as a first-time reptile owner. That’s why you need to study as much as you can about your pet. Knowing lots of stuff about your reptile pet, its preferences, potential health concerns and food is definitely going to help you immensely. Take your time and remember, all these tips will make your pet’s life happier, so don’t hesitate to implement them as fast as possible!

Emma Thompson
 

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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