People who want different types of pets often look to purchase one or two different types of reptiles. Snakes, bearded dragons, turtles, and lizards are all growing in popularity with animal lovers. More pet stores are starting to stock exotic animals to meet the demand of buyers, but not every buyer understands how to best care for a reptile. Because these animals aren’t meant to be domesticated, they require a bit more care than a dog or cat. If a pet owner doesn’t understand which types of supplies and food their reptile needs, it can be harmful to the animal.
Housing for Reptile Pets
Most snakes and lizards do well in a glass terrarium. Pet stores sell a variety of different sized terrariums, and you need to purchase a terrarium that will suit your pet when it’s full size. Snakes can quickly outgrow a 10-gallon terrarium, so it’s important to purchase a properly sized terrarium. The pet shop professionals can recommend the right size for your reptile. Lizards that don’t grow to large sizes can do okay in a regular-sized terrarium, but lizards that get to large sizes, such as iguanas, will need more space. There are vertical terrariums that allow you to place branches and vines for the animal to hide and feel as if it’s in its natural habitat.
The substrate of the terrarium should be easy to clean but also provide the warmth and security that your pets need. You can use wood chips, artificial turf, or a manufactured substrate made specifically for your type of reptile. Reptiles also need a certain number of hours of heat each day. You need to choose housing that allows you to use the proper lighting to heat the habitat and warm the animal.
Food and Water Needs of Reptiles
If you purchase a turtle, you will need to use a water-filled tank that has a dry area for sunbathing. Turtles can live on the prepackaged food sticks provided by pet stores, but they also enjoy live fish and dried shrimp. Lizards like crickets, worms, and depending on the type of lizard they can also eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Snakes need a live diet, which means you must purchase feeder mice or other small animals to feed your snake.
Most lizards and snakes like to have areas of water they can use to cool off. You can provide a shallow dish full of water to meet their hydration needs. Although exotic pets require a bit more care and pet supplies, they can provide as much enjoyment as a dog or cat.