Complete Reptile Basics Guide: 101


Reptile basics – Everything regarding what your reptile needs and how! Having a reptile as a pet is much different from any other ‘regular’ pet. They have a particular set of requirements. For example, they probably won’t want cuddles and pets, so be sure to consider that before running off and purchasing your first reptile. 

What You Should Know Reptile Basics

Reptile basics | Healthier Pets Today

Owning a reptile means taking care of various needs. There is a list of things that you should know before getting your first reptile, from feeding to temperature, and what you need to consider before making the purchase. Be sure to do ample research about the needs of your chosen reptile. This will ensure that you provide it with the best possible care. 

Take into consideration:

Reptile basics | Healthier Pets Today

The Adult Size: How big your reptile will grow and what your plan is once it researches its adult size. You’ll need an enclosure big enough for your reptile. Also, take into mind what food your reptile will require once it reaches adult size. Will you be able to provide the necessary food at the rate that your reptile will need? It’s essential to ensure that owning a reptile is within your budget.

The type of housing they’ll need: Your reptile will need a specific enclosure. The habitat needs to be escape-proof but still provide enough space for your reptile to move around. Take factors such as cleaning, sanitizing and routine maintenance into consideration as well. Ensure that you’ll have enough time to keep the habitat clean and sanitary. A common mistake new owners often make is purchasing a too-small habitat. This could stress out your reptile and cause them anxiety. An anxious reptile is difficult to handle and tame, so be sure that the housing provided is what is required for your reptile.

Reptile basics | Healthier Pets Today

Their feeding and nutrition: Each reptile will have its own specific diet that needs to be followed. A lot of reptiles need mice and rats as nutrition. Others might require fresh fruit to be incorporated into their diet. You need to ensure that the food that they need is readily available in your area. You don’t want your reptile to be left hungry because of a short supply of food. It’s best to obtain all necessary foods from your pet shop to ensure that it is safe for your reptile. Some mice and rats could carry diseases that can harm your reptile if they ate them. Live feeding is also frowned upon, as a live rat or mouse could bite your reptile, causing harm and opening a gateway to infection. 

The Temperature: Temperature plays a big role with all reptiles. Reptiles are cold-blooded, and when in captivity, they cannot maintain their own heat. A proper thermometer will help ensure that your habitat has the necessary cold and hot spots your reptile needs to thrive. It is recommended for you to have your reptile’s enclosure and heating set up about 48 hours before they come home. This will give the enclosure the time it needs to heat up and ensure you have time to work out all the hot and cold spots that could be required. 

The required lighting: The light will provide your reptile with specific vitamins for mineral metabolism. It creates a great environment for your reptile as well, giving them a similar sense of their natural habitat. It is often possible for a light source to provide both light and heating. This is not always the case, be sure to do extensive research on your reptile’s light and heating requirements. 

Humidity: When reptiles are in the wild, they are in areas that provide stable humidity. Depending on the type of reptile, you’ll need to find a way to regulate the humidity in your reptile’s enclosure. Equipment such as misting equipment, foggers, and drippers could be necessary. If your reptile is sensitive to humidity, be sure to invest in a good humidity alert device to ensure that your pet stays safe. 

The required amount of care: Some reptiles might require regular monitoring. Make sure you are able to provide the monitoring required. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you need to find a low-maintenance reptile. If you opt for an unfamiliar reptile, it’s best to be sure that local vets in your area will be able to provide care for them. 

Reptile basics | Healthier Pets Today

How much you’d like to handle your reptile: Not all reptiles like to be handled a lot. This is why research beforehand is important. Your desired reptile might not enjoy being handled, and if you’re looking for a reptile that you can tame, they might not be the one. Also, remember to always wash your hands before and after handling any reptile. This will help prevent the spread of any possible disease. 

The health risks: Reptiles are known carriers of Salmonella. This bacteria is transmitted through direct contact with faeces, as well as through something that had been contaminated with faeces. Salmonella is often transmitted through oral ingestion. If you handle a reptile or equipment that has been contaminated, it can also transmit through sores and cuts during handling. Contaminated soil or environmental items can spread the disease over to you as well if proper cleaning methods haven’t been used. 

Vet visits: Vet visits can become expensive, but you also need to ensure that your local vet will be able to treat your reptile if necessary. Not all vets are able to work with reptiles. When choosing a reptile, phone local vets to find out if they treat your chosen reptile. It’s best to be prepared. If your local vet cannot provide care for your reptile, you’ll know to broaden your search to other areas and vets. Always ensure that you already have the details of a vet that can help so that you aren’t left in the dark when an emergency arises. 

The Endnote

Reptiles are great pets to have. If you choose a reptile, be sure to consider all important factors. Your reptile will need all its housing and nutritional needs met, so do the necessary research to ensure that you do so. Vet care is important, even for reptiles. Make sure that you have the contact information of a vet that can help your reptile in case of an emergency.