Bringing Your Small Reptile Pet Home

You’ve decided that a small reptile would make a nice addition to your miniature menagerie. While you don’t know if you’ll purchase a leopard gecko, bearded dragon, small snake, or another animal, you know each little guy is very particular about his living conditions. Also, your new reptilian family member needs a proper introduction, rather than dumping your pet into his tank and hoping for the best. While following some general guidelines is a good start, your Lorain veterinarian can give you the inside scoop on your particular species’ preferences.

Toasty Warm Hotel

Cold-blooded reptiles don’t have fur coats, so they need the right environmental conditions to keep them warm. After you choose the right reptile pet, ask your vet about the perfect temperature for your scaly or slithery friend’s comfort. You’ll probably need an under-tank heating unit and/or topside heat lamp to keep your reptile toasty warm. While he warms up, provide plenty of fresh water so your little guy doesn’t become dehydrated.

High or Low Humidity?

Keep in mind that subtropical and tropical lizards and snakes require rather high humidity levels. In too-dry conditions, your reptile can contract a respiratory ailment, lose his appetite, or exhibit odd shedding behaviors. On the other hand, too much humidity promotes bacterial growth and fungal infections. Again, your vet can advise you on your pet’s ideal habitat.

Moving Day With a Zen Focus

Keep yourself calm and collected while you move your reptile pet. If you weave through traffic like a LeMans driver, blare music so loud you can’t hear yourself talk, and yell at the drivers around you, that hyperanxiety will likely make your reptile agitated or anxious. Once you get home, temporarily turn off the reptile habitat’s heat lamp, as the light can cause your pet to become too stressed out. However, leave your under-tank heating unit running so he can better acclimate to his new home.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Once your reptile pet arrives at his new digs, place his travel container on its side near an accessible water source. Make sure you position the container away from the under-tank heater so your reptile can warm up on his own schedule. Open the container so your pet can explore his posh new home at his leisure.

Ask your Lorain vet how to utilize the tank’s heat lamp while your reptile sorts out his new habitat. Once your new pet seems comfortable, take his transport container out of the tank and consider the move a success.