Are you more interested in adopting a unique pet rather than a cat, dog, or rodent? While it can be tempting to adopt a reptile, it's important to make sure that you are prepared.

What type of reptile should you adopt?

The term "reptile" refers to a variety of different animals such as turtles, snakes, and lizards. Reptiles are exotic pets, like chinchillas and ferrets. Even though it's becoming more and more popular to adopt reptiles as pets, it is important to not fall prey to the whirlwind of trends. When adopting a pet, it's important to make sure that you think long and hard about it. Owning a pet is a huge responsibility!

To begin with, not every reptile is suitable for first-time pet owners and children. For example, this is the case for the common iguana. At pet stores, these reptiles are proposed as babies. It's very important to point out that these reptiles grow quickly. Similarly, different types of snakes, like boas, can measure up to 2 m (≈ 6.6 ft). Do not fall for their small size because they will not stay like tiny. It's also highly recommended to do your research about a particular species before adopting a reptile.

Keep in mind that reptiles can also bite or show signs of aggressiveness. Therefore, you need to be careful when handling them and behave in certain ways to prevent them from feeling threatened. For this reason, it’s best to avoid reptiles if you have young children.

When it comes to snakes, it is best to avoid certain aggressive species that are not very gentle like the green tree python, Indian python, royal python and reticulated python. The green tree python, for example, can stretch its body very quickly and its bites are very dangerous. For first-time snake owners, it is advised to start by adopting a corn snake, as these snakes are calm and do not require a large terrarium.

Your reptile's habitat

Before adopting a reptile, keep in mind that your pet will need a terrarium. Every reptile needs a special terrarium: some need a lot of space like snakes while others need a tall terrarium. When it comes to decorations, they are not necessary. Most importantly, your reptile needs to have enough room, water, and one or more places to hide. The temperature of the habitat and the level of humidity are also important points that should not be overlooked.

Keep in mind that adopting a reptile requires a few expenses. You need to take into account that you will need to buy a terrarium and all of the accessories necessary for them to live happily.

Your reptile's diet

This is a point that is often delicate because reptiles do not eat kibble and wet food like cats and dogs. Snakes and lizards are not herbivores like turtles. If you adopt a lizard, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to feed these animals whole prey. The prey can be insects for geckos, but snakes want prey like mice, gerbils, or even little rabbits depending on the size of your snake. You can give them thawed prey if you can't bear the thought of buying a mouse to feed to your snake. However, you'll need to be able to handle and thaw prey that are already dead.

Buying frozen rodents is more practical for snake owners so that they do not need to stop by the pet store regularly to buy small prey. In addition, prey that are already dead do not defend themselves and hurt your snake. To thaw prey, put them in a large bowl and let hot water run inside (do not use boiling water from a microwave, the prey should not be cooked). To make sure that the prey is thawed out, touch it to see that there is no more ice or cold areas. As soon as the prey is thawed, wipe it and give it to your snake with long grippers.

It’s important to point out that a snake does not eat as often as a dog or cat. When they are young, they can be fed once a week, while as adults, they can be fed around twice per month.

As you can see, adopting a reptile requires special equipment and products. In addition, it is important to remember that a reptile is not a pet like a cat or dog. Even through some are gentle, do not expect to be able to give a lot of hugs to these animals. Lastly, avoid adopting these animals if you have children because it can be dangerous for your child and the reptile. Handling the pet can be complicated and your child may not understand why the animal is not showing any signs of affection.

Now you know what it takes to adopt a reptile! Do you think that you are ready to adopt one? What other tips would you like to add?

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