Reptiles can be an unusual choice to have as pets, but if you want one, read on to find out everything you need to know to choose one.
Reptiles can be excellent pets. Sadly, inexperienced owners get overwhelmed when they begin to understand how costly and complicated it can be to take care of them. Even experienced reptile owners can go home with incomplete and sometimes even incorrect information from pet stores when it comes to the proper care for their pets. And that can lead to surprises and very bad consequences.
If you are thinking about getting a reptile, you need to know about their diet and environmental needs, among other things. You might not be aware of how complicated reptiles’ diets can be. Most reptiles tend to feed on some form of animal life, such as insects, superworms, birds, frogs, fish, even other reptiles.
Some reptiles are better for beginners than others because these types of animals have lower maintenance requirements. However, you will need to invest a significant amount of money in buying the proper equipment to take care of your reptile buddy.
Before bringing home a reptile, you will need to do thorough research to decide which reptile you should buy. You need to take into consideration whether you can provide a proper diet, if your house has the proper environment, and most importantly, what you need to know to take care of it. If you are confused about which type of reptile you should get, read on to find answers to all your questions.
Lizards can be found in almost every pet store. One of the most common types of lizards is the iguana, which is certainly not a good choice for beginners. They get quite large and have a tendency to become aggressive at maturity. Most importantly, their diet and environmental needs do not make them ideal pets.
There are other lizards like Chinese water dragons that tend to have very specific requirements when it comes to their diet, humidity, lighting, and heat. However, there are some lizards that are suitable for pets. Those are:
- Leopard Geckos:
When it comes to lizards, leopard geckos are considered to be the ideal choice, especially for beginners, as they are relatively small. An adult leopard gecko can easily fit into a 15-20 gallon tank. They also don’t need specialized (UVA/UVB) lighting, as they are nocturnal. You can feed them a variety of insects for their diet.
- Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are definitely one of the most challenging of the lizard species. These are mainly found in Australia and can reach a size of 18-24 inches, so you would need a good size tank to fit them in. They are quite similar to frill-necked lizards as both of them are desert dwellers and require relatively high temperatures. As for their diet, you can feed them a combination of insects and vegetables of many varieties.
Many people consider snakes to be a weird choice for a pet, and many are very scared of them. Still, there are some animal lovers out there who have the courage to keep snakes. The biggest hurdle you will face like a snake owner is maintaining a proper diet for it. You need to be willing to feed them whole prey like mice or rats (pre-killed is advisable) which they would have hunted if they had lived in their natural habitat. However, one of the biggest advantages of keeping snakes is that you only need to feed them once a week or less, so you can leave them without a pet-sitter for days. Also, unlike lizards, they don’t have a preference for UVA/UVB lighting. Here are some snakes you can consider for a pet.
- Corn Snakes
Corn snakes are beautiful, tamable, and easy to handle. They can reach an adult length of three to five feet and are expected to have a lifespan of 10 years or more. However, keep one thing in mind: They are excellent escape artists, so you will have to keep them in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Ball Pythons
Ball pythons are a type of small constricting snake that is quite docile and can easily be taken care of. Maybe that is one of the reasons they are the most common kind of pet snake. They are expected to have a long life, spanning from 20-30 years. However, they’re known for throwing tantrums when it comes to their diet, so make sure to buy a ball python that is healthy and captive-bred.
Last on my list of recommendations is turtles. Many might consider them boring. But they can actually be wonderful pets, especially for children. Then again, it can be tough to fulfill the housing and environmental needs of most turtles, especially aquatic turtles, and tortoises. Keeping a turtle can be a lot of work, so don’t get one if you are not willing to put in the time. Here are some type of turtles you can get:
- Red-eared Slider
Red-eared sliders are the most common aquatic turtle species because they are active, friendly, sociable, and easily available. Generally, they are housed inside, but as they mature, they can be housed outside too. They tend to have a long lifespan of around 50 years if they’re taken care of properly.
- Eastern Box Turtles
Eastern box turtles aren’t very large and look like tortoises. They tend to have long lifespans. Unlike red-eared sliders, they don’t have aquatic requirements, so their maintenance is low. They’re very adaptable creatures so they can live both indoors and outdoors and can survive on both plants and insects.
Pets provide companionship that we all crave. But we need to remember that having a pet is a huge responsibility, so we owe it to them to do the research and acquire the knowledge to provide them the best care possible. Reptiles can be great pets when they bond with their owners, and they can be pretty easy to care for. I hope this article will help you choose your ideal reptile.