If you’re new to owning reptiles, there are a few things you’ll want to know in order to create the right living environment for your new pet. Reptiles can be tricky creatures to keep in captivity, so it’s important to get it right. Too often people get them without knowing anything about their new pet and the poor animal ends up dying. If you want your reptile to actually thrive, then consider these 5 tips for creating the right home for your reptile.
Temperature is everything when it comes to successfully keeping reptiles. Most cold-blooded creatures need temperatures somewhere between 80° and 88ºF. Depending on the species, the temperature best suited for them could range between 2-4 degrees. Don’t try and wing it. Do your homework on your particular pet. If you need to, there are time-controlled programmable thermostats that change from day to night. These can help keep your pets healthy. Make sure and have the proper equipment for controlling temperature, UV rays and humidity levels.
2. Reptile Cages
Your pet needs a suitable cage for their size with a lid that can be secured, a proper light source, either a heat rock or a lamp and water as just the basics. If you’d like to give them any real quality of life, then consider adding some natural elements into their artificial habitat like branches, rocks or vegetation that's suitable. If your reptile naturally enjoys a good soak, then provide a watering hole of some sort as well.
3. Pet Cage Liners
Depending on your reptile and the cage they’re kept in, you may only need to spread newspaper, you may have a terrarium-type environment with rock or gravel or you may actually need bedding. Some species require a substrate of sorts in their tank or cage. Wood shavings are sometimes used. Ask your local pet shop or go online, if you have questions.
4. Proper Ventilation
Your reptile’s living space should have a ventilated cover to provide proper airflow. Screen or wire mesh tops are an excellent choice for covers, not glass or other solid materials. If you use a mesh, make sure the animal cannot escape through the holes. By allowing proper ventilation you’ll ensure a good transfer of heat and lighting for your pet’s environment.
5. Keeping it Clean
Sanitation is just as important with reptiles as it is any other living creature. Depending on your pet, there could be a little or a lot of clean up. Iguanas can soil a cage in no time flat. Unsanitary cages and tanks can lead to harmful bacteria and eventual health problems, not to mention unpleasant odors. Pull out old, uneaten food and change their water frequently. If they require bedding, change it often. They probably don’t like living in filth any more than we would.
By following these tips you can help maintain your reptile’s health, giving them a longer, happier life in the process.