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4 Essentials Of Reptile Care

Are you thinking about getting a reptile?  Then you need to learn the basics of reptile care!

Keep in mind that there are many different types of reptiles.  Each type requires extra care, but this article will give you a general idea of what your pet will need.  It's the perfect place to start your research.

Setting Up an Adequate Environment

You can start by picking out the right enclosure which is crucial for keeping your pet happy and healthy. It must offer enough space for your reptile to move around. It should also be well ventilated. Add branches, rocks, hiding places, and other fun items to turn the enclosure into a comfortable home for your pet.  And don’t forget to place a substrate on the bottom of the cage. 

Here are some excellent substrate options:

  • Reptile sand
  • Wood fiber
  • Bark
  • Newspaper

Control the Climate According to Your Reptile’s Needs

Reptiles can’t maintain their body heat, making them reliant on external heating sources.  It’s up to you to provide those sources. We cannot overstate the importance of this responsibility.  If your reptile's body temperature falls outside of its optimal range, your pet's overall health will suffer.


First, find out what temperature your specific type of reptile needs.  Then, use a heat lamp to control the temperature of the enclosure. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Make sure that the heating source you provide is enclosed; this will eliminate the risk of burns. Temperature isn’t the only element of your reptile’s climate that needs to be controlled. Humidity levels must also be monitored and adjusted as necessary. 

Once again, each reptile is different.  Be sure to find out how humid your particular reptile needs the enclosure to be. Once you've got that figured out, you can use your pet's water dish to alter the cage's humidity level.  The bigger the plate, the more humid the enclosure will become.

A smaller dish will not raise the humidity level as much as a larger dish does. Do your best to choose the right sized dish that will promote the ideal climate for your pet.   

Provide Adequate Lighting

Certain metabolic processes require UV light exposure. That’s why you need to make sure your reptile gets this exposure. The number of hours your reptile needs to be exposed to that lighting depends on its species. 

As far as lamps and bulbs go, there are so many different options to choose from. Find what works best for your reptile.

The Right Diet

Some reptiles are carnivores, others are herbivores, and some are omnivores.  It would be best if you determined which category your reptile falls into. It would help if you worked with your veterinarian to develop a diet plan that provides all the nutrients your pet requires for optimal health.  You will also need to figure out how often to feed your reptile and how much food to offer at each mealtime.


Now that you've got the basics down do a little more research on the specifics of caring for your particular reptile.  Take your time and make sure you are ready before bringing your new pet home.

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