Top Care Tips For Reptiles & Amphibians
When taking home any pet, it is always important to do your research. Particularly with reptiles and amphibians, this is just as important, if not more so! Reptiles have particular care needs that you may not be used to as they differ significantly from the requirements of furry pets like cats and dogs. Every reptile and amphibian is unique and has their own set of wants and needs that will need to be thoroughly researched; this can be a fun activity for which the whole family to get involved. Every reptile will require thorough research done to ensure that they suit the needs of your family and that you can fulfill their needs. Here are some general tips that can help you get started.
- Always do your research! As mentioned above, but because this can never be stressed enough, you must always do plenty of research into what pet you decide to get BEFORE you get them, and not after. People can get themselves into a situation where they haven’t done their research. Only find that they are unable to care for a particular reptile or amphibian after they have already taken them home, which is one reason why there are plenty needing homes. All reptiles are different, and some grow to be a lot bigger than others, some have unusual eating habits, some need specific maintenance that requires a lot of time. Always dig deep to find out as much information as you can before you bring home your reptile or amphibian of choice.
- Also, to expand on the first tip, if you are considering taking in a rescue or rehomed animal, then always ensure to gather as much information as possible regarding their health and needs. Sometimes rescues can have special requirements that need to be met or health issues that need addressing. These can be costly, and you need to make sure that you are prepared.
- UVB and UVA; one area where people often find they are unprepared for their new addition and its needs; they all have specific light and heat needs that have to be prepared before you bring them home. This can be expensive, and sometimes people are not prepared. UVB is absorbed by reptiles and allows them to process nutrients and calcium from what they eat. Without adequate UVB, they can become paralyzed, deformed, and die prematurely. So you must get the correct equipment that will provide enough UVB. UVA is emitted by any white light and is provided by both the clear basking bulb and somewhat by your UVB bulb. UVA also helps promote natural behavior, improve eating, and generally keep your reptile healthy. Both are essential to your new pet by varying degrees, ensure you have researched what yours will need.
- UVB bulbs always need to be replaced every twelve months, even though your UVB bulb may be giving out the same amount of visible light, the amount of UVB still decreases over time.
- Supplements are a vital part of the vast majority or any reptile or amphibians diet. Calcium and multivitamins, as well as others, are necessary to maintain their health.
- Temperature and humidity always need to be measured using the appropriate equipment so they can be maintained where your pet needs them to be.
- Reptiles are curious creatures that will want to explore, using a habitat that is appropriate for the species of pet you have chosen and one that is well-made so that they won’t be able to escape. Locking screen clips are useful to make your enclosure secure so that they wouldn’t be able to escape.
- Proper handling with reptiles is always essential, their curiosity can lead to some questionable decisions, and this can result in your reptile attempting to leap from places they shouldn’t. Holding them up too high could result in them trying to jump and hurting themselves. Always ensure sanitary procedures are enacted when handling your reptile, you should thoroughly wash your hands after handling.
- When handling amphibians, you should be careful only to do so when necessary, their skin is very fragile, and over-handling can hurt their skin and cause it to dry out. Your hands must always be clean and wet when handling your amphibian.
- Habitats should be kept away from windows and also direct sunlight, mainly when lighting equipment is being used to maintain specific temps and humidity.
- If you are not sure of something, then ask! There are so many resources from which you can learn. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that a lot of what you read online can be conjecture and opinion, and sometimes it can be challenging to ascertain what may be fact, compared to what may be an opinion. Ensure that you have researched thoroughly and learned from a trusted source. Herpetological societies and licensed veterinarians can be your best sources for information, as well as communities online where people share their own tried and tested methods.