Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by ellen
If you are interested in keeping reptiles or amphibians as pets, you probably have some questions. And it’s a good idea to get those questions answered before you make a purchase.
Posts may be sponsored. This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians as Pets
There are many different types of exotic pets you could start with. But, here is some basic information on types of reptiles kept as pets, and care tips.
Learn more about the easiest chameleon to take care of.
Snakes are lovely creatures, and many times it’s tempting to buy on impulse. But research first to make sure the snake you want is not going to grow too big or require a diet that makes you squeamish. Feeding your snake crickets is entirely different than feeding a live rabbit, for instance. The following are general tips, but make sure you have the space, time, and temperament for the kind of snake you are getting.
Keeping snakes warm is important. Experts do not recommend electric “hot rocks,” as these only heat the area of the snake’s body that is touching it. Instead, snakes need radiant heat. You can use a shop light-like lamp or radiant heat panels with an attached thermostat to make sure your snake’s habitat is the right temperature.
Bedding can be newspaper or newspaper covered in rubber mats – but not just any rubber mat. According to experts, the best kind of mat is the stuff you see in public swimming pool changing rooms and health club shower stalls. It consists of rubber squares in a waffle pattern held up on dozens of rubber pegs.
Like snakes, there are many types of lizards. The most common ones are iguanas, bearded dragons, and geckos. So the following tips cover those species.
Like snakes, all lizards need warmth. UVB lighting is also important. Radiant heat, not heat rocks or hot surfaces, are the best way to heat your lizard’s tank. UVB lamps should be on about 12 hours a day.
Iguanas prefer a vegetarian diet consisting mostly of leafy greens (ignore outdated information about feeding your iguana animal protein). Geckos and bearded dragons like a mix of greens, vegetables, and insects.
Don’t forget water. A shallow dish should have fresh water in it at all times.
The most common kind of turtle people keep as pets is the red slider turtle. Often the size of a silver dollar when purchased, these guys can get pretty big – up to 12 inches long. Consider a pond or a smaller species if you can’t accommodate one this big in a tank! Here are some turtle-keeping tips.
Your tank can begin at a standard 10 gallons, but as it grows, you will need a larger one (and an even larger one!). You can use large plastic storage bins instead of aquariums, sources say.
Have you ever thought about keeping reptiles and amphibians?
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.