Category Archives: Reptiles

Reptiles 101

Some people love them. Others fear them. Regardless, most of us would agree that they are at least very interesting to look at.

Reptiles: they can make fascinating pets if you are a reptile fan. Whether they hop, climb, or crawl, have legs or not, there’s a reptile for everyone who is intrigued by these animals. With so many reptiles from which to choose, if you’re considering a reptile as a pet, where should you start? Here is part one of my blog on reptiles. Below are 3 different reptiles commonly kept as terrific pets. Next week, I’ll add to the list.

1. Bearded dragon lizard
These medium-sized (1-2 feet long), yellow/brown/orange to red-colored lizards get their name from their ability to puff up the skin over their throats when they are angry or stressed. They are housed in glass tanks heated with over-the-tank lights so that the temperature in the basking zone should be 90-105°F and in the cool zone in the mid-70s°F. They need a tree branch or log for climbing and full-spectrum lighting with a UV-B/UV-A bulb to help them synthesize vitamin D-3 in their skin so that they can properly absorb calcium from their food. They should be fed crickets, mealworms, pinkie or fuzzy mice (dusted with supplemental calcium powder at least twice a week), plus a variety of chopped vegetables such as collards, kale, mustard greens, yellow squash, zucchini and shredded carrots. They should be sprayed daily with water which they will absorb through their skin and lap up off of their noses. If handled often, captive bearded dragons can be tamed to be quite docile and can live, on average, about 7-10 years.

2. Leopard Gecko lizard
These large geckos (8-9 inches long) get their name from their yellow skin covered with brown stripes initially that fade to spots as they age. They live in heated glass aquariums with rocks on which to climb. Temperatures should range from 90°F in the basking zone to the low 70s°F in the cooler area of the tank. Although they are nocturnal, captive leopard geckos living indoors that are never exposed to direct sunlight fare better when exposed to some UV-A/UV-B rays from an ultraviolet bulb. They should be fed crickets regularly, along with occasional mealworms and wax worms (plus a pinkie mouse, if they are large enough to eat it). To provide better nutrition for the gecko, insects they are offered should be fed a diet containing vitamins (“gut-loaded”) and dusted with calcium powder before being fed to the gecko. Leopard geckos need a shallow water dish in which to soak and should be provided with a hide box containing moss or vermiculite that can be misted to provide a high enough humidity to allow normal shedding of skin. These gentle lizards live 8-10 years, on average, in captivity and make great pets for families.

3. Ball python snake 
These snakes get their name because they curl themselves up into tight balls when they are nervous, with their heads pulled into the center. They are curious, gentle snakes
that generally grow to 4-5 feet long. In the wild, they eat amphibians, other snakes, birds, and small mammals and do not typically eat the mice that fed to captive pythons. Thus, many ball pythons can be picky eaters that resist eating for weeks to months, at times. They can be housed initially in 10-20 gallon glass tanks with tightly fitting screen lids to prevent escape and with branches on which to climb. Shredded paper products are best used for bedding. They need a log or upside-down cardboard box in which to hide. Tanks must be heated to provide a 90°F basking zone, an 80-85°F cooler zone, and a 70-75°F overall temperature at night. While ball pythons are nocturnal, many captive ball pythons are healthier when exposed daily to full-spectrum light. They must have a shallow bowl of water in which to soak and should be sprayed daily so that tank humidity is 60-70% to shed properly. Ball pythons should be fed only pre-killed rodents (never live, or they may be bitten by their prey). Young snakes may be fed fuzzy mice, and adults may eat full-grown mice or small rats. Ball pythons may be tamed by frequent handling but should not be touched just after eating or in the middle of a shed, as these are times when snakes may be cranky. If maintained properly, ball pythons can make great pets that can live 20-30 years.

If you’re considering a reptile as a pet, whichever one you choose, remember always to wash your hands after handling them, as all reptiles, in general, carry Salmonella bacteria plus other bacteria and parasites that may be transmittable to people. Also, supervise all small children when they handle these pets, as the quick movements of young children can startle and scare these animals. Finally, once you get your new reptile family member, be sure to visit a reptile-savvy vet to have him/her checked and to make sure you’re caring for him/her properly. Remember, many reptiles are so long-lived that if you take care of them right, they may outlive you!

Turtles as Pets

One of the primary things to know if you want to venture into having a turtle as a pet is that you can’t keep turtles in the little shallow glass bowls like you watched in the movies. To guarantee the best possible well being for your turtles, you should give them sufficient space to move around. One other imperative element is you can’t just place them in a bigger aquarium or a body of water and abandon them there. Turtles should have the capacity to get totally out of the water and get dry.

There are some other factors to appropriately care for your turtles too including UVB lighting, warming the water and lounging spot, water filtration, and diet. I would prefer not to sound like it is unbelievably difficult to deal with turtles and that you have to purchase the majority of this costly stuff. I simply need to ensure that you consider that it is sufficiently important to learn and actualize the best possible cultivation procedures to help your turtles flourish in good health.

About diet, stuffs like cat food, and wieners are not ideal for your turtles. Diet can likewise vary depending on the types of turtles also. It is critical to look into the sort of diet required for the sorts of turtles you choose to keep. Fortunately for you, there are many monetarily arranged turtle diets that are well prepared and formulated in the right proportion to keep your turtle healthy and grow with the best possible development rate.Vitamin D3 is a good combination with calcium and is a guide which helps the assimilation of calcium into your turtles body. Actually in their natural surroundings, turtles produce vitamin D3 through the presence of sunlight while doing their day to day activities.

Presently we should proceed onward to the best possible lighting required for your turtles. Turtles are cold blooded in nature, implying that they can’t manage their body temperature. In their natural habitat, they utilize the sun to lounge and raise their body warm. This is the reason you normally observe turtles sunbathing on a stone on a log. They likewise need to get vitamin D to stay strong and healthy in captivity. Again in the wild, they get all they require from the sun as UVB rays. So you should give your turtles a warmth light and a UVB full range light source. There are currently a group of financially accessible globules that perform both of these functions.