Did you know that reptiles are easily susceptible to infections contracted through the skin and digestive tract? For this reason, it’s very important that their cages or terrariums be cleaned regularly and effectively. Learn how to do so below from a Niagara Falls veterinarian at Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital.
The frequency of cage cleanings will vary upon several factors: the type of pet you have, the size of the cage, the type of cage, the habitat set-up, and more. Your best bet is to call your veterinarian’s office to ask what sort of cleaning schedule will work best for your pet. He or she can also offer further advice on how to safely go about the cleaning process.
No matter the type of reptile you have, they will require a daily check of the cage. Most reptiles will need uneaten food, feces, and other waste removed on a daily basis. Many reptile owners set aside time shortly after their pet’s mealtime to check for waste that needs removing. You may also have to remove any soiled bedding and replace it with fresh material.
Remove your reptilian pet’s food and water dishes. Wash these items with hot water and soap, scrubbing them thoroughly to get them clean. Do the same with other cage accessories like rocks, hiding structures, branches, and plastic plants. Some accessories can also be boiled in water for up to a half-hour, effectively killing off any bacteria the items harbor. Make sure all accessories are properly cleaned, rinsed, and dried completely before returning them to your reptile’s cage.
When it comes time to perform a full clean-out on your reptile’s cage or terrarium, the first thing to do is move your reptile to another location, perhaps a back-up cage. This will keep him out of harm’s way. Once everything has been removed from the main cage, use hot water and soap to clean the walls and floor thoroughly. Try using a putty knife or razor blade to loosen tough gunk.
Rinse everything completely when you’re done, and let it dry thoroughly. Some pet owners use a reptile-safe disinfectant at this stage—ask your Niagara Falls veterinarian at Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital for a recommendation.
Now you’re ready to return your reptile to his freshly-cleaned cage. Ask your Niagara Falls veterinarian for more helpful cleaning tips!