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3 Key Points of Responsible Reptile Ownership

February 1, 2017

Did you know that February is Responsible Pet Ownership Month? You may read lots of articles with suggestions on keeping Fluffy and Fido safe, but what about reptiles? Our scaled friends make wonderful pets, but they do have some very specific needs. Here, a Niagara Falls, ON vet lists discusses responsible reptile ownership.

Buy Carefully

Unfortunately, good animal welfare isn’t always the top priority for people who sell reptiles and other exotic pets. Many reptiles are taken from their native environments and transported to the US to be sold—sometimes illegally—as pets. Make sure to buy your reptile from a reputable breeder or pet store. You also want to be sure that you understand your potential pet’s care needs and estimated adult size and lifespan before you adopt. Some reptiles can get very, very large, while others can live quite a long time. It isn’t uncommon for people to get reptiles on a whim, without realizing how much care they need or how big they will get. This has led to many pets being released into sensitive environments, where they can wreak havoc on local wildlife.

Do Your Research

Reptiles can get very sick if they aren’t kept in the right conditions. You’ll want to do plenty of research on your scaled buddy. Make sure you know exactly what your pet needs to stay comfortable and healthy. Many reptiles require special light, heating, or humidifying equipment, which often have to be set up in specific ways. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet for specific advice on your pet’s care needs: that’s what we’re here for!

Know Warning Signs

Reptiles are very fascinating to watch, but they can’t easily let us know how they are feeling. Get to know some of the potential warning signs of illness in your pet, so you know what to look for. For instance, lesions, lethargy, or mouth-breathing can be signs of sickness in snakes. The more time you spend with your pet, the easier it will be to spot red flags. If you notice anything amiss, be sure to contact your vet right away. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better!

Do you have questions about reptile care? We are here to help! Please contact us, your local Niagara Falls, ON vet hospital, anytime! We will provide your pet with excellent veterinary care.

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