If you are looking for a pet that is a little out of the ordinary, a reptile might be the right choice for you. You are going to have to learn a few new things to take proper care of them. Reptile ownership is a much different experience then owning your usual variety of pets. Here is an arsenal of tips to get you started:

Regulate Their Temperature
Unlike mammals, reptiles are cold-blooded. This means their body temperature is directly connected to the temperature of their outside environment. Now that they don’t have the freedom to bask in the sun as they please, it is up to you to take care of their temperature for them. This is going to require a number of heat lamps, and you are going to have to frequently make sure that the temperature is where it should be.

Make Sure You Can Give Specialized Care
A lot of reptiles can grow to unexpectedly large sizes. This means they are going to need larger living quarters. If you don’t think you will have the space or money to accommodate your growing reptile, then it is best to hold off. Additionally, creatures like snakes may require you to feed them in a separate cage. Prepare for these sorts of expenses in advance.

Be Safe
Before you pick out your pet reptile or amphibian, make sure you know the difference between the ones you can handle and the ones that are only for aesthetics. Some of the reptile pet options available to you might very well be dangerous creatures. Unlike cats and dogs, there is nothing domesticated about them. That means they need to be secure in their cage. It is safe to say that will be better for everyone involved.

Be Weary of Salmonella
Many reptiles carry salmonella even if they are seemingly healthy. Pregnant women, children and people with compromised immune systems are all at notable risk. You may want to reconsider your choice of pet if you live with anyone who fits these criteria. It can also be carried in their fecal matter. For this reason it is important to make sure to frequently clean and disinfect their cage and its furnishings, as well as the cleaning equipment itself.

Prepare for Hibernation
Some reptiles will hibernate at one point or another, so make sure you are aware of this before you choose one. It is recommended before your reptile hibernates that you take a trip to the vet. If your pet isn’t in good health, the hibernation process may end up doing them harm. They will undergo a fast before they start, but if they do not stop eating themselves, you might have to stop feeding them. Make sure to prepare a space with appropriate materials for them to burrow into.

Worth It
While reptiles certainly take more maintenance than your average mammal, they provide a unique ownership experience in return. If you are willing to make the necessary commitment, these pets will be worth the energy.

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