1. What should I feed my reptile? How often should I feed my pet?
Diet is often the item of greatest importance for the health of your reptile friend. Most of the common diseases and deaths seen in pet reptiles are related to improper diet or environment. Dietary needs and feeding schedules can vary greatly by reptile species. Green Iguanas require a balanced mixture of fresh vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, while some snakes may go weeks or months between large prey feedings. Be sure you know what the proper diet, feeding schedule, and housing are for you pet. This can make the difference between life and death. Numerous books and other resources are available to help you learn more about your pet's needs.
2. How much will it cost to take care of my reptile?
Actual cost depends on the species, dietary, housing, and veterinary medical needs for your specific pet. Although reptiles are not routinely spayed, neutered, or vaccinated, the cost of proper care can still be considerable. Most reptile friends require specialized housing with temperature and/or humidity control, special diets, and routine veterinary care including examinations and sometimes even deworming or external parasite control. Numerous books and other resources are available to help you learn more about your pet's needs.
3. How often do they shed their skin?
Shedding varies with species, age, size, environment, and overall health. Some reptiles will shed several times a year, while others shed once a year.
4. How will I know if my reptile is sick?
It is usually much harder to spot the beginning of an illness in reptiles than in dogs and cats. Disease can slowly creep up over a long period of time and not become apparent until your pet is very sick. Reptiles can be good at hiding disease in the early stages, so don't wait to seek treatment if you think there is a problem. Any consistent change from normal behavior can be an early indication of disease. Some things to watch out for include: constipation, decreased appetite or activity, weight loss, vomiting, sores, swellings, or wounds of any kind, inability to use a limb, changes in the normal breathing pattern, bubbles from the nose, wheezing, skin or other parasites, etc.
5. What kind of housing, heat, and lighting, do I need for my reptile?
The needs can vary greatly depending on what type of pet you have. There is no "one size fits all" environment that is best for all reptiles. Most reptile friends require individually specialized housing with temperature and/or humidity control, various special diets, and routine veterinary care including examinations and sometimes even deworming or external parasite control. The correct environment and diet often make the difference between a happy, healthy, long lived pet and a sick one.
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Article courtesy of PETsMART.com