Reptile Awareness Day is October 16th! This is a great chance for anyone with snakes, lizards, or other reptiles to celebrate their scaled—or shelled—buddies. Reptiles actually can make wonderful pets. A Pasadena, MD vet discusses our slithering pals below.
Did you know that there are over 8,000 types of reptile? They can be found on every continent except Antarctica, which is too chilly. Speaking of cold, reptiles don’t technically have cold blood: the term cold blooded simply means that they get their heat from the environment.
Are you considering adopting a reptile? It’s hard to resist an adorable snake or lizard! Just be sure to do plenty of research before proceeding. You’ll want to look into your potential pet’s lifespan. Some reptiles can live over 100 years! Another thing to consider is your pet’s expected adult size. That adorable baby iguana may some day be over six feet long! Diet, personality, and habitat needs are also important.
Choosing the right type of pet is especially crucial for first-time reptile owners. For snakes, some good options are the corn snake, California kingsnake, rosy boa, and ball python. Looking for a lizard? Consider a bearded dragon, crested gecko, green anole, or leopard gecko. For turtles, your best bets would be a red-eared slider, box turtle, or painted turtle. No matter what kind of pet you pick, you’ll need to find a good vet.
Part of Reptile Awareness Day is spreading awareness about the plight of animals that are captured in the wild and then sold as pets. This is very sad for the animal itself, as animals that were born wild rarely settle into captivity well. They are also more prone to illness and disease. Another issue here is that this practice has a very harmful effect on fragile ecosystems. If you do decide to get a reptile, go to a reputable breeder and get one that was born in captivity.
If you don’t own or want a reptile, but care about helping wild animals, consider making a donation to a charity that specializes in reptile care. Spreading the word can also help. Even sharing posts on social media can make a difference.
Please contact us, your Pasadena, MD pet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!