Even if you’ve been a proud dog or cat owner for years, it can bring about lots of new challenges when you decide to switch things up and get a pet reptile.
Owning a reptile is completely different to owning any other type of animal. Their needs and wants are unique, and it can be stressful trying to learn how you can be the best reptile parent possible. Whether you’re thinking of getting a snake, chameleon, or bearded dragon, there are several supplies you must have before you bring your reptile home. To make things simple, here is a checklist of the essentials you’re going to need. Many of the following items can be obtained from an online reptile equipment and live food supplier store.
Tank or Enclosure
Your reptile is going to need somewhere to eat, sleep, and relax. Make sure you buy an enclosure that is large enough for your new pet so they aren’t too enclosed. Take into account how quickly they will grow and how large their adult size is. This way, you won’t need to buy a replacement tank when your reptile is fully grown. There are several different types of enclosure you can buy, each with different sizes, shapes, and styles. Choose one that will fit well into your home and then you start looking for the next few pieces on your list of essentials.
Food and Dispensing Equipment
Some owners like to feed their pet directly, but if you don’t feel comfortable giving your reptile live crickets or frozen rodents, don’t worry! There are alternative options. You can either place down a small bowl to feed your reptile or purchase specialized feeding equipment that will feed your reptile at regular intervals throughout the day. The latter is helpful if you’re heading out for the whole day, or if you’ve got an overnight trip planned.
Quite an obvious item, but you will need a water bowl for your reptile to keep them hydrated. This should be placed somewhere in their enclosure so they can sip it throughout the day. As with their food, you can also get equipment that dispenses water at regular times during the day and night.
Sufficient Food Storage
Many reptiles feed on live insects or frozen animals like chicks, rats, or mice. If you’re going to be ordering these in bulk, you will need somewhere to safely store them in your home. Keep in mind that if you’re buying live food, you’re going to need supplies to keep these insects alive and well until you feed them to your reptile.
As reptiles are cold-blooded, they can only cool down or warm up by moving towards or away from a heat source. Your enclosure should have a temperature gradient so that your reptile can stay at a good temperature throughout the day. To check this gradient, you’re going to need a thermometer on either side of the enclosure. One should read much cooler than the other.