Do you sometimes stop and look at exotic pets in stores, and perhaps consider adopting one? While it’s easy to fall for those cute little faces, buying an animal on impulse is usually not a good idea. Reptiles are charming and beautiful pets, but their care needs vary wildly. Some are quite docile and easy to keep, while others should only be adopted by people with experience taking care of reptiles. As your Marion, IA vet, I enjoy caring for all sorts of reptiles. I suggest some great options for first-time reptile owners below.
Lizards are fascinating to watch. However, not all of them are good options for first-time reptile owners. Iguanas, for instance, need a lot of daily care. They also get very large, and need quite a bit of space. The Leopard gecko, on the other hand, is an adorable little guy that is very tame. These pretty lizards are also available in a variety of colors. They do eat bugs, though, which could be a dealbreaker for anyone with a weak stomach.
The corn snake is another great choice for beginners. These pretty serpents are quite tame, but they are also active and curious enough to make fun pets. Although they do eat whole prey, they don’t eat every day. Another good thing about corn snakes is the fact that they are fairly small, rarely growing more than five feet long.
Red-Eared Slider Turtle
The Red Eared Sliding Turtle is one of the easiest turtles to care for. They eat crickets and vegetables, and don’t get very large. These guys are also very cute, and are typically quite tame. (Note: many people are confused about the differences between turtles and tortoises. The biggest distinction is that tortoises live on land, while turtles live in the water at least part of the time.)
It’s important to do research before adopting a pet. However, don’t just settle for what pet store employees tell you. Do some reading, and consult a vet who is experienced with reptiles. Also, keep in mind that many reptiles can live 10-20 years or even longer. Don’t adopt one unless you are willing to make a long term commitment.
Do you have questions about reptile care? As your local Marion, IA veterinarian, I offer great care for reptiles. Please feel free to contact me anytime.