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Animal Care Hospital
Call us today! 319-378-9000
Call us today! 319-378-9000

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

5 Reasons to Board Your Reptile When You Travel

December 15 2020

Are you planning to travel for the holidays? Although many people will be sticking close to home this year, there will still be plenty of folks visiting friends and family that are within driving distance. If you have a reptile, taking your pet with you, even just for a few nights, can get tricky. Even if you can bring your reptilian buddy along, that doesn’t mean you should. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I list some reasons to consider boarding your reptile below.

Dietary Needs

Reptiles aren’t as popular as our furred and feathered friends. Their diet may very well be part of the reason. Many of our reptilian patients eat creepy-crawlies, such as live bugs or frozen mice. This, needless to say, can make feeding them quite unpleasant for anyone with a weak stomach. In other words, your aunt may not be thrilled about having to handle live bugs!

Practiced Eye

If your next-door neighbor happens to be both a reptile owner and a good friend, asking them to petsit would make sense. However, most people really aren’t very familiar with reptiles, and won’t be able to spot signs of illness or injury. A professional kennel, on the other hand, will be able to recognize–and treat–illnesses early on.


Reptiles, as you likely know, need specific conditions to thrive. While some are hardier than others, the majority of them need things like heaters and UVB lights. This equipment is designed with safety in mind, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to leave it running unattended for days on end.

Power Loss

Iowa winters can be quite rough. While a white Christmas may sound very cozy and whimsical, it can spell bad news for pets left home alone. Your petsitter may not even be able to get to your pet if a bad storm comes through while you’re gone. Power outages are another concern. Reptiles are very, very susceptible to the cold, so even a day without power could make your animal companion quite ill.

Traveling Troubles

Travel can be very stressful on pets. It’s particularly hard on reptiles. Temperature fluctuations, travel cages, and just being moved around can frighten or upset your scaled pal. Boarding is simply more comfortable for them! 

Do you have questions about boarding your pet? Contact me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian, today!