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Animal Care Hospital

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Reptile Care Mistakes

April 15 2021

Are you inter ested in adopting a reptile? You may be surprised at how quickly you bond with your new pet. Reptiles are both charismatic and fascinating. Of course, these guys do need proper care to thrive. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I go over some common reptile care mistakes.


I  mproper Lighting

Lighting is absolutely crucial here. Most reptiles absolutely must have UVB lighting. If your pet doesn’t have proper lighting, he won’t be able to metabolize essential nutrients, such as Vitamin D3 and calcium. This can lead to some very serious—and potentially fatal—health issues. Remember to change your bulbs regularly.


Lack of Hydration

This is another area where first-time reptile owners often run into trouble. Don’t assume that a bowl of water will keep your pet adequately hydrated. Many reptiles need specific humidity levels in their tanks. Others must soak regularly to stay hydrated.


Small Enclosures

Reptiles can do well in captivity, but only if they have a clean, comfortable environment. Before bringing that cute baby iguana home, make sure your housing arrangement can accommodate that lizard when he’s six feet long.


Improper Conditions

Reptiles often need some fairly specific conditions to stay healthy. Getting things set up correctly may mean splurging on premium equipment, monitoring closely, and adjusting as needed. Ideally, most of the work and expense will go into the initial setup. Once everything is working smoothly, you’ll just need to monitor, clean, and maintain your pet’s habitat.


Not Enough Veterinary Care

Reptiles may not need to come in as often as dogs and cats do. However, it’s important to make sure that your pet’s health is professionally evaluated and monitored. You’ll also need to bring your pet in right away if anything seems amiss. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule. 


Lack Of Knowledge

When you purchase a reptile, you may get a simple care sheet. Or, the person you bought your pet from may give you some basic information. Don’t assume that this is enough. You may have your pet for decades. It’s definitely worth your while to do some proper research. Get some books and magazines, and check out some reptile-oriented websites and video channels. Of course, a great vet is going to be your best ally here. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! 


Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact me, your local Marion, IA area veterinarian, anytime!

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