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Animal Care Hospital

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Resolutions for Reptile Owners

January 1 2023

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is a great time to revisit personal goals. It’s also a perfect chance to revisit your pet’s care regimen. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I suggest some few resolutions for reptile owners in this article.

Age-Specific Care

Many reptiles’ nutritional needs change quite a bit as they age. It may be time to make some adjustments, especially if your reptilian pal will reach their adult size this year. Variety is also important. If your pet always eats the same exact thing, you may want to mix it up a bit. For instance, if you give your pet live bugs, consider swapping out waxworms for mealworms. Just stick with things you know are safe for your reptile. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Provide A Great Habitat

Reptiles need certain environmental conditions, which require specific equipment to maintain. That gear will wear out sooner or later. Bulbs, for instance, become less effective long before they burn out. Keep a close eye on conditions. You may even want to consider upgrading your pet’s habitat or equipment.

Commit To Learning

Some light reading may teach you the basics of caring for your reptilian pal. However, that handout you got at the pet store is probably just going to cover the basics. There’s always more to learn. One area that many people could use a bit more guidance on is handling. For instance, holding your reptilian pal’s head may make them think of you as a predator, while holding them by the tail could put them at risk of spinal injuries and, in some cases, tail dropping. 

Advocate

Many wild reptile populations are facing threats from many different directions. Unfortunately, they also suffer from bad PR: partly because of superstitions, and also maybe just because not everyone finds them cute or charming. Want to help? Start with small everyday things, such as spreading the word about the importance of buying reptiles from responsible sources, raising awareness about protecting habitats, or maybe just choosing more eco-friendly products. 

Consult Your Veterinarian

Reptiles should be examined regularly, just like any other animal. If your pet hasn’t been examined in a while, make an appointment. This is a great opportunity to get specific care tips for your pet. 

As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I wish you all a wonderful new year. Contact me anytime!

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