The duties of a good reptile keeper
Each person who decides to acquire a reptile or even an animal in general must be aware of the burdens that this implies on a daily basis and that he must be able to assume it throughout his life. Our primary goal is not to teach you a lesson, but to empower as many people as possible towards these animals which are too often neglected for lack of thought and knowledge. We have therefore listed below important points which, for us, will need to be studied conscientiously so that you are sure of your choice, that you do not regret it and your future companion either.
Long term commitment
Most reptiles have a fairly long life expectancy (20 years for some geckos). They are therefore not animals to be taken on a whim because in the end it is the animal that will suffer the consequences. So take the time to think about it seriously.
Specific maintenance conditions
Reptiles have more stringent maintenance and care conditions than more traditional pets. It is imperative that you take the step of informing yourself about their biological and physiological needs. Anyone who decides to acquire a pet must be able to offer it all the conditions necessary for its survival and well-being.
For your viewing pleasure
You should also be aware that a reptile observes itself but hardly ever manipulates itself. The only manipulations will be those generated by the care and maintenance which will be more than enough for your animal who does not like but "tolerates" these manipulations. If it is the frequent contact with the animal that tempts you more than the observation itself, then you will need to orient yourself on a class of pets that appreciates it.
Fad and consequences
Don't buy for fashion. Unfortunately, many people buy these animals because "it is beautiful and exotic" but they do not realize the burden that this implies on a daily basis. They are quickly overwhelmed and end up reselling them or even abandoning them in the wilderness which can have disastrous ecological consequences if it is an invasive species. So take the time to weigh the pros and cons for you and your pet.
Laws, regulations and detention
The detention of certain reptiles is subject to regulation according to the appendices of the CITES / Washington Convention, under certificate of capacity or environmental permit, whether it is during the purchase of a first specimen or after obtaining a number of animals. Again it's up to you to get the right information, do your research and don't hesitate to ask / ask questions.But make sure you are in good standing and have all the necessary documents proving that you bought your pet legally.
For more details, refer to the "Laws and legislation" section of our Reptiblog .
A reptile is also a significant financial investment: purchase of equipment, food budget, electricity budget, etc ... When you have a single specimen, it is manageable but you still have to be able to plan for the long term.
Veterinary costs are also inevitable. This can range from a simple consultation to an operation for egg retention or occlusion that can exceed 200 euros. So be prepared to put some money aside to be prepared for any eventuality.
Veterinarian and care
Before considering the purchase of a reptile, make sure you have the address of a veterinarian specializing in NAC near you so that you can deal with any emergency. Finding out once your animal is sick is the worst thing to do because most of the time, the care is too late and the animal does not survive.
The pathology section is there to guide you but does not replace the advice and care of a veterinarian. Some health problems can be easily solved at home, but if in doubt, do not treat yourself and let a specialist take care of it.
Ethics, genetics and genealogy
Despite the evolution of the different phases, it is necessary to know the limits of genetics which has a direct impact on their health. Certain combinations of genes cause irreversible sequelae which reduce the quality and expectancy of life. So if you buy or breed animals, do so responsibly.
It is also your responsibility to know the origin and genealogy of your animal in order to avoid any inbreeding which could have a very serious impact on the health of future generations.
Mixture of species
It is also ethically "forbidden" to mix species in the same terrarium: 1 species = 1 terrarium. The only exceptions being when creating a paludarium or very large terrariums with defined biotopes that do not allow predation or reproduction of species between them or when the species have a different day-to-day rhythm. This remains a very serious and complex subject that needs to be studied in depth.
Prepare for the arrival of your animal
Make sure that your installation and your maintenance settings are optimal before welcoming your reptile into your home. These animals are poikilothermic, ie they do not produce their own heat and are dependent on the temperature of the external environment. Your terrarium must therefore be on the way for at least 3-4 days in order to check the stability of your parameters and not to leave your reptile too long in its transport box.
When you welcome your reptile, a minimum quarantine of 2 months is mandatory if you decide to have it cohabit with a fellow creature (never 2 males together or a couple outside the breeding plan). This will allow you to control its state of health and prevent any transmission of parasites to your other residents if they are infected. If during the first bowel movements you suspect a parasitosis, do not hesitate to take the stool and send it to your veterinarian for analysis in order to rule out any risk of parasite infestation.
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