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Cleaning Your Reptile’s Cage

Reptiles, like any other household pet, need their environments to be clean and sterile. In addition to the daily removal of any uneaten food or excess waste, you should fully clean and disinfect your reptile’s cage periodically to ensure no harmful viruses, bacteria, or fungi can cause health problems. Here, a 4S Ranch veterinarian tells you how.

Remove Your Reptile

Before you do anything, take your reptile out of the cage and put him in a back-up cage stocked with anything he will need. You might take hours or even a whole day to clean and disinfect the cage—don’t forget drying time! Your reptile might need to spend a good amount of time in the backup cage, so make sure he’ll be comfortable there.

Remove Accessories and Clean Them

Remove all accessories like branches, rocks, and heating pads from the cage and clean and disinfect them. You may even consider boiling rocks and other accessories in water for a while to thoroughly destroy any harmful bacteria. Wash branches or plant structures with hot water and soap.

Remove Disposable Bedding

Take out your reptile’s disposable bedding and throw it out. You’ll be putting fresh in after the cage is put back together.

Clean Cage Surfaces

Clean the sides, bottom, and top of the cage with soap and hot water. Use a commercial terrarium cleaning device or a putty knife to loosen any tough spots. Rinse the cage thoroughly with water when you’re finished.

Disinfect the Cage

Use a disinfectant to sterilize the cage. Ask your 4S Ranch veterinarian about what substance will be safe to use in your reptile’s cage. ALWAYS let it dry completely before reassembling the cage and reintroducing your pet.

Put Cage Back Together

Now you’re ready to put everything back in its place. Put fresh bedding in and put the accessories back, making sure they’re completely dry. Once you’re sure everything is dry and no harmful fumes are present, reintroduce your reptile.

 

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