Is a Reptile Right for You?

Are you considering getting a pet reptile? Reptiles do make excellent pets for the right people, but they aren’t for everyone. There are many things to consider before deciding to adopt a reptile. Many people buy reptiles on impulse, thinking that a reptile will make a cool and unusual pet. While this is true, all too often the novelty wears off fairly quickly, and this can leave both you and the animal in an unhappy situation. In this article, your local 4S Ranch vet goes over a few things to consider before making a final decision.


When estimating costs for a pet reptile, you’ll really need to research the specific type of pet you are looking at. While the animal itself may not be very expensive, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a habitat, which can be pricey. Reptiles with specific heat/light requirements will also need special equipment to keep their cage at optimal conditions. This can add a significant amount to your electric bill. You’ll also need to calculate the costs of food, cleaning supplies, and substrate.


Unlike a dog or cat, a reptile will need a specific area dedicated to his habitat. Some reptiles get pretty big, so your scaled pet can end up taking over a chunk of your home. Before choosing a reptile, evaluate your living space. A reptile won’t be happy in a cage that’s too small. Another thing to keep in mind is that since many reptiles never stop growing, their space requirements will keep growing with them!


Generally, feeding your reptile is going to be quite a bit more involved than simply popping open a can of wet food. Some reptiles eat live prey, while others can get by on frozen animals. Others eat insects or worms. Do you have the stomach to prepare that sort of meal for your pet? Even reptiles that don’t eat meat can require quite a bit of prep work. Iguanas, for instance, are vegetarians, but canned veggies aren’t necessarily the best meal for them. Do you have the time and dedication to prepare fresh food for your scaled pet?

Do you have any questions about caring for a pet reptile? If so, please feel free to give us a call at any time. As your local 4s Ranch vet clinic, we are always here to help!

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