Posted by: rattlerjen | November 21, 2008

Basic Reptile Pet Advice

Like any pet, caring for a reptile or amphibian requires time, money, and love. In addition to the requirements of a dog or cat, reptiles have special needs.

Reptiles and amphibians spend most of their time sleeping, they do not like to be touched or petted, and will not catch a frisbee. We receive calls daily about reptile pets that are no longer wanted by their owners. While reptiles are kept in a domestic setting they are still wild animals.

Giant Green Iguana

Giant Green Iguana

Please research extensively how to properly care for any animal before looking for one. Proper enclosures go well beyond a simple terrarium and a waterbowl. Expect to pay far more for everything you need to care for the animal than the animal itself.

Consider rescuing a reptile before purchasing one. Shelters and rescue agencies regularly receive unwanted reptile pets, and often have all their animals checked by a veterinarian before putting them up for adoption.

A great resource for reptile information online is:

Join your local Herpetology Organization to meet others interested in reptiles. Many hold fun meetings and exciting field trips.

Virginia Herpetological Society



  1. This is really good advice. A lot of people want reptiles as pets and you give good reasons discouraging that idea. You addressed some good issues, especially when you recommend rescuing a reptile before purchasing one, if one must have a reptile for a pet. I look forward to reading more information from you.

    P.S. The 10 most commonly seen snakes in DC is really helpful.

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