Reptile Supplies: What You Need to Care for Your Pet
A reptile's abode must be properly outfitted to keep them healthy and happy. Since most reptiles primarily live in tropical locations, regulating the temperature of your new cold-blooded friend is particularly important. Before your reptile can become a full-fledged part of your family, be sure you’ve got these top 3 essentials covered.
- Light. Basking bulbs or heat mats provide heat and are crucial to helping diurnal reptiles (reptiles who are awake during the day) thermo-regulate during the day. Ultraviolet light, both UVA and UVB, is equally important for all reptiles. UVA light promotes your reptile’s ability to function within its environment and maintain a healthy appetite. UVB light aids in the production of vitamin D3, allowing your reptile (particularly diurnal reptiles) to process calcium and keep a healthy immune system. These types of lamps are easy-to-install and often come packaged in one lamp for convenience. Be sure to invest in a thermometer as well to monitor the heat these lamps produce, so you can make sure your pet is comfortable.
- Food. While you won’t find your reptile begging for food at the table, you still want to make sure you’re giving them nutritious and yummy meals. Some reptiles, like turtles and bearded dragons (note: one of the best reptiles for children), can eat fruits and vegetables from your refrigerator. However, pet food still provides the most balanced diet. There’s no need to worry about feeding your gecko live crickets or your snake a live rodent (which can actually be dangerous for your snake if the rodent bites him). Between dried, jellied, pellet, and frozen food options, your reptile can eat happily and you can rest easy during feeding time. Consider adding powdered dietary supplements to your reptile’s diet to make sure they get enough calcium and vitamins.
- Decor. Home decorating is more than just a way to beautify your pet’s abode. For many reptiles (particularly snakes and lizards), hideaways like ramps and plants are crucial to reducing stress level. Noticing whether your pet gravitates towards hideaways on the hot or cool side of his terrarium can also help you determine if you need to alter the inside temperature or reconsider its placement.