Responsible Reptile Owner

The Responsible Reptile Owner

Many people think reptiles are inexpensive pets, easily accessible, and easy to care for.  However, after purchasing or being given a reptile several things can happen.

1. The reptile becomes ill and/or dies because of improper care.

2. The person becomes bored with their animal and leaves it unattended or lets it go in an unsatisfactory environment.

3. The cost of the reptile becomes overwhelming and can no longer afford to keep.

A reptile in captivity depends on its owner completely to provide the correct environmant.  While all reptiles have some sort of defense, it is still basically defenseless when it comes to providing an environment.  Unable to care for itself, it is at the mercy of the caregiver and every element of its care is important.

To neglect responsibility as an owner can mean death or suffering for the reptile.  If you think it shouldn't matter because a reptile is emotionaless, maybe you should refrain from acquiring any pet. There is still the element of pain and suffering to be considered should you allow your reptile to be neglected.

Any reptile deserves adequate care and some amount of socialization.  Dont just get a reptile to display in a cage and make a show of feeding   A reptile that has been provided for in captivity will not in any way have the ability to adapt to the wild.  If a reptile is released in an environment that lacks the right food sources or temperature.  Protection from predators may be inadequate.

If you give your pet away or sell it, please make sure the person receiving the reptile has proper knowledge of what it takes to care for and shelter the animal.

If you decide to own a reptile for a pet and don't practice proper handling you may make the animal more aggressive and bite.

Reptiles can be interesting as pets.  The experience can be rewarding and educational.  The responsibility lies in the hands of the owner.  If you want a fulfilling and long lasting experience as a reptile owner, take the time and make the effort to learn about what's involved before you purchase or accept a reptile. Make sure you know the care and cost involved, also the size and lifespan of the anaimal.

Choose a reputable pet shop thast you trust and have seen proper care of their reptiles. Exotic pet sales have gone through the roof, so many of these creatures are handled wrong right from the start.  It pays to research how a healthy reptile should look before you make the commitment to purchase.  Just having a license to sell a reptile does not make the breeder or dealer a reputable supplier.  

A responsible pet owner is not just someone who loves animals.  It's someone who makes the effort to learn, educate, and care for the animals properly.  There are many well-meaning people who call themselves animal lovers and still don't have what it takes to be the right caregiver for reptiles because of the long term care and costs.  You may be the perfect match for a dog and far from the perfect match for a turtle or a lizard!  Know your limits before you commit.