Just like humans, reptiles experience diseases and pick up illnesses. These diseases can be either hereditary or down to poor living conditions. For hereditary diseases there isn’t a lot we as owners can do, but for everything else we can play a huge part in the long term health and happiness of these beautiful and loving creatures. By just providing your reptile with a balanced diet and a hygienic vivarium, it will go a long way in improving its overall health and happiness. Vivariums that are unclean or diets missing valuable vitamins can also easily damage a reptile’s health.
By researching your reptile’s dietary needs and by providing your exotic pet with a nutritious, balanced diet and clean home, you’ll vastly extend their lifespan.
Signs to look out for
Study your scaly friend closely. Signs of disease and discomfort can be easily identified through a sudden change in either their behaviour or appearance, so keep your eyes open at all times and regularly inspect your reptile. Unexpected changes in your pet’s weight, texture or appetite are also very clear signs that suggest illness. On the other hand, if your pet has clear eyes, seems lively and alert and is eating regularly then these signs may indicate a happy and healthy reptile.
Your Reptile’s Mental Health
Your reptile’s mental health is also an area that owners have to closely monitor. Geckos’ and newts can all become easily disheartened and unhappy if they are not stimulated. With this in mind, it is really important for you to make sure their home is full of tasty bugs, tunnels, and surprises to keep them constantly occupied. If you own a small reptile like a Gecko, then a great way to entertain them while also making them feel safe and snug is to modify their vivarium with a small log or pieces of wood. At night, your scaly companion will use pieces of wood or a log to sleep in as they naturally want to protect themselves from potential predators.
Likewise, larger reptiles like Iguanas are likely to become bored if their homes are not spacious and restrict their daily movements. Remember, their habitat should be a place they feel safe, happy and secure in at all times.
Similarly, snakes that become bored have a custom of either hiding from view or aggressively brushing their nose and face against the walls of their habitat, in an effort to escape.
Many owners will notice that a bored reptile will become antisocial and hate being handled. This is hardly surprising, as a reptile will easily become uninterested in what is going on outside their habitat if they are uninterested in what’s going on inside their habitat.
If you owned a dog or a cat, you would never deprive them of having any soft toys or chews in their cage would you? Then why should it be any different for a reptile. A responsible owner will dedicate the same level of care and attention to every kind of pet they have regardless of their species.
All reptiles need regular care and attention and so as a responsible owner make sure you do your duty. Remember, reptiles cannot speak and tell us how they are feeling and so it’s our job to watch out for any tell-tale signs that indicate poor mental or physical health. Adopting a pet is the easy part, caring for it on a daily basis is much harder and requires time, patience and above all love.
Joseph Lewis from Petvillas
My background is from a copywriting perspective and I have created copy for Ford, Cancer Research and The Dogs Trust and also worked on the huge catalogue of pet products that we distribute from our website. I have great experience working in the pet industry. I am also an animal lover and have been rescuing abused dogs and cats since I was a child, so I care passionately about the creatures I write about.