When people are considering getting a new pet, often the first animals that come to mind are traditional domestic pets like cats and dogs. While puppies and kittens make fantastic furry companions, they are not the only great option for people looking for new pets. There are many types of small animals available that can make entertaining and sometimes affectionate companions.
One category of pets that is frequently overlooked is that of reptiles. Several types of animal are covered under the heading of reptilia, including turtles, lizards, and snakes. These animals come in an incredible array of sizes, shapes, and colors, and can fit into just about any lifestyle, from busy, active families to quiet, single-person households.
Here are seven great reasons to consider a reptile when choosing your next pet.
Reptiles are Quiet
Birds squawk, dogs bark and whine, and cats can produce ear-splitting yowls on occasion. Reptiles, on the other hand, are quiet animals. Although they may make a variety of chirps, whistles, clicks, and calls, most are fairly unobtrusive and they certainly won’t bother the neighbors, interrupt your phone calls, or keep you from sleeping through the night.
Dogs, cats, rodents, and even birds produce allergy-triggering dander, but not reptiles. As reptiles don’t produce dander, very few individuals are allergic to them. If you are unable to have other pets because you suffer from allergies to dander or fur, a reptile may provide you with the companionship you seek without triggering symptoms.
*It’s important to note that though allergies to reptiles are extremely rare, allergic reactions can be caused by exposure to the insects that many reptiles dine on. Allergy prone individuals may want to test their sensitivity to insects or choose a reptile that eats vegetation instead.
Interactive but Not Needy
Reptiles, as a whole, tend to be very inquisitive and entertaining creatures. They may not be as outwardly affectionate as some pets, but they have distinctive individual personalities and many can recognize and develop a bond with their owners. Larger, long-lived reptiles, such as tortoises, iguanas, and bearded dragons, can even be potty trained, trained to walk outside on a harness, or taught to come to their name.
On the other hand, most reptiles don’t need interaction with their owners to be content with their lot in life. As long as their physical needs are met, reptiles will thrive. This is great for busy professionals who may have to fly off for a day or two at a moment’s notice or the college student who’s cramming for tests.
Training not Required
Your turtle is unlikely to jump on your guests as they walk through the door, and your snake’s not going to tear open a bag of their favorite treats when you’re not looking. While dogs and even cats require some training to comfortably live with us, reptiles are typically kept in enclosures and don’t have as many troublesome habits that need to be trained out.
Although training isn’t required, some reptile species can be motivated to learn a few basic commands or tricks. Training a reptile takes a great deal of time and patience, but it can be helpful to have a pet that opens its mouth on command, walks on a leash, or comes to a specific target.
While large reptiles like iguanas, large tortoises, and Burmese pythons may need large enclosures, the majority of reptiles can happily live their entire lives in a small to medium aquarium or terrarium. The initial setup may take a little work to ensure that the temperature, humidity, and light are just right for the specific type of reptile you choose, but ongoing maintenance is usually relatively simple.
Having a reptile in your home can enhance your living space as well. People who want to add some greenery to their home can choose an arboreal or tropical species and enrich the cage with plants and other decorations. Those who find the harsh beauty of the desert soothing may choose a pet that prefers a sandy environment, while those delighted by water decorations may choose aquatic lizards, turtles, or snakes to display in their home
Minimal Grooming or Clean up
Dogs require regular bathing and both dogs and cats look and feel better with weekly to daily brushing. Reptiles, on the other hand, rarely need grooming. Snakes and lizards often enjoy a good soak before and after shedding, and turtles may occasionally need claw and beak trims, but otherwise, reptiles are self-sufficient in the grooming department saving their owners both time and money.
Reptiles do need their cage cleaned on a regular basis, but it is much less work than vaccuming pet hair, cleaning up muddy paw prints or scooping litter boxes. Their water should be replaced daily, but most reptiles only need the rest of their cage cleaned once or twice a week.
Reptiles, which encompass turtles, tortoises, lizards, snakes, and skinks, come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, personalities, and appetites. A novice looking for a pet that enjoys being handled might choose a leopard gecko, ball python, or corn snake. One who prefers to watch their pet rather than handle them may select an anole, panther chameleon, or green snake instead.
Someone squeamish about feeding insect or rodents to their pet can select an herbivorous reptile like a tortoise or an iguana. There are reptiles that only need to be fed every few weeks, those that can climb the sides of glass, and those that can be trained to walk on a leash.
Check out the stunning selection of healthy reptiles at Cedar Pet Supply!
While all animals require care and attention, reptiles often require less attention than other pets. There are reptiles suitable for novices to experts and varieties for any size home or family. They don’t bark at the neighbors, require daily walks, or scratch up the furniture. They can, however, provide enjoyment, beauty, and even companionship to their home and family. Reptiles are rewarding and entertaining pets to raise, often with fewer needs than their mammalian and avian counterparts.