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Tips For Choosing Your First Reptile
January 17, 2023

Reptiles offer some wonderful charms and benefits. They’re quiet, don’t need training, and don’t really create messes or foul odors. They can also be a great pet for apartment dwellers, and/or anyone who is allergic to dogs or cats. However, they do have very specific care needs. It’s important to do plenty of researching before deciding to adopt one of these fascinating animals. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some things to consider before.

Do Your Research

There are dozens of types of reptiles commonly sold as pets, and many more less well-known ones. These guys vary widely in terms of diet, habitat needs, expected adult size, and lifespan. Make sure you know what you’re getting into! Do lots of reading, and ask your vet for advice.

Choosing A Beginner Breed

Reptiles are quite fragile, and can quickly get sick if their food and/or conditions are less than optimal. If you’ve never had one before, choose one that’s easy to care for. Some good snake options are milk snakes, corn snakes, and rosy boas. For lizards, the Bearded Dragon and Leopard gecko are both great choices. Of course, there are many other options.

Buy Responsibly

Always go through a reputable source or breeder when buying a reptile. There is unfortunately still a fairly strong black market for illegal exotics, many of which are animals that were captured wild.

Choose A Healthy Pet

Nursing a sick animal back to health is a noble undertaking, but this is also something best left to experts. Choose a reptile that is alert, active, and has good body condition. Some things to look for are clear eyes, smooth breathing, and healthy skin or scales. Ask your vet for more information.


Getting the environment set up properly is more than half the battle. You’ll want to have your pet’s habitat set up before you bring them home. The exact size tank or terrarium you’ll need will depend on the type of reptile you get, as will the environmental conditions you’ll need to recreate. Most reptiles require fairly warm environments, and many also need UVA/UVB lighting and high humidity levels. It’s worth investing in quality equipment. Ask your vet for specific care advice.

As your local Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering top notch veterinary care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!