As a parent, bringing a pet into the home is a great way to teach young children the importance of being kind to animals and just how to take care of one. Unfortunately, every pet isn't suited for every home. This is particularly the case when it comes to reptiles. If you're thinking about bringing a reptile into your home, here are some tips to help ensure your family is paired with the best match.
If you want your child to play an active role in the pet's care, it's best to choose an animal that has a habitat that is easy to maintain. A number of reptiles require UV lamps and heat lamps inside their cages, which can be dangerous for children to work with, especially younger children. Choosing an animal that doesn't require this type of lighting is best. Some options include geckos and corn snakes.
It's best to choose an animal with an activity level that matches the desires of your child. Generally, for a younger child who wants to watch a lively and thriving reptile, the blue-tongued skink is a great option as they are very active. For an older child who is okay with a less active pet, a bearded dragon is a good option. When it comes to activity levels, there is no right or wrong, it's simply a matter of preference.
Reptiles feed on a variety of menu items, with some being easier to handle than others. It's best to avoid a reptile that feeds on something your child is scared of. For example, a great meal for some reptiles consist of live mice. If your child is scared of mice this won't work. For these children, it's best to look for a reptile that follows a vegetarian diet or a store-purchased blend, which includes geckos and tortoises.
Not all reptiles need to stay in a secure cage all the time, some can also be held outside their living environment. You just need to determine what level of handling interest you. If you want a pet that you can hold occasionally, corn snakes are an option because they are small in size, non-aggressive and don't have claws. On the other hand, more delicate reptiles like chameleons can get hurt when they are handled and of course large snakes pose safety risks.
While reptiles don't offer the same level of companionship as a cat or dog, they can still be excellent pets for children of all ages. Make sure you and your family are taking your time on your search to choose the right reptile for sale for your home.