I get this question often: "What do I look for when I go to buy a new reptile for our family, the last one didn’t work out to well?"
When you think of reptiles, in most cases snakes are the first thing that comes to mind. There is a wide range of retiles like lizards, geckos and skinks, to name a few, as well as amphibians that all make great pets. Care for reptiles is much less than your dog or cat—in most cases, they will eat crickets, mealworms or commercial diet. What your reptile eats will determine how often you will need to feed.
When searching for a reptile, do some research on the animal in which you are interested. Take a few trips to your local pet store, and always ask questions to the person you are buying from. See when the last time the reptile has eaten as well as check the animal over, looking in its eyes—be sure they are clear and bright. Look for nipped tails, missing toes and bite marks on snakes as well as lizards. Check animals’ vents for dried or stuck-on waste—this area should be clean. Check the cage to see how the animal is currently being housed. Ask how often animal is handled as well if you can hold it yourself. This may be a problem at some pet stores, but all animals will not act the same with each handler, so always try and handle for 3-8 minutes to see how it acts with you.
Here are just a few tips when looking for a reptile. The best way to know what you are getting into is to do lots of research and ask lots of question when in pet store. And if the person does not have much information on the reptiles they are selling, it that is a clear sign to not to buy from them.
If you have any questions about reptile care, housing, or if something seems wrong with your reptile, feel free to ask away and I will post on the topic.