Reptiles

These are pets such as tortoises, geckos, lizards and snakes

Environment

a suitable living environment

Diet

a suitable diet

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

1

Environment

a suitable living environment

2

Diet

a suitable diet

3

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

4

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

5

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Did you know?

Did you know that tortoises can live for many decades? So be prepared for a long-term relationship with your new pet! Reptiles make great pets for those with busy lifestyles where you get the chance to enjoy a slice of nature right in your home as you recreate their natural environment. It’s important to read up on proper feeding regimes because some need food supplements to ensure they get the right nutrients for their bones. You’ll also need to have the right lighting and heating for their vivariums so take time to investigate this first. Like all pets they benefit from patience and practice to get them used to gentle handling and it’s a good idea to always wash your hands afterwards. Also make sure to provide a secure environment so that your pet can’t accidentally escape. Some reptiles – particularly tortoises – can need special documentation and all adults tortoises need to be microchipped so make sure you check this if you buy one.

Check before you buy

Research before you buy

Be sure you fully understand and appreciate the needs of the animals you are interested in, and will be able to afford to meet them for its lifetime. This includes costs such as electricity to constantly run equipment such as lights and heaters.

Consider contacting your local animal rescue/rehoming centre, such as the National Centre for Reptile Welfare at Hadlow College

Seek advice from reputable pet shops, breeders, books and websites

There might also be local interest groups that could help and your local veterinary practice may also be able to recommend suitable breeders.

Ensure you know what equipment you’ll need to control temperature, humidity, light quality, etc to make your pet feel at home in its vivarium

Ensure you buy from someone who specialises in the animal you are interested in

Visit the animal you are intending to buy

If you are buying an accommodation set-up with your new pet check that it is clean, supplied with the appropriate food and water receptacles, and that any special equipment (e.g. heat lamps or UV lights, etc) for maintaining the animal’s environment is working properly

Ensure that all relevant paperwork is available for inspection when you visit

This could include any necessary permits such as CITES registration documents or other documentation such as microchipping if you are buying an adult tortoise.

If any paperwork is unavailable and has to be sent on, obtain a written commitment as to when it will be delivered

Ensure that the animal you are buying is healthy and free from signs of injury or disease

Reptiles can sometimes require specialist care from a veterinary surgeon and may require referral to a specialist which can be expensive