Are your kids bugging you for a pet? Do they follow you around begging for a dog or cat? If this sounds familiar, we have a solution for you!
Although the responsibility of a dog or cat is certainly a great learning experience for kids, some may not be up for that challenge just yet. Odds are you will probably be the one taking that dog for walks or cleaning the litter pan every day. A great way to start kids off with learning the responsibility of caring for a pet is to bring home a reptile. Now, while a reptile is certainly not going to snuggle up in bed with you like a dog or cat, it is a great way to introduce your kids to responsibility for a living creature without the demanding needs a dog can pose like daily walks, accidents or playtime.
Reptiles are a low-cost investment and they have a longer life expectancy than hamsters or fish, so you can expect them to be a part of your family for a very long time! Some species of snakes can live up to 30 years. Before committing to a snake, be sure you can give him a forever home. If you are looking for a little less of a commitment, consider a Breaded Dragon or a Gecko who typically have a life expectancy of 10 years.
There are many different types of reptiles on the planet today. They range from lizards, turtles, chameleons, snakes, bearded dragons, and many more. Each one has specific needs to consider before buying.
Some things you need to think about before purchasing one of these pets are:
- housing needs
- dietary needs
- humidity levels
The first thing to consider when purchasing a reptile is to ensure these guys have a safe cage/vivarium. You want to make sure they cannot escape their home and that they have enough room to grow for years to come.
Second, research individual diets. Each reptile has its own very specific dietary needs. Lizards for example are omnivores, which means they eat both animals and plants, including fruits and vegetables. Snakes are 100% carnivores and are unable to breakdown the sugars of fruit. Always check with your veterinary or local pet store owner on what to feed each type of reptile.
Finally, temperature and humidity levels are extremely important when caring for a reptile. They are cold-blooded animals that will need to rely heavily on you to provide them with the environment they need to remain healthy. It’s a good idea to check with your pet store and vet on exactly what type of heating lamps and equipment you may need to create the perfect environment for the new member of your family.
Besides these few items to consider when purchasing your new pet, the typical maintenance for reptiles is fairly low. While it is true, you don’t need to worry about taking the snake out for a walk or making sure they get enough exercise, reptiles still require a level of care and attention and are part of your family now. Do your research and see which reptile is a good fit for your family and then head to your local pet store and give one of these guys a forever home!