Pet Care Advice 》 Choosing reptiles and exotic animals as pets

When deciding to choose a reptile as a pet, one of the first things to remember is that reptiles generally have quite long lifespans, and some species can grow to become quite large, so you need to be prepared for the long term commitment of owning one.  Also, no matter how much you try to interact with them, they seem untrainable.

It is also important to remember that because of their size, and the specialist equipment that is needed to secure their habitat, reptile keeping can be an expensive hobby, depending on the species that you choose.

If you consider having a reptile as a pet, there are some special precautions that owners should pay attention to. Check the laws in your area concerning what exotic pets are allowed where you live. Some species are highly protected and carry a heavy fine if the animal is endangered or protected.

Talk with other reptile owners to get a feel of what type of reptile may suit you best. A good way to do this is to keep a lookout for a reptile show in your area where you can gather information from pet owners at the show.

Certain snakes and lizards are very aggressive, venomous, dangerous and deadly. Reptiles can also carry zoonotic diseases, so washing your hands after handling the animal or cleaning their cage is important. Pregnant women and children younger than five shouldn't handle reptiles because of a risk from salmonella infection. And if someone is pregnant in your household, any pet reptile should be removed before your baby is born.