Amelia Whitehart November 1, 2020

Reptile pets advices? Originally from East Africa, the sulcata tortoise is often seen in zoos and conservatories. But, they’re also a highly sought-after species in the pet trade. They are one of the largest tortoise species in the world, so caring for one is not for the faint of heart. Full-grown tortoises can reach 25 to 30 inches in size and tip the scales at over 100 pounds. Not only that, but they have a long lifespan. In good living conditions, a sulcata tortoise can live for 70 years or more! Thanks to their massive size, sulcata tortoises need a large outdoor enclosure. They love to explore and move around the habitat, so you cannot keep these creatures in confined spaces. Most owners will build a dedicated enclosure using tall concrete walls. While you might think that wooden fences would suffice, these reptiles are quite strong. They can easily blow through wood fences. These pet tortoises can also escape by other means. They are capable of climbing objects and burrowing in the substrate. So, take some extra time when planning the perfect habitat! The yellow-footed tortoise is very similar to the red-footed tortoise. However, it doesn’t feature the same intense coloration. But that doesn’t mean that this species is any less beautiful!

Fortunately, many pet snakes will accept dead prey. If yours does, consider keeping a separate small freezer for what are delicately called “prey items”. Dead mice and rats of various ages can be purchased in frozen packages through pet supply stores and directly from people who breed “feeder” mice. For health reasons, it is best to keep your snake’s dinner separately from your own foods. Depending on the snake, she might scarf down three or four at one meal, or she might only eat one. You’ll need to keep half a dozen on hand, in any case. Try starting with prey items that are about the same size around the middle as your snake is. If your snake won’t touch dead prey items, try wiggling the meal a bit, to make it move. Also, try putting a piece of fabric over the tank as a “privacy curtain”. Sometimes one or both of those will do the trick. If that fails, you might need to feed your snake live prey. This is more complicated, and not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to watch the snake hunting and killing the larger prey, because it is dangerous to the snake to leave an adult rodent alone with her. The panicked creature could injure the snake with its claws and teeth.

Your Mexican alligator lizard will enjoy being fed a variety of items such as crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, snails and butter worms. For maximum nutritional benefit, make sure to gut load these insects first. You can use kale, lettuce or fruits to gut load your insects. You’ll also need to dust the prey with supplemental calcium and vitamin powders prior to feeding time. It’s also important to ensure that you’re practicing smart feeding habits as well. Here’s what to do: Put the food items in a small bowl, and remove anything that’s left over at the end of the day. You can start off giving your lizard 10 to 15 insects at a time, two to three times a week. You can always increase or decrease the amount of food given. Expert Tip: Be careful not to overfeed your Mexican alligator lizard since these reptiles can quickly become overweight (leading to a long list of possible health issues). See additional info on how to care for reptile pets.

Bluetongues make ideal pets as they readily adapt to captivity, do not mind regular handling, are easy to feed and have fairly straightforward living requirements (for reptiles). However, like all reptiles, the cost of purchase of the animal is small compared to the cost of proper housing, lighting and heating and should be considered thoughtfully before proceeding. Bluetongues have a preferred body temperature (PBT) of 28ºC and their enclosure should provide a temperature range of 2-3ºC either side of this PBT. Use a ceramic or infra-red heat-lamp at one end of the enclosure. Provision of logs or rocks placed under and around the heat source, allows your lizard to choose the right distance when basking and a hollow log or upturned flowerpot provides a cool retreat.

Wherever you keep them, you must be careful about preventing escape! Thanks to their flat bodies, these critters can slip under narrow cracks. They’re also surprisingly good climbers! Pancake tortoises are easy to please when it comes to food. Natural herbivores, these reptiles have a healthy appetite for plant-based foods. They enjoy a wide variety of leafy greens and dry grasses. The tortoises also enjoy fruits and vegetables. Here’s a species that’s on the larger side of the size spectrum. Reaching roughly 10 to 18 inches as adults, leopard tortoises are the fourth-largest species in the world! It’s not hard to see why this pet tortoise breed is so loved in the herpetology community. The shell is unique, featuring a distinct pattern that stands out in a crowd. The base color of the shell is usually tan or light brown. However, splotches of black create a spotted effect that looks like the fur of a leopard. Read additional info at