Are you ready to have reptiles or amphibians at home like pets? The question is pertinent for those who have never had and think about having such a pet, since they are animals with very particular habits and needs.
Reptiles or amphibians such as snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and frogs can be fascinating, but the decision to have them involves many questions. Let’s get to them:
Did you research it?
It is important to get as much information as possible about the pet that you think you have. Knowing the types, species, behaviors, food and physical needs is the number one concern.
Don’t be content to talk only to the pet shop salesman. Read a lot, talk to specialized institutions (for example, the Butantã Institute). Sane all your doubts before making a hasty decision.
Do you have time to take care of your pet?
At first glance it may seem that reptiles or amphibians don’t work like pets, because they are less interactive. But it’s not quite like that. Each one requires special care, which in turn requires you to have time and organize well.
The African toad, for example, eats once a week and hardly moves. But its waste is highly toxic and can kill the animal if its habitat is not cleaned up as often as necessary.
Do you know what the life expectancy of your pet is?
Reptiles and amphibians in captivity can have extremely long lives, up to 50 years! Even the smallest live many years – lizards can live 10 years, frogs up to 20.
Who’s gonna take care of your pet when you’re not?
It’s getting easier and easier to find people willing to take care of our pets when we travel or have to leave. However, with exotic pets it’s more complicated. Besides the habitats, which can be large and difficult to transport, it is necessary that the designated person knows very well what to do, so as not to put the health of your pet at risk.
Do you have the financial conditions to have an exotic pet?
The care of different pets is always more expensive, as they require special feeding, specialized veterinarians, and various things that are not found anywhere.
Is it safe and legal to have the pet you want?
First of all, make sure that the pet you want to have is legalized. IBAMA has a list of allowed animals, and mainly, of legalized breeders. Therefore, don’t buy your pet but from a legalized breeder! Secondly, consider whether it is safe to have such a pet.
Contractor snakes, such as boa constrictors, for example, can kill people and other animals if they are not kept well fed and in adequate and safe places.
Do you really want this pet?
Although fascinating at first glance, reptiles and amphibians usually have a very low degree of activity and interactivity, which can become monotonous if you do not have this clear in mind before bringing it home. If you are prepared to admire and respect them for what they really are, great.
If you think you’re going to get frustrated, don’t have such an animal. Remember that it is quite difficult to “donate” an exotic pet that you will give up, and releasing it into the wild is considered an environmental crime.
Do you have adequate space for your pet?
In addition to adequate physical space for terrariums and habitats, it is necessary that you know all the special needs of your pet with respect to lighting, temperature, humidity, air circulation and accessories.
It is often necessary to have separate electrical installations with no-breaks, so that in case of power failure your pet does not go without the basic conditions of survival. And remember: constricting snakes, for example, reach several meters in length, and need spaces large enough to have a healthy life.
Can you feed your pet properly?
Many of these animals have specific diets that are difficult to provide. Some only eat live animals (mice and insects, for example), others may be accustomed to feeding on frozen prey (for example, mice bought frozen in shops or on the Internet, which must be thawed before being offered).
Depending on the species, it is necessary to offer specific insects, and food supplements, so that your pet does not suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
Will your pet breed in captivity?
This is a very relevant question. It is necessary to know well the species you intend to have, and to plan so that an accidental reproduction does not occur. Besides the fact that it can be illegal to sell an animal reproduced at home, it is not easy to find someone to donate.
The best thing is not to have puppies, unless you are well guided by a veterinary professional, specialized in exotic animals, and prepared for the consequences of your choices.
Remember: your first responsibility is for the welfare of the animal you want to bring into your home!