Tips For Purchasing A Reptile

Have you been considering getting a reptile? More and more people are becoming interested in unusual pets. Snakes, lizards, and turtles can make wonderful pets. However, they are very different from dogs and cats, and have quite specific needs. A Lexington, KY vet offers some advice on purchasing a reptile in this article.

Do Your Research

Reptiles vary quite widely as far as their size, longevity, and care needs. For instance, a green anole is a fairly small lizard that only lives a few years. An iguana, on the other hand, may look somewhat similar as a baby, but may eventually grow to be 6 feet long, and will need a sizable enclosure. Do plenty of research about the specific type of reptile you’re interested in.

Buy Responsibly

This is a big one! Unfortunately, it’s still far too common for wild-caught reptiles to show up at trade shows. This is quite cruel to the pet, as wild animals generally do not adapt well to being confined. They’re also less docile than captive-born pets. Another issue with black market animal trade? It can be devastating to both wildlife and the environment. 


It’s not uncommon for people to rehome reptiles. This may be cheaper than purchasing a new one, but be careful. They could be sick or aggressive, or, depending on the species, pregnant. Proceed with caution! 

Choose A Healthy One

Although every type of reptile is a bit different, there are some common warning signs to look for. Healthy reptiles are alert and active, and will respond to stimuli. Their skin—or scales—should be smooth and supple, free of lesions and sores, and their eyes and eyelids should also look clear and healthy. Watch their movement and breathing, and check for foul odors. 

Gather Information

Find out as much as possible about your potential pet. You’d want to ask about their age, medical history, diet, and temperament. Try to get medical records, and, if possible, the contact information for the vet that formerly treated the animal.

Contact Your Vet

The first thing you’ll want to do when adopting any new animal is contact your vet to schedule an initial examination. If you have other pets, keep your new arrival quarantined until your vet has given you the all-clear.

As your Lexington, KY animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care. Please contact us anytime! 

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