Keeping Reptiles Comfortable

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. A big part of that is being aware of signs of pain, but it’s also important to keep your animal companion comfortable. With reptiles, even mild discomfort can be related to improper diet or conditions, both of which can lead to severe illness and even death. A local Lexington, KY veterinarian offers some information on keeping reptiles comfortable below.


When it comes to reptile care, making sure their habitat is at the right temperature is crucial. That entails choosing and installing the appropriate lighting. The exact type you’ll need will vary, depending on what type of pet you have and the size of the cage. Heat lamps or heat pads should be checked regularly, and bulbs replaced on a regular basis. We recommend investing in good, high-quality thermostats. These one-time purchases make a huge difference to your reptilian buddy’s comfort and health. Do plenty of research, and ask your veterinarian for specific advice.

Hiding Spots

Discomfort isn’t always physical. Many reptiles feel uncomfortable if they are too exposed. Provide a few good hides. One of these should be set up to assist with shedding, which would entail including things like vermiculite or moss.

Safe Foods

Reptiles often eat things like bugs or mice. However, sometimes ‘lunch’ bites back. Don’t leave uneaten critters in the tank! Even smaller creatures can do some damage by biting or scratching.

Monitor Sheds

Most of the time, healthy reptiles shed their skin without trouble. However, occasionally something goes wrong. If you notice any leftover skin after a shed, immediately contact your vet for advice. This can lead to a variety of painful and dangerous conditions.

Recognize Signs Of Stress

It is also important to know how to spot signs that something is off. Some of these include refusing to eat or drink, becoming over or under active, panting, a flattened posture, and aggression. A large number of illnesses are caused by improper conditions, so contact your vet right away if you notice any of these things.

Senior Care

Your tiny dinosaur’s needs will also change over time. Senior reptiles have a harder time climbing onto things, and are more prone to infections and disease. Making small adjustments, such as providing a wider temperature range and feeding them smaller but more frequent meals, can help a lot. Ask your vet for care tips.


Do you have questions about caring for a reptile? Contact us, your local Lexington, KY animal clinic, today!

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