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Making Friends With a Reptile

June 1, 2021

Have you ever wondered if reptiles can feel emotions? It’s probably safe to say that they aren’t as sentimental or affectionate as dogs and cats are. Your pet snake probably won’t curl into a heart shape to say hi, and your lizard isn’t likely to jump for joy when you get home. However, some reptiles do seem to get quite attached to their humans. Bonding with a reptile can take time and patience, but it’s not impossible. Here, a vet discusses taming reptiles.


Age

Age has a lot to do with how comfortable your pet is with being handled. You’ll have more luck taming a baby animal than you will an older one that’s rarely been handled. Of course, baby reptiles can need an experienced hand, and are not always a good option for new reptile owners. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.


Body Language 

Pay attention to your pet’s body language. If your reptile is hissing, withdrawing, or acting as though it’s going to strike, just leave it alone. Subtle signs, such as head position, can also clue you in on how they feel.


Settling In

Don’t try to handle your pet immediately. Give them time to adjust to their new home and surroundings. You can talk to the little guy, and perhaps hold your hand out for them to investigate. (This is not recommended with larger reptiles that may bite)


Familiarity

Some lizards are quite personable, and even act affectionate. However, some of these tiny dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners. It may take a while for your pet to feel comfortable being handled.


Food

Offering food and treats is a great way to win any animal’s trust. However, many reptiles don’t eat every day. You may be less than thrilled about trying to hold a live bug out. Let your pet get used to your smell, and the sound of your voice. They’ll realize on their own that you’re providing dinner.


Picking Up

Some reptiles should be handled regularly, to keep them tame and docile. Be sure to pick your pet up properly! Don’t pick your reptile up by the tail, or when he is eating or sleeping. Ask your vet for more information. 


Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today!

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