There are four main requirements to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy. These are: heating, lighting, floor coverings and décor.
All housing for herptiles needs to be heated. There are several ways in which this heating can be achieved: basking lamps, ceramic heating elements, under tank heat sources or central heating for the entire building. Heating sources should ideally be placed outside the enclosure to prevent any accidental burns to your pet. You will need to secure a thermometer to the enclosure so you can keep checking that it is the correct temperature.
The enclosures need to be kept well lit. There are two ways to achieve safe lighting. These are: a full-spectrum incandescent in a basking lamp discussed above and/or through full-spectrum fluorescent lamps. These two varieties of lamp are available at all good pet shops. The first of these lamps provides hat as well as light and may be suitable for some types of lizard. The full spectrum fluorescent lamp provides a replacement for sunlight, meaning it is most suited to these herptiles that require natural sunlight to survive.
When choosing the correct floor covering for your herptile, there are a number of things to consider. The flooring must be clean and free from microorganisms. Reptile floor carpets are available for your enclosure. It is important to remember that carpets for your home and not built for herptile and may cause your pet harm. You should avoid using sand in your enclosure. This can stick to the skin of your pet and contaminate their food, causing illness. A better choice instead of sand is gravel. Any flooring you choose to use must be completely clean and suitable for use with reptiles.
Cage décor is extremely important for your herptile. It provides camouflage and security and helps to maintain some of their instincts for their natural environment. Ideal cage décor items are: bark, rocks, and branches. These can all be collected from the garden outside, however, it is vital that the items be cleaned and sterilised before coming into contact with your pet. You must also ensure there are no sharp corners, which may unwittingly damage your pet’s skin. Plants are a vital source of camouflage for your herptile. Before putting plants in your enclosure, you must ensure they are the correct size, and that any growing ones will not overgrow. Also that they are able to grow within the conditions you have created.
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