Preparing Your New Reptile’s Enclosure

Finding reptiles for sale and adding one to your family can be a great way to teach kids about responsibility and diversity. If you are thinking of purchasing a reptile, it's important that you take the time to create an enclosure that will keep your new pet healthy before bringing the reptile home.

Here are three tips that you can use to prepare your reptile's enclosure so that he or she will be safe and happy living in your home with your family.

1. Make sure the enclosure is large enough to provide a temperature gradient.

Reptiles do not have the ability to regulate their own body heat. In order to regulate their internal temperature, reptiles rely on an external heat source. As you begin to set up an enclosure for your reptile, you need to ensure that the enclosure is large enough to offer your new pet access to a heat gradient.

Placing the heat lamp on one end of the enclosure offers your reptile access to warmth, and your reptile's enclosure needs to be large enough to be completely cool at the opposite end. This temperature gradient will give your pet maximum ability to control his or her internal temperature.

2. Incorporate many shelters into the design of your reptile's enclosure.

Your new reptile will need a few places to hide out in his or her new enclosure in order to prevent stress and anxiety. Many new reptile owners think that placing a single shelter in their pet's enclosure is sufficient, but this can limit your reptile's ability to obtain some privacy.

You need to place shelters throughout the enclosure so that your reptile can seek privacy in each of the different temperature zones. This allows your pet to maintain internal temperature without risking exposure to excess stress that could be harmful to the reptile's health.

3. Provide proper basking areas.

Basking in the warmth of an enclosure's heat lamp is how your reptile will spend a significant amount of time. As you set up your enclosure, you need to take the time to learn how your specific reptile likes to bask.

Tree-dwelling reptiles like to bask up high on a branch near the heat lamp, while other reptiles like to lay on a large rock on the ground while absorbing heat. Learning about your specific reptile's basking needs will help you design an enclosure that is comfortable for your new pet.

Purchasing a reptile can be exciting. Make sure that your new pet remains safe, happy, and healthy by taking the time to properly prepare his or her new enclosure before bringing the reptile home.