Reptiles are readily available from a wide variety of sources. Pet stores, professional breeders, friends, and even the crazy kid down the street who loves catching wild reptiles. Which reptile is going to make your best pet? Before you buy reptiles you need to know some very important information.
In the past buying reptiles meant getting wild-caught reptiles. Today it is more common to get reptiles which are raised by breeders. Which choice is best for you?
Wild caught reptiles have two very serious issues when it comes to owning them as pets. The first one is the fact they are wild. They have grown up expecting to hunt their food, eat from the wild, and to have freedom of movement. They are not going to accept captivity easily and will become highly stressed. This can lead to many problems with your pet reptiles.
The second major problem with wild caught reptiles is the disease. They have been exposed to many diseases and may be sick when you get them. Even if they are not if you put them in an aquarium with other reptiles they may transfer the disease to your other pets.
Reptiles raised by breeders have major advantages. They have never been out in the wild hunting down their own food. They are accustomed to eating commercial food making them much easier to care for. They do not become stressed by being in a reptile aquarium because it is their natural environment. They have not been exposed to a wide variety of wild diseases and are usually healthier.
There is one other issue you can never be sure of with a wild caught reptile, their age. While the lizard, snake, or turtle may look small and young, they could actually be old and not have been well nourished. You may be buying a reptile with a very short time left in their lifespan. You always know the age of reptiles which have been bred for sale.
What about lizards, snakes, or turtles from your friends who have managed to successfully breed? Buy reptiles from friends with just a little caution. They are likely to be healthy, well behaved, and great pets, but you can stress a friendship if something goes wrong. When you buy reptiles from a professional pet store they are expecting to deal with some customer problems and are not going to take it personally. You will get your lowest prices from friends.
Buying from a pet store or professional breeder adds one more important advantage. They will be more willing to provide you with support and advice. Once you are a customer you are a welcome face in their doorway. They are experts in the care of reptiles and there will be times their advice could save your pet’s life.
The most important advice, always try to buy reptiles from reputable sources who can tell you where the reptiles come from and know their lizards, snakes, and turtles are healthy and ready to be great pets.