Handling Your Reptile
As a reptile owner, handling and taming him can have its challenges. Since these are wild animals, there are so many factors to consider. When should I handle my pet? How do I pick him up? First, you must understand that handling him incorrectly can cause damage to you or the animal, and possibly even death. You must have patience and understanding when working with your reptile.
Understanding the Do’s
- Do have patience. You need patience when interacting with and working with your new pet reptile.
- Do take your time selecting your reptile and try to pick one that seems very calm and friendly. This is a difficult task, so know what to expect from each species before purchasing.
- Do understand it’s an investment of money and your time. Also keep in mind; this is a commitment without a guarantee of a successful relationship with your pet.
Understanding the Don’ts
- Do not handle him during the first couple of days. This is the time when he is getting adjusted to his new environment.
- Do not handle your pet when he is shedding. During this time, he can be very angry.
- Do not try to restrain your pet. Restraining means dominance or the threat of being eaten. This will cause them to lash out at you.
- Never approach your reptile from above. When picking him up for handling, always come at him gently, but firm enough so he doesn’t jump away, fall and get injured.
- Do not grab the tail of your reptile. It will detach as a natural defense, and it may cause infection and damage.
- Do not forget to protect yourself. For larger reptiles, such as lizards, wear a long-sleeve shirt and protective leather gloves that cover your wrists and forearms. This will prevent scratching or biting while handling.
- Do not try it by yourself. With pets larger than 24 inches, get another person to help you secure the animal.
- Do not pick up a snake without cleaning your hands first. Snakes hunt by scent, and the smell of mice or rodents on the hands can excite and stimulate the snake into feeding. Snakes are so unpredictable. Anyone from novice to expert should proceed with caution.
- Do not underestimate your pet. Larger snakes start at about six feet and grow up to and over 20 feet in length. These snakes have been known to kill dogs, cats, and, in some cases people. Use two people at all times to help control the head and body safely.
All reptiles for sale have different temperaments and personalities, so you must take all of this into consideration before attempting to handle your reptile. We encourage interaction with your pet reptile on a regular basis. This builds a bond between the two of you and helps you be more comfortable handling him.