3 things to consider when choosing a reptile

At Chico, we can tell you with confidence that caring for a snake, lizard or another reptile is no small commitment. We always like to stress that these awesome, exotic creatures should never be adopted on a whim. If you’re serious about adopting a reptile, it’s important determine which one is most suited to your personality and lifestyle. Here are three considerations to keep in mind.

1. How much space you have

You need to have enough space to set up a terrarium for your reptile. For example, if you live in a small apartment, avoid getting a large reptile that you won’t be able to properly accommodate. This includes baby reptiles that in time will grow too large for your space. To keep your pet happy and healthy, your terrarium should be spacious enough for it to comfortably move around, hide and eat.

Note that some reptiles, like snakes, continue to grow throughout their lives, provided they’re well fed and properly sheltered. When adopting such a pet, it’s important to consider whether you’ll have room — as well as the budget — to upgrade its terrarium multiple times.

2. How you want to interact with your reptile

Unlike dogs, cats and ferrets, most reptiles need to be kept in their enclosure. If you want a reptile that you can take out of its terrarium and interact with, choose a sociable species, like a gecko, that likes to be handled. Moreover, if you wish to play with your reptile during the day, avoid a nocturnal species. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend your time watching it sleep!

If you have a young child, keep in mind that they’re at risk of handling a reptile awkwardly and getting bitten. It’s best to wait until they’re more mature before letting them play with a reptile.

3. How much you’re willing to spend

Certain reptiles have costlier eating habits, requiring live food, fresh food and/or vitamins to remain healthy. Before adopting your pet, you should determine how much you’re willing to spend on its diet. Furthermore, you’ll need to factor in recurring costs such as veterinary appointments, heating lamps, litter and bedding. If your budget is limited, opt for a reptile with a simple, low-cost diet.

In short, when choosing your new housemate, do ample research to find out which species most corresponds to your preferences and lifestyle, whether it be a chameleon, iguana, bearded dragon, python or some other cute-but-cold-blooded critter.

Do you need quality accessories (a terrarium, cave, gravel, etc.) or food for your reptile? Visit Chico or take advantage of our delivery service. We have more than 50 stores across Quebec that are ready to serve you.