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What Should I Get as My First Reptilian Pet?

Snakes and lizards are popular pet requests parents get from their kids, they are also seen by many people as great starter pets; alternatives to getting a dog or a cat, which are typically viewed as high-maintenance, however, there are many things to consider before bringing home a pet reptile, including the best reptile to have as a starter pet.

Before you decide what reptile to get, you should decide if a reptilian pet is right for you. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Reptiles live a long time: While many snakes have the average lifespan of dogs and cats, corn snakes, one of the most common types of pet snakes, has an average lifespan of 15-20 years. Will you or your child still be as passionate about your pet in the future? Other reptiles, such as tortoises, have even longer lifespans.
  • Reptiles grow: A baby reptile can quickly outgrow its small enclosure. Many animal rescues see a great deal of iguanas, large snakes, and tortoises because their former owners never realized how large they’d grow. Make sure you know what you are committing to.

If you understand these and still want to get a reptile for a pet, the next step is to decide what kind of reptile is best for starting out.

Best Starting Reptiles as Pets

From turtles to snakes, there are a variety of reptiles that make good starting pets.

  • Corn Snakes: Corn snakes are mild snakes that are easy to care for and stay relatively small through their adult life, reaching up to five feet. Corn snakes should be fed frozen/ thawed mice. Baby corn snakes enjoy feeder mice such as frozen pinkies.
  • Bearded Dragons: Bearded dragons are a medium sized lizard and make a great starter pet. Instead of purchasing a new hatchling, we suggest getting one that is at least 6 months old as they will be more established in their feeding habits. They can reach up to 24 inches including their tail length, so they require a large size enclosure. Bearded Dragons are omnivorous so their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, insects and the occasional pinky mouse.
  • Ball Python: For a pet owner who may want to keep a larger snake, the ball python is a popular choice. There are many different types of recessive and dominant/co-dominant morphs available to choose from.  Ball pythons can be finicky eaters but most do well on frozen/thawed mice and rats. If possible, you should always feed your snakes frozen/thawed mice and rats. There are many benefits that come from buying frozen rodents over live rodents such as disease control, lower prices and the prevention of rodents attacking your snake.

These are just a few of the best reptiles for starting pets. It is important to remember that with most captive reptiles, it is best to feed them frozen/thawed feeders as live prey can harm your reptile if it is left in their enclosure for too long. For your frozen mice and rats for sale, turn to RodentPro.




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