Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 12 December 2008
How Do You Find A Good Reptile Breeder? In this Issue

With the interest in exotic pets such as reptiles growing, the importance of having the necessary information is becoming more apparent. Caring for reptiles requires more knowledge special knowledge. Often, new reptile owners are not sure where to turn in their search for information, and are sometimes left confused by different opinions. One of the first steps in purchasing a reptile is finding a reputable breeder in your area.

The internet has reptile breeders’ directories that offer many names, but little useful information about the breeders themselves. Ask around and see what reptiles owners think of the breeders they deal with. Generally, a breeder with a good reputation will be highly spoken of by reptile owners. So ask for recommendations.

Why buy directly from a breeder?

Buying from a breeder ensure that you are buying from someone who had the reptile form birth. Breeders usually raise their reptiles under strict conditions, ensuring that disease control procedures are adhered to. This decreases the risk of buying an already sick reptile. It is important to note that a pet store would not deliberately sell a sick reptile, but without the experience of a breeder, it may be difficult to tell.

Finding a breeder may be as simple as asking a friend where he got his reptile, but it can sometimes be quite challenging. When you have found a breeder, the best way to determine his level of expertise is to ask questions. Your questions should be prepared beforehand, and should be directly related to the reptile you intend to purchase. However, a few general questions may also be a good idea.

You may find that you have to visit more than one breeder before you are comfortable. Don’t be afraid to take a look around. If the breeder is operating in a clean, professional atmosphere, it should be evident. Remember that while caring for a reptile is relatively inexpensive, there is still a cost involved. It is important to make an informed decision before taking that step into the world of reptile pet owner.


  1. How Do You Find A Good Reptile Breeder?
  2. Knowing Terrestrial Turtles
  3. In the News
  4. Get Paid to write an article
  5. Tell Us What You Think
  6. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Knowing Terrestrial Turtles

Turtles have been very popular pets for years. Loved by children as well as adults, they have proven to be a relatively inexpensive way of teaching children how to care for pets. There are various types of turtles, such as terrestrial, semi-terrestrial, aquatic or semi-aquatic.

Terrestrial turtles are those that prefer land. The types of these are the tortoise and the box turtle. The tortoise group consists of the desert, gopher and Texas. The box turtle group includes the ornate box and the eastern box turtles.

Terrestrial Turtles

For these turtles, provide an environment as close to their original habitat as possible. As foragers, they will do what comes naturally. They can be housed in glass aquariums, wooden enclosures, store bought reptile cages or small wading pools.  The choice is yours depending on the type of space you have available.

When choosing enclosure, ideally you should give the turtle 3 square feet of space for every 8 inches of its length. Turtles caught in the wild usually require more space until they adapt to their surroundings.  The time varies from one turtle to the next.

It is not a good idea to keep turtles in all glass aquariums. Being so easily seen can be traumatic, so cover two or three sides with paper, and also place objects in the aquarium for the turtle to hide behind. You can also get pointers on building a totally wooden enclosure from many online sources or breeders.

Terrestrial turtles love to bask in the sun, so if your turtle is indoors, you will have to provide heat. Special heaters can be purchased to be attached to the bottom of the aquarium. These heaters are not to be used on plastic or wooden cages for obvious safety reasons. If the cage is made of wood or plastic place a bulb over the cage itself. Ideally the temperature should be at least 85 degrees or even higher for some small tortoises.

Terrestrial turtles are extremely easy to care for. It is for this reason that even young children can have them as pets.

Florida Red Bellied Turtle

Florida Red Bellied Turtle (Click to enlarge)

Two turtles near a pond in Minnesota

Two turtles near a pond in Minnesota

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In the News

Belly down..

All washed up...

Snakes alive...

Turtle soup (or not)...

More than once bitten...

Some coordination would be good...

Get Paid to write an article

Keeping Reptiles will pay you to write and article. Ideally it will be 500-1500 words. These can be care sheets, funny stories, herp hunting trips, hints and tips or anything herp related.

Payment will be based on the number of words and published at editors discretion.

Tell Us What You Think!!

We would love to hear what you think of this (or any other) issue of Keeping Reptiles.

And of course, if you have any suggestions, photos, links, care sheets or whatever for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

These could also include:

  • Great herp web-sites
  • Why you pet reptile is fantastic
  • Funny things that happened
  • Dumb**s things that happened
  • Images you'd like to share.

Remember - there are lots of people who would love to hear your stories. Just e-mail me at: Reptile-Cage-Plans

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