Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 6 Vol 5 May 2010
True Reptile Monster Pet – The Gila Monster In this Issue

Gila Monster

Those who fear all reptiles may call them all monsters, but there is one species that actually is a monster; the Gila monster. Gila Monsters are actually have very dangerous venom, but that has not stopped reptile enthusiasts worldwide from acquiring these colorful creatures as their own personal pets. What must never be forgotten with Gila monsters is the fact that although they may be a pet, they are in fact hard to tame and can bite without notice.

An unusual trait with the Gila monsters is that they are active both day and night and their level of activity actually depend on the temperature and the season. In the wild, these reptiles live in the desert and they love to burrow. Therefore, if you plan on having a pet Gila monster you should have a cage that is filled with a mixture of gravel and dry sand so that it simulates the Gila monsters natural habitat and allows it plenty of opportunities for exercise.

As Gila monsters love to burrow, they are perfectly content to sometimes spend a great deal of time on the holes in which they burrow. If you have a pet Gila monster you should attempt to keep the bottom of its burrow moistened at all times to help prevent drying out of the Gila monsters skin from occurring.

Gila monsters like to eat foods that are high in protein and in the wild they will customarily eat eggs, birds, any type of rodent, and other small reptiles. In captivity, they will eat about as much as they are fed, but if you feed them too much they become lethargic. Gila monsters are capable of going for several months without food and while you shouldn't wait that long to feed your pet Gila, you also should avoid feeding them too frequently.

Keep in mind that Gila monsters like to soak in water. If you have a pet Gila monster, you should provide it with a soaking bowl of fresh water once a week and leave it in the cage with your pet until it gets a chance to soak for about an hour.

When properly cared for Gila monsters make wonderful pets. Just remember that they are in fact dangerous and will never be as tame as you might like them to be so you always need to be aware when handling them.


Reptile Relief - 16 fl. oz. Natural Chemistry's Reptile Relief - 16 fl. oz.

De Flea Pet Shampoo - Kills Mites on Contact! Safe and Easy to Use.
The only EPA registered mite product that requires no warnings on the label. Can be applied directly on the reptile. Contains no pyrethrins or similar chemicals.


Our philosophy since 1989 has been:
"It's not enough to be safe and non-toxic... each product must outperform its synthetic and non-friendly counterpart."

  1. True Reptile Monster Pet – The Gila Monster
  2. Reptiles for beginners - Part 1
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Reptiles for Beginners - Part 1

It might be considered re-hashing old ground but it is something that new owners and those interested in with a an interest in keeping a reptile are always want advice about.

Reptiles are beautiful, fascinating creatures! And they make great pets. But if you’re a beginner there are some reptiles that are better to start with than others. Sometimes there is so much information that it can be overwhelming. That, in combination with what you’ll find available at pet stores for what appear to be very low prices, can sometimes be misleading. Taking on a reptile as a pet is a big responsibility. They are not always as easy to care for and maintain as it might first appear. Being prepared, having some information, and starting with the right species will make your first reptile-owning experience successful, fun and rewarding.

There are several factors that make certain reptiles good choices for beginners. Maintenance is the first consideration. Is it easy to maintain? All pets take a certain amount of care and attention, but for the beginner reptile hobbyist, low maintenance is a good idea to get you started. Size is another important consideration. How much space you have to house your reptile will help you to determine what will suit you the best. Smaller reptiles are easier to care for and require smaller habitats, which make them better suited for beginners. Whether or not they like to be handled is usually an important consideration for a prospective reptile owner, especially if the owner is a child or younger person. Most reptiles don’t want as much attention and handling as a dog or cat to be sure, but there are some species that are more apt to enjoy some handling than others. Feeding is another issue, though it may not seem an important consideration. How and what a reptile eats can be a determining factor. If you have an aversion to feeding live or frozen animals (usually mice or crickets), than a vegetarian lizard may be the right choice for you. Keep diet in mind when making your selection.

Choosing the right reptile for a beginner is essential. All reptiles have specific diet and environmental needs. Some stay relatively small while some can grow to sizes measured in feet! Some are gentle and social and enjoy being handled and thrive on interaction while others are just as happy being part of the décor, left happily alone and on display simply to be observed. Whatever you’re looking for in a reptile pet, this list of good starter pets should help guide you to make the right choice for you!

Once you’ve used this list to determine the best fit, be sure to do further research and gather all of the pertinent information on your reptile of choice before heading to the store to pick one out. It’s also important to have your pet’s habitat set up and ready prior to bringing one home. Being prepared will ensure a positive experience for both you and your reptile pet.

Healthy, bright eyed Bearded Dragon in a clean cage

Bearded Dragon (Click to enlarge)


Healthy Habitat - 1 gallonHealthy Habitat - 1 gallon

Natural Chemistry's Healthy Habitat is specifically formulated to effectively eliminate odors and soiling caused by organic animal and food waste.

For use in any pet habitat, glass and other surfaces within habitat ie: heat rocks, gravel, artificial plants etc.  Safe for use on all strong animal/reptile odor sources and stains, can even be used when pet is in it's habitat!

  • Safe, yet powerful
  • All natural
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Easy to use
  • Unconditionally guaranteed 

Enzyme Technology
Natural Chemistry’s products are inspired by processes that occur in the natural world. Our patented technology uses trillions of natural enzymes and co-enzymes to break down undesirable organic materials safely and effectively...resulting in a healthier pet environment.

Feature Video


Tegu's in Florida


If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Nessie rides again - sort of

Know your venomous snakes

Even if you're a dog

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

Uget tegu

buy supplies
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

buy supplies