Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 6 Vol 7 June 2011
Take the Leap: The Right Plan for Making a Lizard Your Pet In this Issue

If you are considering adding a lizard into your life, it is important to understand what is involved in the proper care of the reptile as well as what types of lizard are best for beginners. Get started on the right foot by doing the research first before you purchase the lizard. This will ensure you are setting your lizard-owner relationship up for success.
Keep in mind when you are thinking about buying a lizard, that it is likely a long-term commitment. Some lizard species have a lifespan of 50 years, so it is important to be certain you are in it for the long haul.

Also be prepared to spend money for the right equipment for your lizard. The lizard itself is relatively cheap, but you will need to purchase a tank and other equipment, such as a thermal gradient, shelters or hiding spots and branches to replicate the lizard's natural habitat.

Best Lizards for Beginning Owners

If lizard ownership is uncharted territory for you, there are certain species of lizards that are better for beginners, including:
• Leopard geckos—small, easily handled, these lizards only require a small tank and do not require UV lighting.
• Green anoles—small and easy-to-find, these lizards do not need a large tank, but will require UV lighting.
• Bearded dragons—easy-going and easily handled, these are friendly lizards that do best in a large tank with UV lighting.

Care and Feeding of Lizards

Once you have the right-sized tank and lighting, if necessary, you will want to take steps to create a realistic environment as close as possible to the lizard's natural environment. You can find branches or create "lizard hides" to give the lizard places to move closer and further away from the heat to keep it's temperature regulated.

Many lizards eat insects, and you can raise your own crickets and mealworms to make feeding your lizard more affordable and convenient. It isn't always safe to feed insects that have been in the wild to your lizards, because they have pesticides, which are unhealthy for all reptiles and animals. You can also find the right items to feed your lizard at the local pet store.

  1. Take the Leap: The Right Plan for Making a Lizard Your Pet
  2. Unleash Your Inner Architect: Building a Snake Cage
  3. Get Paid to write an article
  4. Tell Us What You Think
  5. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

ReptiTemp 500R

Unleash Your Inner Architect: Building a Snake Cage


Much like any pet you bring into your home, a pet snake will need its very own separate living space, properly outfitted to keep the animal happy and healthy year after year. While novice reptile parents and those just learning about herpetology will be happiest with a store-bought cage, available at any large, well-stocked pet store, those with numerous snakes already living in the home know that the expense of the cage can be prohibitive, and the largest one associated with owning a pet snake. One solution is to construct a snake cage from scratch, a very manageable undertaking, if you keep a few pointers in mind.

1) Draw Out Your Plan

An architect or engineer wouldn't begin working on a structure without first detailing the plans in black and white. Similarly, constructing a home for your snake requires some advance planning. Deciding you'll make choices along the way or changing your plans on the fly is a recipe for disaster, as you'll end up with a product that doesn't suit your needs, and will shell out the money for a store-bought cage in the end, anyway. If you're not certain what needs to go into the plan, or feel overwhelmed by the task, there are many usable plans available online that will provide a wonderful starting point. You can also purchase plans that have a lot of detail and diagrams.

2) Decide Upon Your Materials Carefully

There's no use in building your snake a home that doesn't stand the test of time, or worse yet, can cause discomfort or adverse health effects to the animal. Snakes are very sensitive to temperature and moisture, so you'll need to choose materials that allow you to regulate the snake's environment and don't interfere with that process. Melamine and waterproof plywood are among the best choices, as they absorb excess moisture and keep in heat. Smaller snakes can be kept easily kept in a glass aquarium as long as you keep the temperature constant as these do tend to lose heat easily and quickly.

3) Consider Your Snake's Needs

Not every snake will thrive in the exact same environment, so you need to consider the basics about your snake before you begin construction on its new home. How large is your snake currently? How large will the snake eventually grow to be? While there's nothing that says your snake needs to live in the same environment his entire life, once he becomes an adult, it's ideal that he has a permanent place to call home. Just like humans, snakes feel safe and comfortable if they're in a familiar environment, one that's customized to fit their individual needs. Do the research and find out everything you need to know about size, temperature, humidity, light, sound, feeding, and additional elements before you begin construction.

4) Don't Forget Under The Cage

Because snakes are very sensitive to temperature, you need to go the extra mile to make certain the inside of his cage is warm and happy all year round, and that you're able to monitor the level of humidity in the cage. If you're a reptile parent, you likely already know a good deal about this subject. However, don't cut corners when it comes to under-the-cage heating devices. The cage should be kept warm through the use of this type of heating pad, and should be designed to heat approximately one-third of the cage's area.

Skimping on quality when choosing a heating device could lead to problems, including hot spots that may burn the snake, or even starting a fire. The under-the-cage heating devices are $25-35 at your local pet store, and well worth the investment. You can also make these is you have the tools and correct advice.

Building your own snake cage can be a fun and satisfying project, once you've made some choices about construction and have everything you need to monitor your snake's environment. The important thing is to be flexible, and to always put your snake's well-being first. If something isn't working, don't be afraid to make adjustments, or to go back to the drawing board.

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.

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.

Apologies & Tell Us What You Think!!

Reptile-cage-plans apologises for the dealy in the newsletter this year. The mail server went down with all of the subscribers and purchaser email addresses and it took some time to recover this data. The backup subscriber files were also sadly missing in action.

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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