Reptiles

Welcome to the REPTILE SECTION of Animal House!

At Animal House, not only do we carry a wide variety of interesting reptiles (snakes, gecko’s, lizards, frogs, bearded dragons, etc) we also make sure we carry the highest quality of products to keep your reptiles safe, healthy and happy.

“Exo Terra” supplies jungle earth, bark, dirt and sand.  They also supply lights to keep your reptile warm and healthy.  When purchasing your reptile, make sure to find out what temperature requirements it has.  Some reptiles need their environment to be very damp, and some need to be warm and dry.  When purchasing your reptile from Animal House, make sure to ask the qualified staff these very important questions.

Animal House also has a wide variety of reptile vitamins and healthy treats.  When purchasing crickets to feed to your reptiles, make sure to purchase Flukers cricket food and Flukers Cricket Quencher – this will keep your crickets lasting longer, and you can also get Flukers High-Calcium Cricket Feed, this feed will ‘load’ the cricket with calcium and as a result your reptile will receive the necessary calcium supplement..

It is very important to know what type of food your reptiles eat, when they eat it, and how much you should feed them.  Ask the qualified staff at Animal House about feeding your new reptile pets.

Having the proper diet for your reptile is as important as keeping the tank clean and making sure there is always plenty of water.  Animal House carries a wide variety of accessories including for example food dishes, water dishes and rocks for your reptile to bask on top of.

Having a reptile as a pet can be very fun and rewarding, but make sure to keep them healthy and happy.  This way you can enjoy your new pet longer.

Ten Things You Should Know About Pet Snakes

If you are one of the legions of people who have acquired, or are about to obtain a new pet snake, then you are also about to have a rewarding experience. Snakes have a lot to teach us. A properly maintained terrarium can be a work of art — many are prominently displayed in homes — so long as the snake keeper keeps some essential information in mind:

  1. Be sure you give your snake enough heat — that means enough for the snake, not you. A snake is best kept at warmer, summer temperatures of 85 – 100º F, unless being cooled for hibernation. Temperate zone species may tolerate a 30º drop in temperature at night, but tropical species rarely do well with such fluctuations.
  2. Never, ever use your snake to scare somebody! Many people are afraid of snakes, some pathologically so. Using a snake to scare a person is irresponsible of you, may injure the other person and is traumatic for the snake.
  3. Be sure to feed your snake an adequate diet at appropriate intervals. Snakes under 3 feet should generally be fed prey about the size of an adult mouse once or twice per week. Larger snakes take more or larger prey at less frequent intervals. Truly large snakes may eat only once per year, but these are not snakes for novices.
  4. Do not handle snakes after feeding, or until they have digested their meals. If a snake is handled too soon after eating, it is often likely to regurgitate the meal, and may refuse to feed for many days afterward.
  5. Snakes must shed their skins, but they do much better if you do not help them. If the snake has been fed and watered well, it will grow, and the old skin is carefully broken by the snake and shed in one piece. If a snake sheds in patches, it may be dehydrated or have a nutritional disorder.
  6. Do your homework! Buying a snake is not the same as knowing how to care for it properly. It is your responsibility to learn about your snake and any special needs it will have in captivity. For example, unless you carefully teach your snake otherwise, many have specialized diets: garter snakes eat fish and frogs, hognose snakes eat toads, and corn snakes eat small rodents and eggs.
  7. Get a snake veterinarian lined up now. Snakes have slower metabolisms than us mammals, so they may manifest symptoms long after contracting an illness. Waiting to find a qualified vet until the snake is ill may be too late.
  8. Clean the snake’s cage as it becomes dirty — don’t merely wait for Saturday morning.
  9. Only use appropriate disinfectants for a snake cage. You may use rubbing alcohol, soap, and specialty products available at your pet shop. Do not use chlorine bleaches, or industrial cleansers such as Ajax or Comet, as their residues are often toxic to snakes. Lysol is particularly dangerous.
  10. Always wash your hands well with soap and water after handling your snake or the cage accessories. Snakes, like most animals, may harbor harmful bacteria.

Okay, now go watch your snake and have some fun!

 

the IGUANA…

The best pet iguana is usually a hatchling or young juvenile that puts up some resistance to being handled.  When selecting an iguana, common sense would tell you to look for a calm little guy who doesn’t make a fuss when being picked up.  Unfortunately, the calm iguana is most likely sick, starving or stressed (or, in rare cases has already been hand tamed by someone else). A normal young iguana that is in good health will do anything to escape from you when approached.

If you wish to buy an adult iguana, make sure it is tame before your purchase; wild adults rarely tame down.  Daily handling will keep your pet calm.  They will feel most comfortable if you evenly distribute their weight when you pick them up.

Iguanas are not a good “first time” lizard as they require a lot of attention.  Iguanas need substantial heat (at least a heat lamp with a 100watt light bulb, as well as a flourescent light for UV).  Iguanas given acess to sunlight often are in better health and show brighter colors than those who are not.

They also need things to climb on in their new home- especially if you have more than one in the same tank.  Iguanas are not generally agressive lizards, but they like their privacy, and iguanas living together can cause intense stress.  Most reptiles, including Iguanas, do not mix well with other pets.  For the safety of all concerned, keep them seperate.

Iguanas also like the ocassional bath – soak them in warm (not hot) water for a few minutes once or twice a week, and you’ll see his energy level increase.

It is also very important that you keep your Iguanas cage clean – change the “Jungle Earth” (or bark mulch) every other day and wipe the walls to your cage down with only water (using even mild cleansers can be fatal).

Iguanas can be very picky eaters!  Planning an Iguana diet is not just a matter of whatever looks interesting in the produce department.  The things you MUST avoid are broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and frozen vegetables.  Iguanas mostly eat leafy greens (such as spinach, parsley and even dandilions) and fruits such as papaya.  Look into which foods are safe before feeding them to your iguana.  Chop their food up into small bits as they have a hard time chewing and mostly just swallow their food.  Protein rich foods are NOT healthy for an iguana, juvenille iguanas can have some protein (pin-head crickets) in their diet, but it is still advisable to keep them on a diet low in protein.  Watermelon and bananas are very tasty to iguanas, but should be given in small doses and very seldom – only as a treat. Iguanas have individual food preferences and you should note which foods your pet likes best.

Many household plants can be poisonous to your pet Iguana – it is best to keep your Iguana in its cage, as they can also be very hard on your furniture!

Iguanas should be fed every other day or so, depending on the size and appetite of your pet.  They should also have fresh, clean water everyday.  Iguanas use their water dishes as toilets too, so the dish must be large and cleaned very often.

Once an Iguana gets sick , it can go downhill very fast.  Regular vet checks are ideal to keeping your pet Iguana happy and healthy!  If you follow these tips, you and your pet Iguana should enjoy many years together, as they can live from 10-15 years and grow up to 6 feet in length!

 

LIZARDS OF ALL KINDS!

Leopard Geckos are one of the easiest lizards to keep as pets.  They are clean, attractive, and, if cared for properly, are unlikely to become ill or need veterinary treatment.

Accommodation: Desert/Terrestrial

Diet: Insectivore

Maximum Life Span: 20 years

Maximum Length: 8-9″

 

Green Anoles are small, colorful, charming and very active! The male anoles will have an orange throat, and if your anoles tail comes off (which happens more often than not), it will grow a new one over a relatively short period of time.

Accommodation: Tropical

Diet: Insectivore

Maximum Life Span: 3-5 years

Maximum Length: 5-8″

 

Giant Day Geckos are colorful, active, plump and easy to keep and breed.  Depending on the exact subspecies, they may have bright orange dots on their flourescent green backs.

Accommodation: Tropical

Diet: Insectivore

Maximum Life Span: 10 years

Maximum Length: 10″

 

Bearded Dragons are native to Australia and very hot desert terrain, but they are known to be very easy to take care of as well as their good temperment.  They enjoy human interaction, and will even cuddle with you!

Accommodation: Desert

Diet: Omnivore

Maximum Life Span: 7-12 years

Maximum Length: 16-24″

 

The Veiled Chameleon, also called the Yemen Chameleon is native to Saudi Arabia and Yemen- hot desert type lands of the Middle East.  Males are bigger than the females and have a much larger head crest.  The Veiled Chameleon is one of the most adaptable Chameleons and is one of the best species for a pet.

Accommodation: Desert

Diet: Omnivore

Maximum Life Span: 2-8 years

Maximum Length: 24″

 

TREE FROGS…

White’s Tree Frogs, native to Australia and New Guinea, are a very large breed of tree frog.  The males can grow up to 2.5 cm, and the females up to 11.4 cm.  The White’s tree frogs are green in color, and  can live 20-25 years.

You must choose cagemates carefully for this tree frog, as it will eat tree frogs smaller than itself.  Other items in the White’s tree frog diet are vitamen-dusted crickets, giant mealworms, pinky mice, and caterpillars.  Remember to dust the foods with vitamin D3 and calcium powder before feeding your pet tree frog (calcium is needed due to their fast growth rate).

Maintaining White’s tree frogs requires escape-proof caging, a well ventilated cage lid, a day time temperature of 29 degrees celcius, and a night time temperature of 20-24 degrees celcius.

The green tree frog has often been called the worlds prettiest tree frog and is native to the southeastern United States.  Green treefrogs may grow up to 6.4cm and can live for up to 10 years.

The green tree frog is very easily kept – it will need to be in a moist environment with an ample supply of clean, fresh water.  It eats crickets and leafy greens, and will need a flourescent light on top of the terrarium.

 

Tarantulas…

It is much easier to decide what type of tarantula suits your lifestyle, and then go and find one, than purchasing a tarantula and then accommodating it.  There are so many different kinds of tarantulas today, that you now have the option of buying a hatchling or a wild-caught adult.

Female tarantulas live quite a bit longer than males.  As females are also much larger than males, your best bet is to pick the largest individual of the species you can find.

There are 3 items that you will find indespensable for tarantula keeping…

1- A pair of jumbo tweezers.  Depending on the agressiveness of your tarantula these will make feding and cleaning up a lot easier and much less exciting!

2- A plastic pump spray bottle.  This is just what you need to keep the tank moist.  Use distilled water to mist the tank, as mineral deposits will form over time if you use tap water.  Be sure not to directly spray your tarantula.

3- A long handled spoon- this is used to remove prey remains (crickets and pinky mice are a few favorites), mix and re-arrange the dirt and bark mulch inside the tank, and move your spider when necessary.