Want A Reptile For Your Child? Know This Information First

Sooner or later many children want a pet of their own. This can be a complicated decision for parents, particularly if they only have eyes for snakes, chameleons, geckos, and other reptiles. You might not have ever had one yourself, and you may feel unsure about what information you need to choose and care for one. The information here provides some pointers.

Avoid Large Reptiles

Your biggest challenge will be selecting the type of reptile you're willing to get for your child. Many factors enter into this decision, but mostly you must choose something that is easy for a child to handle physically.

Don't choose a reptile that your child can't comfortably hold. For example, a python may not be right for your kindergartner, as they may grow to be enormous and can be overwhelmingly powerful. Geckos, for instance, are not too large.

Choose a Low-Maintenance Reptile

Whatever reptile you get will have specific rules about the temperatures that are best for them and what kind of foods they can eat. Seek out reptiles without huge dietary restrictions or very narrow temperature requirements. For instance, leopard geckos don't require special ultraviolet lighting, while other types of reptiles, such as bearded dragons, should have special lighting and a temperature that ranges only a few dozen degrees to be most comfortable.

Be Sure Your Child Can Handle Feedings

Even if you plan to help with the feedings, you need to know they are capable of taking over and more importantly, feel okay about the feeding process. For instance, some small children would not be able to get used to the idea of feeding a live mouse to a reptile. In that case, you would go for reptiles that only ate pre-killed prey, insects, or fruit. Know what your child's comfort level is and respect it.

Model Good Behavior

Bringing the reptile home isn't the end of the story. It's wise for you to take on the role of the primary owner at the start so you can model appropriate behavior for your child. Show them how to wash their hands well before picking up their new pet, and show them how to do feedings. When your child shows you that they understand what to do, they can take on a bigger role.

Consider a Lock

Depending on your child, you may want to purchase a locking top for the reptile's cage or buying a separate lock. That way, you can determine whether your child is allowed to interact with and play with the lizard when you aren't present.

A new reptile can be a learning experience for you, your child and the family. Talk with vets, retailers, and other professionals that have reptiles for sale for more details.