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Making Friends With a Reptile

May 15, 2021

Have you ever wondered if reptiles feel emotions? It’s probably safe to say that they aren’t as sentimental or affectionate as dogs and cats are. However, some reptiles do seem to get quite attached to their humans. Bonding with reptiles takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. Here, a vet discusses taming reptiles.


 Age

Age will have a lot to do with how comfortable your pet is being handled. You’ll have more luck taming a baby animal than you will an older one that’s rarely been handled. However, baby reptiles are also more fragile, and many are not suitable for first timers. Choose a juvenile pet with a sweet temperament. 


Body Language 

Pay attention to your pet’s body language. Reptiles can get scared and/or defensive if they feel threatened. If your reptile is hissing, withdrawing, or acting as though it’s going to strike, just leave it alone.


Familiarity

Some lizards are quite personable, and even act affectionate. Iguanas, for instance, often have favorite people. Bearded dragons are also quite lovable, and often do bond with their humans. However, some of these tiny dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by people they know. It may take time for your pet to get used to you.


Food

Offering food and treats is a great way to win a pet’s trust. This can be tricky with reptiles, as many of them don’t eat every day. You may be less than thrilled about trying to hold a live bug out. Let your pet get used to your smell and the sound of your voice. They’ll realize on their own that you’re providing water, dinner, and housing. 


Personality

Some reptiles are just naturally tamer than others. Learn to read your pet’s body language, and pay attention to how they act around you. If your scaled pal acts scared or wary, he or she may just prefer to be left alone. Don’t force the issue: that may just scare your reptilian buddy!


Settling In

Don’t try to handle your pet immediately. Give them time to get used to their new home and surroundings. You can talk to the little guy, and perhaps hold your hand out for them to investigate. (This is not recommended with larger reptiles, as they may bite)


Picking Up

Even friendly reptiles should be handled regularly, to keep them tame and docile. Be sure to pick your pet up properly! Never pick your reptile up by the tail, or when they are eating or sleeping. Ask your vet for more information. 


Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today!

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