Pets can really change a child’s life. Having a pet teaches your child responsibility and empathy, but will also provide them with unconditional love and a best friend. However, you don’t need to get them a dog or a cat. Some may be interested in something a bit more, let’s say, exotic. You may be surprised to know that reptiles can make a great pet as well. It will teach them the same lessons having a dog will, as well as giving them the valuable lesson of understanding that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Read on if you want to know how to keep a reptile as a pet for your child.
Now, depending if you’re setting up a chameleon habitat, or maybe getting a snake, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. If you’re getting a snake, it’s a good idea to either get a wide and short enclosure (if it’s a ground-dwelling snake) or a tall and lean enclosure (if it’s an arboreal snake). Furthermore, it mustn’t be too big, since the snake will become anxious. Furthermore, the substrate of your cage (or rather, the material that covers the ground) should mimic the snake’s natural habitat. Sand, gravel, and mulch is a great option.
Also, get them either rocks and climbing branches (ground) or rocks and vines (arboreal), depending on the type. Chameleons are a bit more complicated. It’s best if you place newspapers (or even nothing) on the ground since they have a tendency to eat and swallow sand and little rocks. The size doesn’t matter that much, but you should get them some climbing branches, so they can get a bit of exercise. Keep in mind that both animals need a UVB light lamp, being very important for their health. Also, you will need to know how to regulate the temperature and humidity in their respective cages. Any serious pet store will be able to educate you on this topic.
While we have shared with you how to set up a snake and chameleon cage, their diets are also very important. Both snakes and chameleons are meat-eaters. Most subsist on rodents, like mice and rats. Now, depending on the size, you can feed your snake 3 to 5 rats per day. Some can subsist on only one. Chameleons eat insects, like crickets and maggots. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn how to feed them. Since these animals can over-eat if you give them too much, your kids will learn that they need to be responsible and to feed them at only certain times a day.
So now you know everything you need to know about keeping a little lizard as a pet. They may be a bit more difficult to keep than a dog, but it will definitely be worth it. Your child will learn a lot and will make a friend that will be with them for a couple of blissful years. Not only that but all the responsibility that comes with keeping a reptile as a pet.