There are some excellent books on keeping reptiles and you should purchase one or more of these to read before you buy your pet. You should also consider joining your local reptile society who will be happy to offer help and advice. Don’t forget to register your new pet with a local Vet.
You can find your local Veterinary practice and what species they treat at findavet.rcvs.org.uk. Many general practices now treat reptiles, or they can refer you to a more specialist Vet if required.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Chris Newman, REPTA and The Federation of British Herpetologists in the preparation of this guide.
Salmonella: Like all living things reptiles can carry the naturally occurring bacteria Salmonella, which can be acquired by ingestion (via the mouth). Good hygiene is therefore very important when keeping any animal. Remember, you are more likely to acquire Salmonella from raw chicken meat, a stale cream cake or a dog, so don’t automatically assume that your reptile is the only suspect! Always wash your hands after handling ALL animals.
Five Things to Consider before acquiring your new pet:
- Have you carried out adequate research into the animal’s care needs?
- Are you comfortable with the feeding requirements of the animal?
- Can you obtain food easily from your local pet shop?
- Are the rest of the family happy to live with the animal?
- Who will look after your new pet if you are away?
Never release an animal brought as a pet into the wild, it is illegal and never in the best welfare interests of the animal. Release of non-native species can be damaging to the environment.
The following pages include care guides for the five most common reptiles sold in the UK. Scan the QR code to download the PDF care guide to your smart phone.