Have you ever wondered if reptiles have feelings? It’s probably safe to say that they aren’t quite as emotional or affectionate as dogs and cats, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings at all. These guys can and do get quite attached to their humans! Building a bond with a reptile takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. In this article, a vet discusses taming reptiles.
You’ll have better luck taming a baby animal than you would an older one, especially one that’s rarely (or never) been handled. Of course, baby reptiles need a lot of care. Many of them are just not suitable pets for first-time reptile owners. Do plenty of research before adopting any reptile. That said, some, such as bearded dragons, are just more amiable than others.
Watch Body Language
Pay close attention to your pet’s body language. Learn to read your scaled buddy, and watch how he acts around you. If your reptile is hissing, withdrawing, frozen, or acting as though it’s going to strike, just leave it alone.
Many lizards seem to really enjoy cuddling or sitting on their humans, and some even become lap lizards. However, some of these guys only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners. Don’t expect too much from a strange reptile … no matter how cute it is.
Offering food and treats is a great way to win any pet’s trust. Of course, this gets a bit tricky with reptiles, as many of them don’t eat every day. You may also find trying to hold a live bug out isn’t exactly great fun for you, either. Let your pet get used to your smell and the sound of your voice. He’ll figure out on his own that you’re providing room, board, and food.
Many reptiles enjoy a good soak. With some, such as iguanas, regular baths are a must. Use this time to bond with your cute pet. Talk to your tiny dinosaur while he’s soaking.
Don’t handle your reptile immediately. Let him adjust to his new surroundings first. Just talk to your pet dinosaur, and perhaps hold your hand out for him to investigate. (Note: this isn’t recommended with larger reptiles that may bite.)
Handling reptiles regularly can help keep them tame and docile. Just be sure to pick your pet up properly! Never pick a reptile up by the tail, and don’t scoop him up unexpectedly or when he is eating or sleeping. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your veterinary clinic, today!