Reptiles & Responsibility By John F Taylor

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Reptiles & Responsibility By John F Taylor

Post  Admin on Tue May 01, 2012 2:41 am

We really cannot tell for certain when people first started keeping reptiles as pets but one thing we do know is that reptile ownership is on the rise across the globe. Whether this increase is a boon or curse for the reptile community at large depends on who you speak with. As with any community there are those who understand that there are certain precautions to be taken when owning animals and then there are those who throw caution to the wind. The latter are the ones we usually hear about via the local news channels about their injuries or even worse about their family being either killed or permanently maimed by their carelessness.

Responsible ownership of any pet begins first with understanding it's requirements. This means not only realizing what they eat, housing needs, and the basic necessities of life which we all know as water, heat, and food. To be honest a prisoner in solitary confinement gets their basic needs met. We should begin first with the mindset of wanting this animal to thrive while in our care. Providing food for almost any captive species kept today is as easy as going to the local pet shop. But what specific foods make up your pets natural diet? How do you know that your specific pet is getting the right nutrition?

Natural history is something that seemingly every pet owner overlooks today and this is to the detriment of their pets. Natural history not only tells you where your pet came from but also what their interactions on a daily basis may consist of which will reveal behavior patterns that we may then recognize in their captive environment. This is also crucial for understanding the pets natural environment which we must try to recreate in order for them to live a full life in a captive environment. There are those who will tell you that reptiles have very little in the way of requirements as they are low on the evolutionary scale, however this cannot be farther from the truth. I can personally reference about 10 different studies showing that reptiles are in fact thinking and reasoning creatures.

The best way to establish proper responsibility with pet keeping is to do your research prior to purchasing the pet. This doesn’t mean reading a few care sheets, or a book and you’re suddenly ready to go. You need to read at least a few books on the species you plan to keep and making sure they are all by different authors. Different authors have obviously different viewpoints and what I do is use what the authors agree on rather than trying to discern which way would work better. Again this leaves out the fact that you must read about the natural history of the animal. If you have trouble getting access to the natural history reports call a reputable breeder and they should be able to help guide you to sources for these reports.

Should you like to purchase a book on the species you’d like to keep we of course recommend The Reptile Apartment Library http://reptileapartment.com/the-library/. In closing we highly recommend that you consider keeping a reptile as a pet but above everything we recommend that you keep any pet responsibly which means doing your homework and researching thoroughly. Considerations such as space requirements at adult size, commitment of time for care, as well as handling must all be considered prior to the purchase of your new reptile pet.
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