by Dr. Kristin Valdes
Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

Kristin C iguanaSome may call them cute
Others are a little wary.
Don’t be afraid, though,
Reptiles aren’t that scary! 


Happy October! Did you know that October 21 is Reptile Awareness Day? When considering a reptile as a pet, it can be a little daunting to determine exactly what they need—especially when they are growing. Some common pet reptiles include ball pythons, bearded dragons, and leopard geckos. 


I myself have a ball python named Dorian (a fantastic reference to the lovely scales of my snake. Did you know Dorian is a type of musical scale? I digress …) who is my cuddle bug when I settle in for an evening of reading or watching a movie.

Contrary to what many people think, you have nothing to be scared of from these sweet-natured pets.  This is what makes them so popular. But which one may be right for you, and where do you begin? If you are a night owl, ball pythons and leopard geckos may be your pet of choice. If your free during the day, the bearded dragon may make a great addition to your family. For easy reference, here is a quick chart of pet reptile facts. This is just a summary of the basics. The folks at The Animal Store can answer your more detailed questions.


If you are considering a reptile, please be sure to have him or her checked over by a veterinarian to make sure your new pet is healthy and so a vet can answer all the questions you have about your pet. 

We were not able to discuss all reptiles above, so I covered three of the pets most commonly owned in the reptile world.  Here are links to our snake and reptile care sheets, which include a good number of other common cold blooded critters we see.  The care sheets discuss the care and handling of each species listed, as well as food and enclosure requirements.

Finally, I would like to recognize two groups that appreciate reptiles everyday:

Welcome to Ask the Vet, a regular feature on The Animal Store Blog. We have teamed up with the great veterinarians at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will answer your most pressing pet questions right here! Do you want to see your question answered on the blog? Leave a comment below or submit it on our contact form.