Other Accessories Used In Reptile Keeping
If you visit your local retailer, or search on the web, you will find hundreds of reptile related accessories.
Whilst some of these are not necessary, many serve useful and sometimes essential purposes.
In this article we look at items that we have not covered in other parts of the equipment section.
Some of these you may not have thought about acquiring, but they may well prove worth the small expense.
Antibacterial HandwashOne of the facts that you should be aware of is that your pet will probably be harbouring some rather nasty bacteria which is harmful to humans, in particular salmonella.
It is for this reason that it is essential that you wash your hands immediately after handling your pet, its food or after touching the vivarium. If you do not it will only be a matter of time before your stomach reminds you that you should have!!!
For this reason an antibacterial handwash is an essential item. It is cheap and easy to obtain so there is no excuse not to use it!
Hand Held MisterMany reptiles that enjoy high humidity love to be sprayed with a light mist of water. Hand held misters are ideal for the job and very cheap. In fact it is a good idea to buy more than one as they do have a limited life span.
On no account use a mister that has been used to spray insecticide, this could well prove fatal for your pet. As they are such a small cost if in any doubt buy a new one, and keep it solely for your animal!
Another use of the mister is for a quick cosmetic wipe of the vivarium glass.
HidesAlthough it is great to see your pet, they might not want to see you! So it is essential that you provide them with places that they can hide and feel secure. It is a good idea, at least initially to provide your animal with a choice of hides in different positions along the temperature gradient.
There are many different types of purpose made hides available, ranging from bark to terracotta and plastic.
The most important criteria when choosing one is that it is a suitable size, not toxic and that it easily cleanable. But with the choice available today you should also be able to satisfy these criteria and find one that matches your tank decor.
Protective GlovesAlmost any animal is capable of giving us a bite and reptiles are no exception.
Most bites occur as an accident during feeding, or when your pet thinks your hand is food. As a general rule you reptile will normally let you know when it is not in the mood to be touched!
There are occasions that you may need to hold an unhappy or hungry reptile if so this is when a pair of protective gloves comes in handy. If the animal does not have too strong a bite or sharp claws, then it is best to wear a light pair as it is easier to feel the animal and not hold it too tight.
Supplements And VitaminsFor many reptiles, especially ones that are under UV lighting, it is a good idea to give them supplements. These normally contain vitamins and calcium.
Most supplements come in a powder form which you dust over the insects or other food.
They are readily available and can well prevent future health problems.
Tongs And TweezersAs has already been said, most bites that reptile keepers suffer are from the animals feeding responses, in other words they are accidental and normally avoidable.
One of the easiest ways to avoid being bitten is to use a pair of tongs or tweezers. As they come in a variety of sizes choose the one most appropriate for your needs. You would not use tweezers to feed a monitor or boa constrictor, or a pair of tongs for a leopard gecko!
Vivarium DecorationsThe way you decorate your vivarium is very much a personal choice. It could be argued that, a simple interior setup with a hide, substrate, and a few branches if the animal is a climber is the best as it is easy to clean and keep disease free.
But a nicely decorated vivarium is more pleasing to the eye and may be appreciated by your pet, but probably more for the privacy it offers.
There are many forms of decoration available including plastic plants, bark and mouldings. Your main considerations are that there are no sharp edges, they will not cause a fire if they come into contact with heat and that they are non-toxic. Under most situations you can safely use items made for aquariums.
Water BowlThis is obviously an absolutely essential item, but most reptiles use their water for more than just drinking.
Many snakes and lizards like to use it as a bath, especially during shedding when it can be very important for them. Also many use it as a latrine which is helpful in keeping the vivarium clean.
A plastic tray as used for cats litter, whilst not necessarily attractive can make an ideal water bowl for many animals. It also has the advantage of easily being cleaned, which is another very important consideration.
Bear these facts in mind when choosing a water bowl and as a very general rule the larger bowl the better. If you are housing small lizards make sure that sides are not too high that they cannot get in or out of the water.