Reptiles · Uncategorized

Being a Successful Reptile Owner #ReptileCare

This post is a sponsored post. I am being compensated to help spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

Whether you own a pet tortoise, snake, lizard or bearded dragon, understanding proper reptile care is important.

When I had my first pet reptile — a painted turtle when I was about 8 years old — there was no internet to look up information. In fact, I don’t remember there being that much information about their health available overall.

Fast forward about 15 years to when I graduated college and got back into the reptile hobby, and the internet made a world of difference when I started caring for tortoises. I started with two Russian tortoises and quickly added another two – Bert and Ernie – who  I adopted from an animal shelter after parents complained about them being used as classroom pets.

Now, I have four adorable baby tortoises. Two cherry head red foot tortoises and two red foot tortoises. What feels like every day, I am reading something new about them or have another question about their care that I Google.



So, when I heard about petMD®’s new Reptile Center brought to you by PetSmart, I was excited there was going to be another resource for current reptile owners to learn more, and for new owners to learn what they are getting themselves into. petsmart_reptile_care

Caring for a reptile is not difficult, but it does take some planning, understanding and flexibility. For example, I have special heat lights and bedding that mine need to be happy and healthy. They also need special lights that have to be on between 8 and 10 hours a day to help them get the needed light spectrum for proper care of their shells.

The good thing is that many of these are available at PetSmart’s Reptile Purchase Center.

There are also things some people might not think about when it comes to reptiles, like respiratory issues. Did you know that in turtles, a lack of vitamin A in the diet, can also play a role in causing respiratory issues? I didn’t, until I read an article in the Reptile Center.

If you’re thinking of getting a reptile, browse the Reptile Center to learn what type of reptile best fits your lifestyle. My tortoises are a perfect match for me, and once you decide what kind of reptile you want, picking one will be easy. You will “just know” when you see them.

That’s how I felt about Daytona, who I got while covering a reptile breeders conference in Daytona Beach. There were only several left and as soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted to take him home. They have such individual personalities and tastes! Yes, tastes! There are some types of lettuces that one of my tortoises, likes but the others doesn’t. So crazy. 


And, you’ll be in good company if you decide to get a turtle or tortoise. According to the American Pet Products Association, turtles are the number one reptile pet.

Whatever type of reptile you decide on, make sure you read, read, read! The more information you have, the more successful of a reptile owner you will be.


3 thoughts on “Being a Successful Reptile Owner #ReptileCare

  1. It just occurred to me that I don’t know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. Hmm … I’ll have I’ll just have to mosey on over to petMD and learn more about them! I had a couple of little turtles when I was a kid, but my Mom flushed them down the toilet after hearing that they carried disease. I cried forever. 🙁 (She should have done her research too, but like you say, there was no Internet back then.) I have a Bearded Dragon now, named Shirley. Reptiles are very interesting to have as pet. They really do have distinct personalities and tastes! Shirley doesn’t like ‘any’ salad. It’s a struggle. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We’ve had two tortoises and they make great pets. I thought I knew what we were doing, but I learned a few things on the PetSmart information page that didn’t exist (or I didn’t see) when we bought the second tortoise.

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