Ask a Vet Archive

When it comes to your pet's health, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Search questions real clients have submitted to our popular Ask a Vet Q&A series, and then submit a question of your own.

  • I have a few different species of reptile around my house. I like to interact with them, sometimes taking them out of their cages to play and be handled around the home. Do reptiles like being handled? Am I just annoying them?

    Certain reptile species enjoy being handled and out of their cage more than others. Even within the species, each animal is an individual, so your pet’s preferences will be unique. When first bringing a pet home, allow time for your pet to get used to a new environment. For the first few days, limit contact to feeding and cleaning, and watch for any signs of illness. If you detect that anything is wrong with your new friend, contact your local veterinarian immediately, especially if you observe the following signs: loose stool, loss of appetite, or lethargy.

    It may take time for your pet to get used to you and being handled. Start slow by putting your hand in the cage, so that the animal can get used to your smell and presence. After some time, gently pick the animal up, but keep it in the cage and close to the floor of the cage in case it gets scared and decides to jump. Eventually, you can try taking it out of the cage. Depending on the species, some reptiles will be happy to sit with you, while others will want to explore.


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