Newly obtained reptiles need a period of time to settle into their new home. It is usual for it to take at least ten days, if not a little longer, for reptiles to feel comfortable enough to react to their new environment normally. It’s good idea before purchasing your pet to consider the seller’s set up. Often, if you initially try to reproduce this set up, reptiles will become comfortable in their new home quicker. These are the things you should consider:
The first thing you would need to find out is how their current vivarium is heated. For instance, are they heated with heat lamps? Reptiles need time to adjust to new ways of heating or simply may not be able to use certain forms of heating.
Try to replicate the habitat the reptiles are kept in by looking closely at the decoration within the seller’s vivarium. Do the reptiles have plenty of hiding places? Are there branches for them to climb or are the set ups very plain and not very stimulating? Reptiles are creatures of habit and often prefer things to stay similar.

Make sure you ask the seller what the reptiles have been feeding on whilst in his/her care. Often if you start off using the same foods, new pets will feed more readily. Diets can be easily adjusted in time to be more nutritious once your pet is feeding properly.
It would be much better if within the first ten days or so your reptile is not over handled. New animals will have enough to contend with learning the layout of the vivarium and getting used to all the new tastes and smells, without also having to put up with constantly being handled. Once the initial ten days is over handling can begin, a little at a time say 10-15 minutes twice per day.
How are you keeping your pet?
Long before you purchase your new pet you should research its species as much as possible. It is very important to know the type of environment that your new pet would have naturally lived in. Reptiles come from all kinds of habitats and are often well adapted to them. For instance, most species originating from the desert will require dry vivariums with access to heat lamps and high levels of UVB lighting during the day, though at night, temperatures often should be dropped by around 10-15oC.

Species originating from rainforests will require more consistent temperatures, which should remain the same, day and night. Such species are often poor sunbathers preferring not to use heat lamps and preferring lower levels of UVB lighting. Rainforest species usually require higher levels of humidity and offering large shallow water containers and deep substrates to hold moisture can often provide this.

UVB lighting is essential to all reptile species. When UVB light is absorbed by reptile skin it converts cholesterol in their blood into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is essential for reptile’s digestion of calcium as without this vitamin, reptiles are not able to absorb calcium from their diet. Calcium is a very important mineral because it is the building blocks for the bones and also helps to maintain good nerve function. Animals who lack calcium may suffer from severe bone malformation, stunted growth and suffer jerky movements or regular fits.

Providing UVB
UVB can be provided in two ways, either by fluorescent strip lights or by using mercury vapour lamps. Fluorescent strip lamps are by far the most commonly used. These should not be more than 25 cms (ten inches) away from the reptile and must be replaced at least once per year. These bulbs can be used in conjunction with other heat emitters. Mercury vapour lamps are more like spot lamps giving out heat as well as providing large amounts of good quality UVB light, usually lasting for around 12-18 months. They are very good for desert species of reptiles.

The correct habitat for your pet is essential in keeping it healthy and feeding properly. Reptiles, which are not accommodated appropriately, will quickly become stressed and stop feeding.

What kind of diet has your pet had?
Feeding your pet reptile can be quite tricky. Reptiles are often very well adapted to certain diets in their natural habitat and failure to understand these diets can be a major factor in it not feeding. Reptiles, like many other animals, can be split into three main groups – carnivores, omnivores and herbivores.
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