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The Basics: Reptile Food, Habitats & More

Reptile Requirements

The exotic and unique nature of reptiles is what makes them so appealing to pet parents everywhere. This individuality means that basic reptile needs vary significantly from species to species. It's essential that you tailor your shopping list to meet the specific needs of your pet before welcoming them home. You can always add items over time, but here are items, grouped by category, that are essential to a successful introduction.

Housing

Housing for terrestrial reptiles

You will need a habitat or terrarium with:

  • A cover
  • Substrate
  • An incandescent basking light or ceramic heater
  • An under-tank heater
  • Shallow food and water dishes
  • A thermometer and humidity gauge
  • A misting bottle
  • Décor
  • A hideaway
  • Non-toxic plants, branches, logs and cork bark

Housing for semi-aquatic reptile

You will need:

  • A part water and part dry vivarium
  • An under-tank heater
  • A filter system
  • Décor
  • Shallow food and water dishes
  • Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting (optional)
  • A thermometer and humidity gauge
  • An incandescent basking light or ceramic heater
  • Substrate
  • Hiding area

Housing for your aquatic reptile

You will need:

  • An aquarium with cover
  • Water heater
  • Filter system
  • Substrate
  • Full-spectrum fluorescent light
  • An incandescent basking light or ceramic heater
  • Basking rock or log
  • A thermometer and humidity gauge
  • Smooth rock or store-bought drift wood
  • Décor

Reptile Food and other items

Food

When buying nutritious food for your reptile, it’s important to select commercially prepared food, designed specifically for the type of reptile that you have. If your reptile eats live food, it’s very important to provide a variety.

Petco strongly recommends feeding your reptile thawed frozen food. Depending on the species, your reptile may also need multi-vitamin/mineral supplements. Some species of reptiles also need fresh greens, leafy greens or fruit to maintain a balanced diet.

Miscellaneous

Some other popular and recommended items include:

  • Thermostat and timer
  • Forceps or other tools for feeding

If you are ever unsure of your pet’s dietary requirements, consult your exotic veterinarian and a Petco reptile specialist for advice.