Congrats on welcoming home your new reptile

THE PETCO NEW REPTILE GUIDE

We’ll help you navigate the exciting journey into pet parenthood with helpful tips, expert guidance and shopping recommendations for all your milestones together.

Snake coiled up in front of bright yellow circle.
Colorful bird pirched on a piece of wood.

1. Choosing the best habitat

Welcome them home with a habitat built for their specific needs.

1. Choosing the best habitat

Welcome them home with a habitat built for their specific needs.

Habitats and Enclosures

Habitats and Enclosures

Terrarium Kits

Terrarium Kits

Stands and Covers

Stands and Covers

2. Building your reptile’s home

Help them feel safe and comfortable in their new home with these recommended essentials.

Substrate and Bedding

The right substrate should mimic their natural environment and support their species-specific humidity requirements.

Hideaways

Provide your new reptile with a safe place to hide, rest, sleep, cool off and shed.

Décor

Help enrich their habitat by providing them with places to bask, climb, hide and explore.

Heating and Lighting

Proper heating and lighting—including heat, light, a dome for heat and ultraviolet light bulbs designed for their species—are critical to keeping them healthy.

Humidity Control

Humidity requirements vary by species, and proper humidity is essential to keeping reptiles hydrated and to helping them shed their skin appropriately.

Thermometer and Humidity Gauges

Because they can’t regulate their body temperature, it’s essential to maintain the right temperature and humidity for their species to help them stay healthy.

3. Finding the right nutrition

Set a strong foundation for their health with nutrition that provides the right vitamins and minerals for their specific species.

Commercially Available Food

Commercially available food is tailored to provide to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your reptile’s specific species.

Insects

Freeze-dried and live insects are an essential food source for many reptiles.

Frozen Food

May be an alternative option for some carnivorous species. Check with your vet to see if this is right for your reptile.

Food Bowl and Water Bowl

Helps keep their food and water clean from substrate, plus gives many reptiles who like to bathe a shallow place to soak.

4. Keeping your reptile healthy

Help support their physical and mental health—and meet their environmental needs—by incorporating these items into your reptile’s routine.

4. Keeping your reptile healthy

Help support their physical and mental health—and meet their environmental needs—by incorporating these items into your reptile’s routine.

Supplements

Provide specific vitamins and nutrients they may not be able to produce themselves or get in their food. Check with your vet to see what supplements your reptile needs.

Cleaning Supplies

Make sure to clean their entire habitat at least every 3–4 weeks, depending on how many reptiles it houses, and spot clean it daily.

Filters and Pumps

Aquatic and semi-aquatic reptiles may swim in and drink the same water, so maintaining water quality is key to their health.

5. Understanding your reptile

Most reptiles are friendly and can learn to recognize you, but it’s important to give them time to settle into their new home and socialize. Below are some key facts to be aware of as you get to know your reptile.

Ectothermic

Because they get their body heat from outside sources, reptiles require heating bulbs and pads to keep them warm so they can stay healthy.

Salmonella

Reptiles carry salmonella, a bacteria that can cause illness in people, in their intestinal tracts, so it’s important to always wash your hands after handling them.

Hiding away

Hiding in décor can give your reptile a sense of security, a space to de-stress and a dark place for nocturnal species to sleep.

6. SPECIES-SPECIFIC CARE SHEETS

Once your reptile’s essentials are squared away, help support every aspect of their health by learning about the nuances of their specific species.