The variety of species of tortoise, turtle and terrapin being kept as pets is increasing all the time. The husbandry requirements vary widely from species to species. It is very important that you seek advice on heating, lighting, humidity, feeding and substrates before you acquire your pet. Specialist pet shops can help in this regard or, alternatively, our staff will be very willing to help.
For some of the more commonly kept species of testudo tortoise an annual period of hibernation has significant health benefits. A vet check and advice consult in the autumn is advisable.
The Tortoise Table is a very good site, dedicated to the diet and husbandry of tortoises.
Lizards and Snakes
There are a multitude of species all with different requirements of diet and habitat etc. Again, know the species and seek informed advice with regard to feeding, heating and lighting.
Do not guess at the temperature of your pet’s environment! A major heat source controlled by a thermostat means you can be confident your pet will neither be chilled or cooked if the room becomes too cold or too hot.
When considering a choice between ceramic heaters or infrared bulbs remember you can see at a glance if an infrared bulb is working whereas a ceramic bulb may fail without you knowing!
Snakes wrap themselves around a heat source and suffer severe burns – even prolonged lying on a heat mat can cause burning. Make sure all heat sources are guarded to prevent direct contact.