Reptile care advice - lizards and snakes

Buying a lizard or snake? Read our checklist for need-to-know care information.

  • Research the unique care requirements of the particular breed of reptile you are purchasing.
  • Find out how large your pet will be when it is fully grown – and make sure you are prepared for this! 
  • For many lizards and snakes you’ll need to provide and manage heating, lighting and humidity levels within the vivarium.  This will require specialist equipment.  Not providing the correct environment can be detrimental to a reptile's health.
  • You may also need to provide substrate (materials for the floor of the vivarium), a hide, burrow or climbing material, depending on the pet type.
  • Ensure that the size and shape of the vivarium reflects your reptile's lifestyle needs.
ExoticDirect can provide cover for your pet.

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Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505

  • It's essential that you research the correct diet for your pet. A snake’s diet can include mice and rats. A lizard's diet can include insects such as crickets, mealworms and locusts.
  • Most reptiles carry salmonella in their gut. Make sure you know how to reduce the risk of contamination.  The government has produced a useful guide on salmonella in reptiles.
  • Check whether there are any legal requirements involved in keeping the pet. The RSPCA has information on this. ExoticDirect has produced a guide to owning Dangerous Wild Animals, which need a licence from your local authority.
  • Find out whether the reptile is nocturnal (active at night) or active during the day.
  • Find your nearest vet who treats exotic pets, and get registered early. Traditional ‘cat and dog’ vets usually won’t treat exotics and can charge significant referral fees.
  • Holidays: Check with friends and family to see if they’re happy to keep an eye on your reptile if you go away on holiday.
  • Finally, consider pet insurance for your lizard or snake. You don’t want to be worrying about escalating vet fees if your pet becomes poorly. Insurance can offer peace of mind against the unexpected.

You can obtain a quote for your lizard or snake by clicking the 'Get a quote' button.

Get a quote

Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505

Here are some links to other sources of useful information

Coastway Veterinary Group (2014) Caring for Exotics

Coastway Veterinary Group (2014) Reptile Care Sheet, Bearded Dragons (Available for free download)

Evans G Dr. (2013) Caring for Lizards Keeping Exotic Pets (2014)

Evans G Dr (2012) How to Keep Corn Snakes Keeping Exotic Pets (2014)

Evans G Dr (2012) How to Keep Rat & King Snakes Keeping Exotic Pets (2014)

HM Government (2014) Reducing the Risks of Salmonella Infection from Reptiles Public Health England publication (2014) (Available for free download)

RSPCA (2014) Exotic Pets

RSPCA (2014) Licences to Keep Wild Animals

ExoticDirect (2014) Fur Free Doesn't Mean Carefree Report  (Available for free download)