Reptiles as pets

United States
October 16, 2006 12:27pm CST
Since my son turned 6 several years ago, we have often had a pet snake or lizard. Many people think they are not suitable pets. How do you feel about it?
4 people like this
21 responses
@dragonden (277)
• Canada
22 Oct 06
Well, I've always been interested in reptiles every since I was a young child. I didn't actually get to keep any as pets though until I lived on my own. My feelings? Reptiles are very complicated pets- they look easy, but they aren't because they require very specific enviornments. If a child is interested in having a reptile for a pet the parent(s) must also be interested too because they will need to be involved in the care, purchase of food and other items and vet care expenses as well. I've only got two box turtles right now, but at one time I had 9 lizards plus the turtles (that's over a period of 15 years of so, and that was the max I had at once). So to answer your question I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping reptiles as pets, but a person should do some research before they purchase one, and if it's for a child an adult must be involved or else the reptile pet probably won't be cared for as well as it should be.
• United States
23 Oct 06
I think there should be some kind of knowledge test required for most pets. Some people don't have a clue what is involved in owning even the common pets like cats or dogs. Now reptiles are fun to own, but I have some doubts about whether pet stores should be allowed to sell certain kinds of snakes, especially the large ones like the Burmese and red-tailed boas. I have nothing against large snakes, but many people don't bother checking to see how large they actually can grow and aren't often aware of special permits or laws dealing with some reptiles. One example is that it is illegal to own a California kingsnake as a pet in the state of Georgia. However, several Petco stores in Georgia sell California kingsnakes and don't even mention that it is illegal to own one as a pet. That is just wrong! lol
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Oct 06
I totally agree!
• India
24 Oct 06
i agree with you
@linkpointe (1003)
• Philippines
24 Oct 06
Well...to tell you the truth, i don't like snakes at all. In the bible, they are serpent...and evil...i would rather have a pet dog at home than to have one snake...Yucks!
• United States
24 Oct 06
Snakes are also the symbol of medical doctors. Have you ever been close to one or watched one at the zoo? They can be pretty interesting at times, even if they are very different from us. Thanks for your response!
• Philippines
24 Oct 06
I heard that the venom of the snakes can be a medicine. My mother who works in a chinese firm before used to do a capsule for her boss using the venom imported from China. Honestly, i did saw snakes many times at the zoo but i really don't find them interesting. They're very scaly...Would you believe there were times before that I dreamt of snakes...Some they say maybe, i am troubled or some says that it means luck...i dunno...
• United States
25 Oct 06
All right, I know that some people just aren't into reptiles. Thanks for the honest reply Linkpointe!
@satish_g (79)
• India
23 Oct 06
i dont like reptiles as pets
• Canada
24 Oct 06
Why not Satish? Do you like reptiles at all or just not as pets?
• India
24 Oct 06
i dont like reptiles,specially lizards and snakes
• United States
24 Oct 06
I can understand that you don't like reptiles. Do you think it is okay for others to have them as pets?
@MySpot (2602)
• United States
23 Oct 06
They can be suitable for the right person/family. As another poster already stated, they are not as easy to care for as some might think. I'm sure, because you've owned them, that you have done the research, so you know what type of environment, food, and care they need by now. I think if you enjoy them and can care for them properly, then they are suited for you!
• United States
23 Oct 06
And if you don't try changing their food source. I know someone who bought a snake and tried changing it into a vegetarian. The snake wasn't very healthy when they gave it to me. Thanks for your response!
• Canada
24 Oct 06
True snake lady! (BTW I'm glad I responded to your question, the reptile people have come out of the woodwork!). I help a lot of people with their reptiles, I have a very large site on the net so I have people writing to me often. I've heard from so many people who buy reptiles who mainly eat insects, then they write to me and ask what else they could feed the lizard instead because their too squimish to feed it insects or whatever the mainstay of the reptiles diet is. It's really frustrating talking to these people sometimes!
• United States
24 Oct 06
Well, at least they know enough to ask someone else, but a little research ahead of time would have been better.
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
23 Oct 06
I personally would never own a Snake as a pet, but I see nothing wrong with lizards. They actually are interesting creatures to watch.
• United States
23 Oct 06
Why wouldn't you want a snake? Just curious. Maybe there have been a few too many horror movies starring snakes?
• Canada
24 Oct 06
My husbands not very into snakes which why we've never had one, but I don't mind them at all. In fact, as far as reptiles for pets go they can often be a lot easier to care for than many types of lizards.
• United States
24 Oct 06
I understand completely. Bringing a snake into a house with someone who dislikes them wouldn't be very good. Especially if it escapes. :)
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
23 Oct 06
I think a lot of people buy pets without researching how to care for them properly and what they need (habitat, temperature conditions, etc). If parents are responsible and teach the child about animal care, then I think it's fine. Children can learn so much from watching parents be responsible!
• United States
23 Oct 06
I agree completely. Before I would even consider a reptile in our house, we got books, talked to reptile owners, researched feeding, habitat, etc. I also waited until my son could understand why it is important to wash your hands before and after handling a reptile (salmonella). My son knew more about the snakes we were looking at than the salesperson at the petstore. Kind of sad, eh?
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
23 Oct 06
Yes, it is sad. Our local pet store won't sell geckos anymore because they had one returned with a torn off tail from whatever the kids did to it. She told me she refuses to sell them just so they can be abused!
• United States
23 Oct 06
Now that is very depressing. What parent would let their child do that kind of stuff to a pet? (shaking head) I don't blame the pet store owner in your neighborhood at all.
@tamm820 (464)
• United States
26 Oct 06
I have been breeding snakes for 5 years, and my 3 year old, has a pet snake, as do I. First, I think it's fantastic that you're open enough to allow your son to have one. I don't see any problem with it. It opens children up to a "different" side of not only, the pet world, but the animal world too. Reptiles can make simply awesome pets. I think it's good for people to experience animals beyond the basic cat and dog. I really think, people find them not suitable, more out of fear than anything else. There are more dog attacks every year, than domestic snake attacks. And for the most part, most snakes owned my people as pets, they are not going to kill, or ravage you. Anyone owning a snake big enough to be deadly, usually has quite a bit of experience in the reptile field.
• United States
31 Oct 06
I agree with you on this case but i would make sure that the parent is willing to devote alot of time and energy and money to this pet as they do require alot of attention and tending to. So many people adopt reptiles and end up realizing in the end how much of a responsibility it is and have to give it away. There are too many homeless reptiles as it is ...
• United States
31 Oct 06
Thanks for the responses. I believe that having "different" pets allows children to see that value isn't measured by what is normal. It allows them to see another method of living can be right for certain species.
@tmnjyk (3486)
• Canada
6 Nov 06
I can't imagine myself having a snake or lizard as my pet. I am afraid of them. I only have a dog. And her name is Angel.
• United States
6 Nov 06
What kind of dog is Angel? I love my dogs and cats as well, but sometimes I like being a little different. If you are afraid of snakes or lizards, that is fine, but have you been around any at the zoo or somewhere else? I just like to see reptiles get a chance to show you they are not evil.
@burgoonster (3762)
• Canada
31 Oct 06
Reptiles Are Fine As Pets They Are Not As Cuddley But They Are Fine
• United States
6 Nov 06
They may not be cuddly, but some sure like hugging! We had a California kingsnake that would crawl around my son's neck and give him a "kiss" on the cheek. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of that. Oops, before anyone comments, I was always there supervising whenever Billy was out of his cage, and my son would wash with soap and water before and after handling Billy.
@HerShe (2386)
• Canada
31 Oct 06
I feel that if the pet is safe and the child enjoys the pet, then, what's the problem. I think people think that wreptiles are unsuitable because most people think replies are 'icky'. They are probably ignorant about reptiles. I had a friend once who had her living room lined with fish tanks with all kinds of reptiles. She had turtles, lizards, frogs, and other things of that nature. I had a turtle once that grew to be ten inches across. I built him a cement pond in the yard, with waterfalls and plants and tunnels where he could hide. When 'Thomas' got too big, and in need of other turtles, we took him to a very large pond at the library. In the summer you can see him and all his friend sunning themsleves on a long log that floats there all year round. I'm sure he is happy there.
• United States
6 Nov 06
Exactly. People should be allowed to choose what pet is right for them! I am glad you were able to find a suitable home for Thomas when he got too big for you to handle.
• United States
31 Oct 06
for children they are not suitable pets due to the fact that they require a very steady hand when being handled and they require alot of constant attention and accurate temperatures, humidity, and feeding schedules. They are an enormous amout of responsibility and should only be adopted by reptile lovers that are willing to spend the next 20 -25 years devoted to this one pet. Iguannas also die very easily and the length that these pets grow can be up to 9 feet long.
• United States
6 Nov 06
I will admit that they should not be unsupervised pets for children. Adults should always have the ultimate responsibility for the reptiles. However, I believe that some children can be very responsible as reptile pet owners.
@morenita (331)
• United States
31 Oct 06
I think thay are fine as pets but reptiles do require alot more care than a dog or cat I think. Not necessarily attention, but their requirements for life are very specific and they can easily die if those are not met.
@carlennj (593)
• United States
27 Oct 06
we have had lizzards and crabs, frogs and snakes. The kids love them like the dogs.
• United States
31 Oct 06
Sounds like you have a houseful! What type of lizards and snakes have you owned? What is your favorite pet?
@Pythonis (233)
• United States
26 Oct 06
I had a ball python as a pet, and he was great. The only bad thing was that I felt kind of guilty about feeding him mice. Poor cute mice. But it's what my snake needs to be healthy.
@mcmomss (2601)
• United States
26 Oct 06
I wouldn't want one in my house.
• United States
26 Oct 06
Thanks for your response. I can respect that. Many people do not like reptiles. Do you think it is wrong for others to have them as pets?
@Ynefz0r (834)
• Finland
25 Oct 06
I think it's ok to have a reptile pet if you really like it. I wouldn't though... what if you have a huge crocodile in your house and one day it would eat you? :S
• United States
26 Oct 06
That is why I would never get a large reptile. I couldn't handle a Burmese python, full-grown iguana, or other large lizards or snakes. I know my limitations, and I know exactly how large any reptiles I am considering could get. I take into consideration cage sizes for adults, food sources, time issues, and financial costs for vets, food, etc. before I consider getting one. In other words, someone else can keep the crocodile! lol
@LadyElektra (1079)
• Canada
25 Oct 06
of course they are good hunters cats.
• United States
25 Oct 06
The only problem is that mine have learned how to open hamster and reptile cages. I lost 5 hamsters that way! :)
@LadyElektra (1079)
• Canada
24 Oct 06
ohhh i love snakes
• United States
25 Oct 06
I do too! Right now we don't have any pet snakes, but that is because our house is too drafty. Oops, and our cats are too good of hunters! lol
• United States
23 Oct 06
Snakes are big NO NO in my house. We often see the snake with poison outside our house when we work on our yard so snakes are not allowed. Lizard will be okay as long as they stay in their cage.
• United States
23 Oct 06
And that is the difficulty in keeping many reptiles. Some are impossible to keep in a cage! lol Thanks for the response.
@gamerz_84 (920)
• India
23 Oct 06
no.i dont like reptiles.they can b kept.but not at my place.sorry.
• United States
23 Oct 06
I feel the same way about the large snakes. I would never own a Burmese python because I could not handle a full grown one!