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Making Friends With a Reptile

July 15, 2021

Have you ever wondered if reptiles feel emotions? It’s probably safe to say that reptiles aren’t as sentimental or affectionate as dogs and cats, but there’s no way to know for sure. That said, reptiles can and do get quite attached to their humans. Bonding with reptiles takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. Here, a local vet discusses taming reptiles.

 Adopt Young

You’ll have more luck taming a baby animal than you would an older one, or one that’s rarely been handled. Of course, baby reptiles need a lot of care, and are not necessarily suitable pets for first-time reptile owners. Do plenty of research before adopting.

Watch Body Language 

Pay attention to your pet’s body language. Learn to read your reptilian buddy, and pay attention to how he acts around you. If your tiny dragon is hissing, withdrawing, or acting as though it’s scared or going to strike, just leave it alone. 


Many reptiles enjoy a good soak. WIth some, such as iguanas, baths are a must. Use this time to bond with your pet. Talk to your scaled pal as he’s soaking.


Lizards actually can be quite affectionate. Many of these guys enjoy cuddling or sitting on their humans, and some even become lap lizards. However, some of these little dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners. Don’t expect too much from a strange reptile.


Offering food and treats is a great way to win any pet’s trust. However, this is tricky with reptiles, as many of them don’t even eat every day. You may also be less than thrilled about trying to hold a live bug out. Let your pet get used to your smell and the sound of your voice. He’ll realize on their own that you’re providing dinner.

Settling In

Don’t try to handle your pet reptile immediately. Let him adjust to his new  surroundings. Just talk to the little guy, and perhaps hold your hand out for him to investigate. (This isn’t recommended with larger reptiles, as they may bite.)

Picking Up

Handling your reptile regularly can help keep them tame and docile. Be sure to pick your pet up properly! Never pick your reptile up by the tail. Also, don’t scoop him up unexpectedly or when he is eating or sleeping. Ask your vet for more information. 

Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your veterinary clinic, today!