Reptiles and frogs

Reptiles and amphibians are captivating to look at. The way they move, their skin and colourations are beautiful. It may seem as though these animals are easy to care for, but keeping them healthy requires specialist care.

Housing

House your reptiles and amphibians correctly to avoid health problems:.

  • Never keep reptiles in wire cages – use wood, glass or plastic.
  • Make sure your pet’s environment is the right temperature.
  • Provide warmer and cooler areas within your pet’s environment.
  • Make sure your pet cannot touch the heat source.
  • Regularly check the humidity, ventilation and lighting and make
  • adjustments where necessary.
  • Depending on the species, a light source with varying wavelengths could be best.
  • As a minimum, provide enough clean water to drink and bathe in.
  • If your pet sheds their skin, provide a rock or abrasive to help.
  • There should be enough space for your pet to move around.
  • Depending on the species, sand, smooth gravel, leaf litter or absorbent paper is appropriate for the floor of their enclosure.

The above information is recommended as a guide only. RSPCA Victoria recommends you do lots of research before getting a reptile or frog as a pet as these animals can easily develop health problems if not properly cared for.

Food

Your pet reptile or amphibian will have different dietary requirements depending on the species.

Snakes

Mice
Rats
Chickens

Lizards

Salad mix
Fruits
Insects
Meat with added calcium carbonate

Tortoises

Often a meat-based diet with added calcium carbonate.

Frogs

Insects

The above information is to be used as a guide only. Different species will have specific dietary requirements. Please do your homework before buying a reptile or frog.

Health

Reptiles and amphibians can easily develop health problems if they are not properly cared for. Intestinal worms, skin mites and a variety of infections and injuries are common problems these pets face when their environment and feeding isn’t up to scratch.

For advice and treatment of sick reptiles and frogs contact a specialist vet. Your local Herpetology Society, Melbourne Zoo, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) or RSPCA Victoria may also be able to help.

Further reading and the law

For information regarding laws and regulations related to the care of reptiles and frogs, please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

For advice about caring for your pet reptile or frog, contact the Australian Herpetological Society. “Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians as Pets” by Chris Banks (published by Nelson) is also a great read with lots of essential information to keep your pet healthy.

For more information about owning a pet reptile or frog, check out the articles below.

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