#1: Red eared sliders and many pet water turtles DO NOT need heated water.
Many common pet water turtles
are cold water species. Pond sliders, red eareds,
painted turtles, map turtles, and most other species of
temperate water turtles should NOT have heated water
with an aquarium heater warmed to tropical fish
temperatures. 80 degree water can cause health problems
and promotes rapid bacteria growth. Exotic
tropical turtles do need heated water. Visit the ARR
Climate Guide here.
#2: You should NOT use
vitamin/mineral supplements at every feeding.
Use vitamin and mineral
supplements sparingly with reptiles. It is very easy to
over do it with supplements, causing hypervitaminosis
and metabolic bone problems. Feed a good, well balanced
diet instead of relying on supplements for good
nutrition. Visit the ARR Supplement Guide
#3: You don't need to buy
expensive night time lights or heat your reptile at
Most reptiles don’t need
overnight heat or lights. Night temperatures fall more
than 20 degrees almost everywhere in the world. Room
temperature is fine at night in most cases. Visit
the ARR Climate Guide
Not all reptiles require expensive UV lights.
Most snakes and some amphibians
don’t need UV light. Most lizards and turtles do. UVB
lights produce the needed UVA in addition to UVB, but
UVA lights do not provide UVB rays. Without both UVA and
UVB, many reptiles cannot synthesize or process Vitamin
D3. Visit the ARR UV and Lighting Guide
#5: Commercial manufactured
reptile pellets are not adequate as your pet's only
Never rely on commercial foods
alone. Use only as a supplement in between feeding
quality fresh food items. Vary the diet as much as
possible or risk nutritional disorders. Visit the ARR
Nutrition Guide here.
#6: Read the label of any
calcium, vitamin, or mineral supplements before you buy.
Know what your reptile needs
and find the appropriate diet and supplement.
Avoid over-using vitmain and mineral powders, and buy
the correct product for your pet. Visit the ARR Supplement Guide
Don't use "hot rocks" or heated fixtures inside the
Reptile hot rocks do not heat
uniformly, and hot spots can cause thermal burns to your
pet. Place a real rock in the cage under an
appropriate heat lamp to make a basking spot.
Otherwise, an electric skillet would be an equivalent
option. Visit the ARR Climate Guide
Reptiles need doctors, too.
Like any other pet, your
reptile should see an exotic veterinarian for a check-up
on a regular basis. Especially important if your pet is
sick or injured. Don't try over-the-counter treatments
for parasites or illness. You are just wasting money and
prolonging proper treatment. Find a herp veterinarian
#9: Don't release your
unwanted pet reptile into the wild or leave it for
It is illegal, unethical, and
immoral to release a captive reptile pet that is
comfortable with and reliant on humans into the wild. It
is never, ever acceptable to let your pet go or dump
them outside. Abandoning or neglecting an animal is a
crime. Don't leave your unwanted pet with someone else
that doesn't want them. Don't abandon them in empty
structures with no heat, food, or water. These are acts
of animal cruelty and punishable by law. Visit the
ARR Laws & Wildlife page here.
#10: Wash your hands.
Reptiles do carry many
bacteria and pathogens. This is NORMAL for reptiles.
They are not sick and don't require treatment in most
cases, but if you don't wash your hands you might.
Reptiles are safe to keep assuming you use your head and
common sense. Don't keep your turtle on the kitchen
counter. Don't hibernate your reptiles in the
refrigerator with your food. Wash your hands. Clean the
cage. Duh. We can't give you a link to this one.
It's all you.