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5 Tips on Caring for Your Pet Salamander

Salamanders can be a wonderful source of joy for owners, so it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Since keeping a salamander in your home is far from its natural environment, it stands to reason that the best way to make any pet salamander comfortable in its new surroundings is to provide as many natural features possible.

If you don’t know anyone who has a pet salamander, and you haven’t encountered them in the wild, they are charming little amphibians with slender bodies and long tails. They have no claws, which adds to their appeal as pets, and they generally have five toes behind, with four toes in front. Most salamanders fall within the range of 4 to 8 inches long, and must be provided with a water source, so they can keep their skin moist.

Although as a pet owner you might never see this in action, the salamander has the very useful ability to regenerate limbs and other body parts which have been somehow lost or removed. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your pet salamander, and to keep it healthy, make sure to take note of these five tips.

A Natural Diet

Salamanders don’t usually eat the grain meal and packaged foods you find in pet stores because that’s not what they eat in their natural habitat. They love to chomp on earthworms, woodlice, and slugs – you might be surprised to find that you can purchase these creepy crawlies at your local pet supply store. It’s best to feed your pet salamander at night since they are nocturnal creatures who become active in the twilight hours.

A pet salamander in a moist leafy habitat.

A pet salamander likes moist leafy habitats because they mimic the features of their natural habitat.

Housing Arrangements

As mentioned above, the very best housing arrangement you can establish for your pet salamander is to approximate conditions it would encounter in its natural environment. Salamanders enjoy moist habitats with many nooks and crannies where they can nestle and hide.

You don’t have to buy an elaborate setup that costs a fortune. You can make your own salamander habitat starting with a clear, easy to clean container that comes with a secure lid. The container will have to have holes which are smaller than the salamander’s body size, for ventilation and air flow.

Then you can place wood chips, potting compost, and other absorptive material on the flooring. Next, you should include a few objects like rocks or pieces of wood, which the salamander can hide behind when it wants to. When you’re selecting a place in the home to situate your salamander box, make sure that it never receives direct sunlight, because that would create uncomfortable temperature conditions for your pet. Don’t forget to include a water dish, so your pet salamander can stay well-hydrated.

Environment Control

As we mentioned before, salamanders do not like warm temperatures, and that’s why direct sunlight is such a bother to them. They prefer temperatures between 55 and 65°F, which means that your salamander housing should be stored in a cool place that doesn’t get day-long heat. This is especially important during the summertime when temperatures can soar. A salamander left at home with no air-conditioning will be in serious jeopardy. Place a small thermometer inside its container for convenient temperature monitoring. Since your pet salamander will always need to maintain skin moisture, it must be provided with standard dampness as part of its environment. If nothing else, a dish full of water should be kept in its environment at all times, and this water should be changed daily, so it’s always fresh.

Handling of Your Salamander

Many pet owners enjoy cuddling with their pets as one of the primary perks of ownership, but this is a temptation you’ll have to overcome with your pet salamander. Keep in mind that salamanders have very delicate, moist skin which will not tolerate handling to any degree. It’s best to have the understanding at the outset that you will handle your salamander as little as possible, and just enjoy observing it.

Making Sure Your Pet Salamander Stays Healthy

Whatever kind of housing you’ve set up for your pet salamander must be cleaned approximately every two months. When you do this, make sure to use nothing more than warm water and a very mild cleaning agent, such as dishwashing detergent. There are many kinds of cleaning agents and disinfectants which can be very harmful to your pet salamander (chlorine, for instance), and these must be avoided at all costs. It’s best to not get too adventurous with cleaning solutions and just stick to mild soap and water. Your pet salamander will appreciate the clean environment, especially if their home is free of harsh cleaning agents.

 

Picking the Right Terrarium for Your Reptile

A small lizard crawling on the wood inside a terrarium.

Is your pet’s terrarium suitable?

A reptile is one of the few pets that needs a specialized environment to live in. You can’t just bring one home without knowing the type of reptile you have or the living conditions that need to be met in order for it to survive. At the Pet Shop, we can help you give your special scaly friend the home they deserve. Here are a few factors to consider before you decide to pick up your brand-new pet and its terrarium.

How Big Is Your Terrarium?

The size of your terrarium matters for many reasons. The first is the size of your pet. For obvious reasons, you’ll need a space that is big enough from your reptile to fit in. The second factor to consider is their behavior. Research is important before you buy any pet. You have to be able to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you planning on bringing home multiple reptiles?
  • Do they work well with others?
  • Does your reptile like to move around or stay still?

The answers to these questions will influence your choice. You’ll be surprised to know that most larger reptiles don’t require a lot of space to move around in. However, others are more territorial and will want their own space within the terrarium. In this case, you will have to find a way to arrange the contents of your terrarium for multiple reptiles.

Placing your Pet’s Living Space Within Your Home

Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes. Most reptiles will be able to function in an all-purpose terrarium. These living spaces are usually twice as long as their width and height.

In rare instances, you may decide to bring home a lizard that requires a space that is different from the norm. Reptiles that are used to living in high places, like trees or walls, will need a tall terrarium. This will give them a home that feels familiar.

As you are looking at terrariums, think about where you are going to place it within your home. Make sure you have a safe and secure spot for it. That way your pet is comfortable for a long time.

Reptiles Require Proper Ventilation

Reptiles need fresh air. Unfortunately, pet reptiles live in an enclosed space, which normally doesn’t receive proper ventilation. You can change that with the right covering and side-wall ventilation.

A roof covering must have a large wire screen, with the right size and weight. This allows a flow of air from the top of the terrarium. A side-wall ventilation should have the same kind of wire screen mesh. It is usually placed in the bottom corner of the terrarium.

There are two things you should avoid with a roof covering. The first is to avoid a wire mesh that will allow food to escape. The second is to make sure that the roof is not made of plastic, which can fall apart under intense heat.

Buying Your Reptile

Hopefully, this will make thing easier when considering a pet reptile. We have several reptiles and terrariums available at the Pet Shop. Visit today, and bring a special friend home with you.

What to Think About Before Getting a Lizard as a Pet

A number of lizards make great companion pets. Several types of reptiles are becoming more mainstream than ever before, especially the bearded dragon and certain types of geckos. However, you need to think about a few things before you select and bring your first lizard home.

Where Did It Come From?

You want your pet lizard to have been bred in captivity. That means it was not taken from the wild—whether legally or illegally. It’s much easier to care for a captive-bred lizard because they have fewer diseases. It is also good for that species to not have wild populations that have been harvested for pets.

Do You Want to Hold It?

Some lizards are excellent companions that don’t mind being held or even sitting on your lap, shoulder, etc. Other lizards should stay in their habitat with the lid tightly sealed, or they will make a quick getaway. Choose your lizard based on how much you want to be able to handle it.

How Interesting Do You Want Your Lizard to Be?

A lot of lizards pretty much do nothing but sun themselves and sleep except when it is feeding time. If you want an active pet that will provide you with entertainment, you have to choose your reptile wisely. Also, a larger tank will give your pet lizard more room to be active.

How Much Will It Cost?

The type of lizard will determine the initial cost of the animal itself, and will dictate the size tank needed as well as the kind of food. These factors can result in a significant variance in costs, so know your budget and choose your lizard accordingly. Also, make sure that there is a vet nearby who can care for your pet since many vets know very little about reptiles, or at least have little-to-no experience with them.

Your Pet’s Needs

Finally, you need to learn what your pet’s needs will be. From habitat to diet, every lizard is a little different. Make sure you have the time to commit to necessary tasks like tank cleaning. Plus, remember that some lizards live for decades, so you are making a long-term commitment.