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Whether you have one family pet or you’re a herp enthusiast, chances are you will need to board your reptile at some point. Maybe an unexpected situation arises, or maybe you just want to take a vacation. Either way, you are going to need someone to care for your reptile while you are away. Just like any other pet, snakes and lizards require regular care. Here’s what to know before you board your reptile.

Boarding is not always necessary

Your snake may actually be fine staying right where it is for a few days. Many reptiles do not need to eat daily. If you have a trusted friend or family member who can stop in to make sure your exotic pet has plenty of water, you could safely leave the animal at home. Lizards, however, are more likely to require daily feeding. For example, bearded dragons need a fresh supply of greens each day. In that case, you may need to board your lizard to ensure it receives adequate food while you are away.

Know the disease risk

When you do need to board a reptile, check the reputation of the place your snake or lizard will be staying. Any time you board your reptile somewhere, you risk disease from other animals at the facility. Look for reviews from previous boarders, and if possible, use a boarding facility or exotics pet shop that you are familiar with. Your exotics vet may also provide boarding services. Only board your pet in another home if you personally know the individual and are confident in their ability to provide a safe, disease-free environment for your lizard or snake.

Not all boarding facilities are the same

Sometimes facilities that board dogs, cats, and other small mammals will also take a reptile for boarding. If you are considering boarding your herp with a boarding facility for dogs and cats, make sure they have significant experience with boarding reptiles. Sure, you can hand over a set of written instructions on how many greens or insects your lizard needs, but do you really want to leave your exotic with people who have no experience caring for them?

Just because a facility says they will take your reptile does not mean it’s the best place to use. Leaving your exotic with boarding employees without specific reptile care experience is no better than leaving them with a clueless friend.

Find out the requirements ahead of time

The place you are boarding with may have specific rules regarding the boarding of reptiles. For example, some facilities require that your pet has had a recent medical exam to prevent the spread of disease at their facility. If your time away from home is planned, like a vacation, check with the boarding facility well in advance so you can schedule a veterinary exam if needed. Even better, know where you will board your exotic pet before you ever require their services. That way you won’t be caught off guard by their rules when an unexpected boarding situation arises.

Come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana to ask about our reptile boarding services.