Archive for August 2015

#ReptileCare and Classroom Pet Reptiles

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This post is sponsored by petMD Reptile Center, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but HerpetoBotanical only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

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reptile care classroom pet

Parents, teachers, and other adults that care for children often have questions about kids and reptiles interacting. At what age should children be around reptiles or have one for a pet? What are the risks or rewards? What reptile would make a suitable pet for a child?  Is it a good idea for kids to be exposed to reptiles?

Kids should absolutely be allowed to interact with reptiles! Curious minds thrive on new and interesting experiences, and reptiles in the classroom open up a whole of possibilities to your students and their education.

Benefits of Classroom Pet Reptiles

Classroom pets can add a lot to your curriculum. You can use them as a way to tie in real world experiences to ideas that may be a bit more abstract to your kids. For example, a Bearded Dragon might be a great way to lead into a course about Australian wildlife and geography. A Kingsnake could tie into a class about American wildlife and conservation.

Or maybe holding the reptile could serve as a reward for completing certain tasks in class. Shy children may benefit from having an animal nearby. Whatever roll the reptile plays in your class, it will certainly pique the interest of your students and fuel their curiosity.

You can find lots of reptile information online, at places like petMD®. They provide reptile care information, as well as fun quizzes and trivia for your students.

 

classroom pet reptile care

Study Suggestions

Reptiles can segue into many different topics. Conservation and habitat restoration could be discussed about almost every species. You could study life cycles, egg development, and food chains.

You can find more helpful guides on petMD to help you prepare for teaching your students about reptiles.

Picking the Right Reptile

Choosing the correct animal will make all the difference in your success with a classroom pet or a child’s pet. First, decide how you want to interact with this animal. If you want a no-touching pet, your options are wider, but you may have difficulty enforcing that rule. The kids may get into the cage when you’re not looking, so picking an animal that can tolerate handling, or choosing a locking cage may be best.

If you’d prefer an animal that can handle some interaction, there are many great choices. Bearded Dragons tend to be docile and easy to handle. Turtles are a popular choice as well and are one of the most widely loved reptiles. It’s hard to find someone who’s scared of a turtle. Snakes can make great classroom pets as well and may provide opportunities for helping students or parents deal with some irrational fears. Sometimes a little education is all it takes.

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Supplies

I recently wrote a post on what supplies you’ll need for a new pet reptile. That post can help you create a checklist of what you’ll need, and you can find your supplies online at the Reptile Purchase Center online or at PetSmart®.

 

Have you had a pet reptile in your classroom, or your child’s class? What topics did it lead to in their studies? Share with us below!

My Experience with #ReptileCare

This post is sponsored by petMD Reptile Center, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but HerpetoBotanical only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

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Reptile care can seem like the most basic thing in the world: you just follow some directions, make sure your reptile has food and water, and maybe some heat, and it’ll be fine. This theory may work great for cats and dogs or other common household pets, but many people seem to forget that each species has specialized needs. There’s no “turtles eat lettuce” or “snakes eat mice” blanket statement that you can follow and have it work out every time. You have to adapt to your animals’ needs, and you have to continue studying.

My first herpetile pets were frogs and fire bellied toads. I was a kid and had read some books on the subject, so I felt like I had a pretty good idea on how to take care of my amphibians. Many of those books were published in the 60’s or 70’s and already wildly outdated by the time I read them. My frogs and toads did fine, but I kept reading and learning.

Before long, I started trying out different things that I had read about or seen, such as live plants and live moss, purchased nicer enclosures and lighting. Eventually, I discovered the online reptile community, and a whole new world of information opened up to me.


In the beginning, I enjoyed some great online forums, which eventually gave way to Facebook reptile groups and a myriad of websites devoted to reptile care.  One of the newer sites is petMD®.

As my reptile care improved, so did the happiness of my animals. My fire bellied toads even bred without much effort. They were a lot of fun to watch in their little jungle habitats that I had created for them. I also really enjoyed learning about what plants worked best for them, Great care made the animals even more fun to watch. To this day, I continue reading and learning. There’s always more info out there, and if it’s not new info, it’s a new animal to learn about!


I always love getting new animals, but my focus will always be providing great reptile care for the animals I have. Sometimes all it takes to improve your care is a new bulb or a larger tank. You can find these things at PetSmart®, in stores or at the Reptile Purchase Center online.

Be curious! Read about what your animal needs and how you can better meet those needs. Set a little extra money aside for supplies instead of a new pet. Read a care book! The more you know, the more fun this hobby will be!