Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant | All Images Courtesy of Harvest Fish and Pet
For the longest time, cats and dogs have been the pets of choice for a lot of people and the reasons as to why this is are clear! They’re cute, furry, affectionate and they make great companions. However recently, reptiles have been growing in popularity for the past few years. And, where do you find reptiles here in Kota Kinabalu? Why, Harvest Fish and Pet, of course!
According to Hartz, these are some reasons reptiles as pets might be the choice for you!
Easy care: Reptiles offer companionship without the demands of dog or cat ownership. They’re completely content to be by themselves and rarely make noise. Most need to be fed just once or twice a week and create relatively little waste. Reptiles do not need to be walked; they get all of the exercises they need inside their cage.
Hypo-allergenic: Reptiles don’t have fur! If allergies have prevented you or someone in your home from getting a pet, a reptile might be the answer.
Exotic: Dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish — they are all in the realm of the familiar. Reptiles, however, take you on an exotic trip. With natural habitats ranging from the desert to the rain-forest, you can create an out-of-the-ordinary getaway right in your own home.
Take up little space: Most reptiles can live their entire lives inside a small aquarium. If space is an issue for you, a reptile pet is a great solution.
We’re lucky to have one of Harvest Fish and Pet’s best to guide us on the ABC’s of reptile care. Here we go!
Caring tips: Snakes are surprisingly low maintenance pets!
“They’re simple reptiles,” says Wan, “they need their hiding spot and water. They eat once per week with live mice.” That’s the basic necessity for having a pet snake.
“Before the feeding, they need to be soaked in lukewarm water where the snake will release its stool. Soak it for 10 to 15 minutes and then proceed to feed it,” he says.
Fun fact! Snakes can’t bite food so have to swallow it whole.
Caring tips: “Bearded dragon requires higher maintenance,” Wan reveals. “They need special lightings such as UVA and UVB lights. They’re fed once every three days with crickets and worms. The shower process is the same as a snake’s.”
Bearded dragons will typically release stool while in the water, and then remove it. It’s also important to soak them in the water underneath the sun. But you can’t just leave it there! You need to wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
“Bearded dragons also need to socialize, so you need both male and female. If both of them are of the same sex, they tend to get aggressive and fight.”
Fun fact! Bearded lizards are not very fast runners. They can run only 9 miles per hour.
Caring tips: “The tortoise is the same as the bearded dragon, they both need special lightings such as the UVA and UVB. For the tortoise, you need to soak them under the sun for 10 to 15 minutes,” says Wan. The water can’t be full, up to half the body would do.
It’s important to not overfeed the tortoise.
“Moderation is key,” Wan says, “after 10 to 20 minutes if their food isn’t finished, the food has to be removed because if it doesn’t it will attract flies. If they accidentally consumed it, they’ll get sick.”
Tortoises eat pellets, vegetables, any kind of vegetables will do. “They also eat the red hibiscus flower which makes them grow faster,” adds Wan.
Fun fact! A group of tortoises is called a creep.
Caring tips: “Leopard geckos aren’t high maintenance pets,” Wan says, “They just need water and worms.” “The leopard gecko can be mixed with the same gender and they’ll not get into fights as long as the space is big.”
Fun fact! Leopard Geckos will often shake their tails when hunting, mating and defending their territory.
For more information, you may contact Harvest Fish and Pet at 014-699 9671 or find them on Facebook via @harvestfishandpet. To visit Harvest Fish and Pet in person, they’re located at Wisma Harvest Fish, Penampang New Township, Jalan Penampang, 89500 Penampang, Sabah
*Disclaimer: Tortoises are not available for purchase.
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