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Taking Your Reptile to the Vet

August 15 2020

Do you have a snake, turtle, or lizard? Reptiles make very beautiful and fascinating pets. However, just like all the rest of our animal companions, your scaled buddy will need regular veterinary care. Transporting these guys can be tricky! A Bowmanville, ON vet offers some tips on bringing your reptile to the doctor in this article.

Travel Case

Choosing the right travel case is very important! For medium-sized lizards, snakes, and turtles, you may be able to use a hard-shell cat or dog carrier. Just make sure that your pet can’t squeeze out through the slits. Another option is to use a small plastic storage tote with air holes cut in the top for ventilation. Line the bottom with something soft. Towels, newspapers, butcher paper, or paper towels are all fine. If you have a snake, you can possibly transport your pet in a pillowcase in warm weather. However, this isn’t a good option in winter. Of course, with some smaller pets, you can just transport them in their habitat. If you do this, remove dishes, food, and anything that could fall on your pet and injure them.


When you put your pet into the car, place the carrier in a spot where it won’t move around. On the floor behind the passenger seat is a good spot. If you put it on a seat, use a seatbelt to secure it.


Keeping reptiles warm during transport can be an big issue in winter. One option is to get a hot water bottle. You can also put dry rice in a sock and microwave it for a few minutes. If you put this in the carrier, put a towel over it, so your pet can’t burn himself. You can also fill soda or water bottles with hot water. Set them on either side of the cage, in a spot where they won’t roll around. We also recommend wrapping the cage in blankets. This will also help keep heat in.

The Drive

If it’s cold—or even chilly out—have your car warmed up, with the heater running full blast, before bringing your reptilian buddy out to the car. Try to stick to roads that don’t have a lot of bumps and potholes, and avoid sudden starts or stops.

Please reach out to us, your Bowmanville, ON vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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