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Walking a Reptile: Do or Don’t?

June 1 2021
Do you have a pet reptile? You may be a bit curious about teaching your little dinosaur to walk on a leash. You’ll now find all sorts of accessories for lizards … including harnesses. As it turns out, your reptile may enjoy and benefit from being walked on a leash. However, there are a few things to consider. A local Bowmanville, ON vet goes over some of them below.

Preferences

Some types of reptiles just enjoy walks more than others. Bearded dragons and large geckos often like going for strolls. With iguanas, it really depends on the individual animal. Some like it, but others will get scared and try to bolt or run up a tree. No matter what type of lizard you have, it’s important that he trusts you completely.

Safety

The Great Outdoors can be fun for pets, but it can also get pretty dangerous for them. Some of the things that can threaten your little buddy include traffic, litter, broken glass on sidewalks, and chemical spills. Other animals, particularly dogs, cats, and wild birds, can also pose a risk. Some of this will depend on where you live. Your pet will be safer in a fenced back yard than on a busy sidewalk.

Gear

You’ll need to find a good harness. This may be easier said than done. Look for one made just for lizards. If your reptilian friend has dorsal spikes, you may need to get something custom made.

Food

Many reptiles eat both plants and insects. This may be easier said than done, but try not to let your lizard eat wild bugs. They could be carrying dangerous viruses or even other parasites.

Stress

Watch for signs that your little buddy is feeling stressed. These vary from pet to pet, but some common ones are changes in appetite, increased aggression, hiding, and unusual shedding. If your reptilian pal doesn’t seem to like going for walks, don’t force him.

Temperature

Needless to say, Ontario isn’t a very hospitable environment for many reptiles. You’ll actually have a pretty small window of time—summer–when walking your pet is even feasible. If your reptile doesn’t like being walked, the inconsistency of spending months inside and then going out may not help matters. Ask your vet for specific advice. As your Bowmanville, ON animal clinic, we’re here for you. Feel free to call us anytime! 

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