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Living with Pets: Reptiles and Amphibians

Different pets have different needs. Dogs need to be walked so that they can relieve themselves. Cats need scratching posts so that they don't take out their energies on your furniture. Different pets also have different adjustments that need to be made so that they fit into your life. Setting up a home to make it ready for your pet isn't easily done and knowing what to think about can make all the difference.

Cold blooded animals like snakes and frogs have particular needs that are different than those of dogs or cats. There are two types of pets that this article will address: snakes and frogs. There are two major areas to address when considering owning one of these pets: caring for them and adjusting your living space and lifestyle for them.


It's important to do research before buying a snake as a pet. Find out what kinds of breeds exist and what their care needs are. Once you've got your sights set on a particular breed and have done the necessary research, its time to set up your living space and get your schedule ready.

Your living space needs to have enough area to fit a vivarium (where the snake will live), consistent electricity and other basic amenities. Because of the nature of the equipment you'll be using to take care of your snake, you really won't need to make too many changes to your home, though it may be useful to establish the area where the snake will live and where you'll feed the snake.

Snake Owning Equipment

  • Vivarium
  • Water bowl
  • Substrate
  • A climbing structure for the snake
  • Heat mat
  • light
  • Thermometer
  • Hydrometer
  • Places for the snake to hide: one cold, one hot

Once you have the equipment, remember that where the snake lives is not where you feed it (you don't want them associating your hand with food.) Also be careful when handling your snake and make sure you feed it according to its age and size.


Frogs have some similarities to snakes but caring for them and adjusting your lifestyle to support owning one is a bit different.

Frog's sizes vary considerably. Some very small looking frogs can become enormous as adults. Larger frogs need tanks with sizes up to 75 gallons. You should have a space picked out in your apartment that can accommodate a tank that will fit the needs of your frog. The space needs to be isolated enough that nothing is likely to fall into it, obstruct your access to it, break or damage it.

Frogs vary in size and diet. Finding out what your frog eats, how much, and how often you need to feed it is crucial. Smaller frogs may be content to eat crickets, worms, and other insects but larger frogs eat mice, small fish, and other animals. It's not pretty so be aware of what you're prepared to stomach before buying a frog with these needs.

Frogs aren't always the most active pets. Many of them don't do much at all, besides eat and sleep, so you won't be teaching them to walk, roll over, or play dead. Frogs require high amounts of maintenance and aren't affectionate or very interactive, keep this in mind before you buy one.

Cold blooded animals can make great pets with the right preparation and understanding. Use these tips to help you pick the right animal for you. As always, do your own research before considering which pet to buy and how to care for them. Good luck and enjoy!

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