Look after your reptile right in winter – ensure they keep warm for maximum comfort!
Reptiles are different to other pets in the way that they regulate their body temperature. As the weather gets colder, the temperature changes have an effect on our pets. While reptiles are often referred to as “cold-blooded animals”, this doesn’t quite explain how they’re different. Scientifically, reptiles are referred to as “poikilothermic ectotherms”, meaning they rely on heat from their habitat to regulate their body temperature – this is why you may spot lizards basking in the sun. With pet reptiles often kept indoors in enclosures, it’s important to ensure your reptile has the ideal habitat, lighting and heating to be comfortable throughout the year.
Housing and lighting
Petbarn has several housing options for reptiles but first, talk with a team member to make sure that the terrarium or enclosure you purchase is suitable for your specific reptile – remember that your pet may not yet have stopped growing!
Any housing for a reptile will need a method to control the temperature and lighting, as well as insulation to ensure heat is not lost. Most reptiles also need a 21-hour light and dark cycle to mimic day and night.
The best way to help your reptile be comfortable in its enclosure is to make a “temperature gradient” in its enclosure, with one end of its terrarium slightly warmer, and the other slightly cooler. This will allow your reptile to move around to regulate its body temperature. Petbarn stocks a range of heating options, including lighting and heat mats.
When building your reptile’s enclosure, the substance that makes up, or covers, the floor of the terrarium is called the substrate. The substrate should not be chosen solely for its appearance (though this can play a part!). You should take into account the species of animal as well as the amount of time you have to spend cleaning the terrarium and substrate – some are easier to clean than others. Petbarn stocks a range of bedding and substrate for reptile enclosures so you can find the right option for you and your pet.