As the weather warms up, reptiles such as lizards and snakes will start to come out of brumation. Here’s how to care for your pet as they begin to wake up.

If your pet reptile has been in brumation throughout the cooler months, it’s time to start waking them up. This is a vital step in your reptile’s yearly cycle, so it’s important to do it right. Keep your cold-blooded friend happy and healthy by following these simple steps.

Brumation basics

Before you bring your reptile out of brumation it’s important to understand the basics. Like hibernation in mammals, brumation is a period of low activity in reptiles. Often, reptiles brumate to protect themselves from extreme temperatures and to conserve their energy for the coming year. Throughout this period, your reptile’s metabolism will slow down. They may not eat, drink, move or expel waste at all during this time, and will most likely retreat to the deepest, darkest part of their enclosure where they feel safe and secure. It is important to note that not all reptiles brumate, such as those in warmer climates or temperature-controlled environments.

Take it slow

In order to bring your reptile out of brumation, you’ll need to warm them up. Adjust the temperature controls on their tank or enclosure to slightly increase. This will raise their body temperature and get them moving again. Make sure you adjust your reptile enclosure or tank’s thermal and light settings in stages, doing so gradually so your reptile isn’t overwhelmed by the abrupt change in climate.

Feeding time

As your reptile emerges from brumation, you may notice their appetite start to increase. The rate of increase will vary between males, females and different species, so you will need to monitor your reptile’s eating habits carefully throughout the warming process and feed them accordingly. If your pet is leaving uneaten food in their enclosure, slightly decrease the meal portions to prevent waste, and clear leftovers quickly to avoid spoilage as the temperature rises. In some cases, feeding alone may not be enough to bring your pet back to full health. Speak to your local Greencross Vets about suitable supplements for your reptile.

Health check

It’s important to maintain your reptile’s health and wellbeing throughout the brumation process. As their activity increases watch your pet carefully for signs of illness or injury. If you suspect anything out of the ordinary, contact your local Greencross Vets immediately.

Petbarn has everything you need to help keep your pet safe and happy while they’re coming out of brumation. Find your nearest store and ask any of our staff members for help and advice.