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Reptiles are cold blooded, so it's up to you to keep their body temperature healthy by keeping their cage warm (but not too warm).
Before you settle in with your pet reptile, make sure you know the temperature range it needs to be comfortable and healthy. Make it a point to find out what kind of climate your pet originally came from, and provide an approximation of that climate in the habitat you create for it. A desert animal likes it hot and dry, but will also need a shady spot in its cage to cool off, especially at night. A tropical reptile needs a hot, moist temperature, and a lizard or snake from a high mountain range might need a lot more shade and a cooler temperature.
It's important to provide a range of temperatures in the cage, so that your pet can thermoregulate on its own. Thermoregulation means controlling its body temperature by moving back and forth between warm and cool zones in its habitat. If your pet's cage is too small, or is all one temperature, it can't thermoregulate well enough to stay healthy.
Always be aware of your pet reptile's temperature. Keep a thermometer and a humidity gauge on the inside of the cage, positioned so that you can read it easily.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|