Thinking of Purchasing a New Pet Reptile? Read This First!

When you picture those first special days with a new pet, what comes to mind?

Surely, happy moments spent interacting with them, discovering their unique personality, and feeling a sense of excitement as you introduce them to their new forever home!

Without a doubt the LAST thing anyone envisions is tending to a sickly animal, rushing to the vet, or spending hours browsing online for tips and advice on how to get your pet to feel better.

However, the sad truth is that…

As opposed to mammal pet owners, new reptile owners are significantly more likely to purchase an animal that is either already sickly OR soon to become sick.

That is because they purchase NEGLECTED animals from regular pet stores!

Meanwhile, ensuring you brought home a happy and healthy pet was as simple as just knowing where to shop!

This brings us to the #1 Tip you MUST know before purchasing your next pet…

Never purchase a reptile from a pet store!

But, why do experienced pet owners, veterinarians, and others advise against purchasing a reptile from them? What exactly is the harm in doing so?

Let’s find out…

Ready to Become the Proud Owner of a HEALTHY, New Reptile Today?
[Click Here to Browse XYZ Reptiles’ Amazing Reptile Selection!]
Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking. This does NOT change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research we put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!

3 Killer Reasons Why You Should NEVER Purchase a Reptile From a Pet Store

If you’ve spent some time researching online, chances are you may already be well-aware of the stigma pet stores, (especially those big chain retailers) carry when it comes to selling reptiles.

And although there are MANY reasons to not purchase a reptile from a pet store, here’s our top 3…

Reason #1: The Reptiles Are Notoriously Neglected

Don’t be fooled by those cute puppies out front on adoption days or those cuddly cats behind the glass inside the store… there are some REAL horrors lurking within the aisles of major pet retailers.

Neglected Bearded Dragon PETA
Bearded dragons at a massive pet supplier in Ohio were given only shriveled-up leafy green vegetables as a source of “water,” a PETA undercover investigation revealed. Image is taken from PETA website.

Don’t believe us? If you have the stomach for it and enjoy feeling depressed, simply head over to the reptile section and take a look at the condition of the animals behind the glass.

Chances are, you will be shocked by what you see; from missing toes on tiny, baby bearded dragons, to snakes with retained shed, turtles with dull shells, and more… it doesn’t take a reptile expert to see that the reptiles in pet stores are not properly cared for.

In the off chance that all the reptiles appear healthy, next consider their husbandry…

Is there old feces left sitting in tanks?

Are dead, uneaten bugs littering the floor?

How is the water source, clean and fresh or old and moldy?

What about the sheer number of animals crammed together in the cage?

Is there enough room, enough hides, enough food, and enough basking spots for every reptile to thrive?

The sad truth is, that there is bound to be something wrong with either the animals themselves or their husbandry.

And should you wonder why that is, well, let us consider reason number 2…

Reason #2: Most Staff Are NOT Properly Trained on Reptile Caretaking

Caring for a cat or dog is pretty straight-forward. They require feedings multiple times a day, fresh water, plenty of room to exercise, toys for enrichment, and of course, your love.

But when it comes to a reptile? Well, let’s just say things can get pretty scientific!

So, naturally it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the college student who’s texting away behind the cash register may not be the most educated or knowledgeable on proper reptile care, husbandry, etc.

Frozen and Neglected Snakes PETA
The freezer in which countless snakes and other “pet” reptiles were slowly and cruelly frozen to death. Image is taken from PETA website.

From needing to understand the ins and outs of a meticulous diet and supplements, to a proper lighting setup with an adequate temperature gradient and humidity levels, appropriate cage size and set up, proper shedding care, and so much more…

There is A LOT to learn if you’re a first time reptile owner. A lot that, unfortunately, is not a part of employee training at these pet stores.

And while these employees may be able to answer some questions here and there on a specific reptile species or two, it is highly unlikely they will be the wealth of knowledge you’re looking for as a new owner.

In fact, it isn’t uncommon to find people online ranting about being sold the wrong lighting or a dangerous substrate for their reptile at the recommendation of one of these employees!

The bottom line? Don’t wager the health of your next pet by trusting the input of someone who hasn’t been properly trained in caring for them.

Ready to Become the Proud Owner of a HEALTHY, New Reptile Today?
[Click Here to Browse XYZ Reptiles’ Amazing Reptile Selection!]
Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking. This does NOT change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research we put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!

Reason #3: The Potential Vet Bills Can Add Up

The next reason why you should never purchase a reptile from a pet store is pretty straight-forward and ties back into the prior discussion of neglect.

Simply put, because you neither know the exact health and condition of the reptile you purchase or how knowledgeable and adept their caretaker was, you run the inherent risk of bringing home a sickly, malnourished, or injured animal.

To further complicate the issue, as a new reptile pet owner, you likely aren’t well versed in recognizing the signs of a sickly reptile, signs they are biologically inclined to try and hide from you as a mechanism they rely on in the wild to avoid being seen as “easy prey”.

So, what might appear to be a perfectly fine lizard or snake to you, could in fact be a reptile that is showing early signs of respiratory infection, tail rot, metabolic bone diseases, or any other potentially lethal affliction.

Advice from our readers:

veterinarian Mindy holding a turtle

“The neglect of reptiles you see in pet stores of all sizes is unbelievable! In my thirteen years of being an exotic vet, I have dealt with treating sickly, baby reptiles purchased from pet stores on what has become almost a weekly basis. I cannot in good conscious recommend purchasing reptiles or any supplies from chain pet stores. It is simply unethical. Always pursue a breeder if the health of your pet is of the utmost importance to you. And if it isn’t? Please do not purchase a pet at all.” Mindy C.

old biologist dave

“As a lifelong reptile rescuer, I cannot emphasize the importance of buying your pet through a breeder enough. Pet stores are, unfortunately, where reptiles go to die. If you wouldn’t purchase your dog from a puppy mill, you certainly shouldn’t purchase your reptile from a pet store.”Dave M.

Now, let’s say you’re purchasing from a breeder, someone who lives, breathes, and sleeps proper reptile care?

Not only is a breeder going to be taking proper care of their animals, they’ll also be accessible to you if you happen to have any questions in the future!

 Imagine the relief you’ll feel having an expert at your disposal 24/7 should any issues arise down the road.

“As someone who has owned many reptiles, I can honestly say I have never once had a negative experience with purchasing my pet from a breeder. The level of care they provide is unrivaled and having their help and expertise is invaluable. This is why I always tell people to go the breeder route. It’s a night and day experience in quality of animals.”
– Jason K.

Because many breeders run a full-time business breeding their reptiles, their reputation and word of mouth mean everything to them. As such, expect to receive a perfectly health individual that, so long as you care for them properly, should cost you little to nothing in vet bills.

Ready to Become the Proud Owner of a HEALTHY, New Reptile Today?
[Click Here to Browse XYZ Reptiles’ Amazing Reptile Selection!]
Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking. This does NOT change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research we put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!

Breeders Know Best

By purchasing from a breeder, you’ll be doing yourself a MAJOR favor, as you will astronomically reduce your chances of having to pay costly vet bills, care for a suffering animal, or worse… experience the heartbreak of losing your new companion years too soon.

Furthermore, respected reptile vendors such as XYZ Reptiles (a favorite of our site and readers alike) also offer…

  1. Correctly Pre-Sexed Reptiles
  2. Live Arrival Guarantee
  3. Decades of Experience
  4. Flexible Reptile Payment Plans
  5. Word Class Customer Service and Support
  6. Surprisingly Affordable Shipping Rates
  7. Special Promotions and Discounts

Ready to Become the Proud Owner of a HEALTHY, New Reptile Today?
[Click Here to Browse XYZ Reptiles’ Amazing Reptile Selection!]
Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking. This does NOT change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research we put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!