Below is a checklist of important things people should think about before purchasing a pet snake or lizard
Research the reptile you want to keep
Make sure you know the adult size of your reptile
Make sure you can afford the correct supplies for your reptile. I calculated that at current prices the cost of UVB lighting needed during a Bearded Dragons life time would equal R3000.00. A hatchling Bearded Dragon currently cost R150.00
Are you prepared to feed your reptile insects and rodents?
Are people in your house fine with mice in the freezer or live insects in the house?
Rodents and feeder insects are expensive can you afford them?
Before you buy a snake make 100% sure it is eating mice
Do you have the spare time needed to feed and clean your reptile?
Any reptile a pet shop is selling at a discount or giving away for free is more than likely sick
Do not support pet shops which keep reptiles in bad conditions
Reptiles live much longer than other pets a Corn Snake can live up to 20 years or more.
You will not make money if you sell your reptile unless it is a very rare species or the latest colour morph.
If you want an active pet get a tropical fish tank. Your Bearded Dragon will spend most of its time basking and your Corn Snake will remain in its hide box for the majority of the day.
You will have to find a vet that specializes in reptiles.
Please remember that reptiles do not make good pets for children.
Do not purchase large pythons and boas as a first snake
Do not purchase large monitor lizards or green iguanas as a first lizard
There are some very dangerous venomous snakes being sold. Please do not buy one of these snakes.
Private individuals cannot provide the care that an adult Caiman needs, so don’t purchase that cute hatchling
Make sure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations
Finally consider adopting a reptile that has been abandoned.