Pet Calendar: Reptile Awareness Day

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By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder 

Pet Calendar: Reptile Awareness Day

October 21 is a day in which reptile lovers, reptile pet parents and anyone who wants to know about reptiles and living with them will celebrate National Reptile Awareness Day. This is a great day to celebrate your reptile family members and to promote education, awareness and appreciation of reptiles.

American Pet Products Association reports that close to five million U.S. households own reptiles.  These pets may not have reached the status of dogs, cats, birds and other pets, they can be great pets! I know. I have three. I live with two fancy geckos named Norbert and Daggett and a bearded dragon named Alice.

When people say, “You have reptiles? Why?” I respond, “Why not? They’re interesting and friendly.” Our geckos have been known to nip and yes, they have teeth and can draw blood. They are much more skittish than our bearded dragon is, but they do rush to the side of the tank when we walk into the room. That leads me to believe that they enjoy it when I speak to them.

Our bearded dragon enjoys being held and will eat from our fingers. She runs to the top of her log when we walk into the room and stares at us. She doesn’t seem to care too much about what we say to her, but is quite curious and moves her head back and forth to whomever is talking.

national reptile awareness dayWhen we decided to own reptiles, we hadn’t given much though to who would care for them when we go on vacation. We have arrangements for our cats and our dogs (many of whom travel with us) but the reptiles? Our usual pet sitter is squeamish about feeding them crickets and isn’t all that keen on having to refill their water dishes. Thankfully, we have someone who will do that. If, however, you need to find a pet sitter for your reptiles, what would you do?

Pet Sitters International shared a great article on finding a sitter for your reptiles and here is some of the information they shared. Click the link to read the entire piece.

If you are looking for a pet sitter for your reptiles, here are some questions that PSI suggests you ask:

  1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?
  2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
  3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
  4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?
  5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
  6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS®) and/or has he or she participated in other pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
  7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

Additionally, you will want to ask whether the pet sitter has experience with reptiles. Are they willing to feed and water and assure the heat lamps are running properly? Reptiles may seem like “low maintenance” pets, but they enjoy companionship and may have unique care needs that you need to consider if you’re seeking a pet sitter.

Read the rest of our October Pet Calendar.

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.