Making Friends With a Reptile

Have you ever wondered if reptiles have emotions? It’s probably safe to say that they aren’t as sentimental or affectionate as dogs and cats, but there’s no true way to say for sure. Some feel that reptiles just haven’t really evolved that way. However, some reptiles do seem to get quite attached to their humans. Bonding with reptiles takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. Here, a vet discusses taming reptiles.


Age will have a lot to do with how comfortable your pet is being handled. You’ll have more luck taming a baby animal than you will an older one that’s rarely been handled.

Body Language 

Pay attention to your pet’s body language. If your reptile is hissing, withdrawing, or acting as though it’s going to strike, just leave it alone.


Some lizards are quite personable, and even act affectionate. Iguanas, for instance, often have favorite people. Bearded dragons are also quite lovable, and clearly bond with their humans. However, some of these tiny dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners.


Offering food and treats is a great way to win a pet’s trust. However, many reptiles don’t eat every day. You may be less than thrilled about trying to hold a live bug out. Let your pet get used to your smell, and the sound of your voice. They’ll realize on their own that you’re providing dinner.


Some reptiles are just naturally going to be tamer than others. Learn to read your pet, and pay attention to how they act around you. If your scaled pal acts scared or wary, he or she may just prefer to be left alone. Don’t force the issue: that may just scare your reptilian pal!

Settling In

Don’t try to handle your pet immediately. Give them time to adjust to their new home and surroundings. You can talk to the little guy, and perhaps hold your hand out for them to investigate. (This is not recommended with larger reptiles that may bite)

Picking Up

Some reptiles should be handled regularly, to keep them tame and docile. Be sure to pick your pet up properly! Never pick your reptile up by the tail, or when he is eating or sleeping. Ask your vet for more information. 

Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today!

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