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Making Friends With a Reptile

June 1, 2021

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 some reptiles do seem to get quite attached to their humans. Bonding with reptiles takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. In this article, 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. However, some baby reptiles need an experienced handler. Do plenty of research.

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 him be. 


Some lizards are quite affectionate. However, some of these tiny dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners. It may take your tiny dinosaur time to warm up to you.


Offering food and treats is a great way to win a pet’s trust. However, many reptiles don’t eat every day. You may also 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. Talk to them when you feed them. They’ll realize on their own that you’re providing dinner.


Many reptile like being bathed. With some, such as iguanas, this is actually a must. Bathtime is a good chance for you to hang out with your scaled buddy. 

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

Many 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. You may find that the little guy likes hanging out on your arm or shoulder as you are reading or watching TV. That’s the reptile equivalent of a purr or tail wag.

Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today. We are dedicated to offering great care!