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Tag Archives: Reptile and Amphibian Health

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Preparing Your Amphibian and Reptile Collection for Autumn and Winter

Box TurtleAutumn’s arrival in the Northern Hemisphere brings both opportunities for improving your pets’ health and behavioral changes in many animals.

Seasonal Behavioral Changes

Many species, even those from regions considered “tropical”, slow down during the cooler seasons; in captivity they often respond to autumn’s arrival in a similar manner.  Animals that are native to your area will be most strongly affected, especially if exposed to the local light cycle, but even exotic species may gear their behavior to local conditions.  Read More »

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 2

In Part I of this article we reviewed some general points to consider when choosing a substrate – moisture retention, suitability for burrowing and so forth.  Today I’ll examine specific types of substrates more closely.

A Note on Substrate Ingestion

We do not fully understand why captive animals sometimes suffer intestinal blockages after swallowing substrates that they likely consume in the wild without incident.  It may be related to the consistency of the foods they eat, hydration levels, health or even micro-nutrient intake (for example, Calcium is essential for proper muscle contraction…a deficiency may affect the passage of food through the digestive tract).  Read More »

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 1

Western Spade-foot Toad Bark, moss, sand, coconut husk, wood chips …selecting the proper substrate for one’s pets can be a difficult task these days (in contrast to years ago, when we were limited to newspapers, earth or gravel!).  Please check out our extensive line of Reptile and Amphibian Substrates to see examples of what is available.

Factors to Consider

A number of factors – some obvious, some not – must be taken into consideration when deciding upon a substrate.  Some of the most important are as follows: Read More »

Wild Caught Invertebrates as Reptile and Amphibian Food – Some Concerns

Today I’d like to highlight a question that was recently posed on this blog concerning the use of wild-caught invertebrates as pet food.  The writer expressed the well-founded concern that fertilizers might render such invertebrates toxic, and also asked about the possibility of parasite transmission. 
Snowy tree Cricket


Fertilizers might be a concern for invertebrates collected in high use situations, such as insects seined from farm ponds or earthworms taken from golf courses.  Frogs in farm ponds are being affected by fertilizers, but likely directly, through water absorption, rather than via diet.  I always play it safe and avoid such areas, and I do not collect insects, such as roaches or Japanese Beetles, that are the focus of pest-control campaigns. Read More »

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