Why isn't my pet snake or lizard eating?

First, it can be very common for them to have periods where they go off feed. Check your temperatures in the cage, and if your hot areas and cool areas are where they need to be, and the animal doesn’t have any ailments of any kind, it may be normal. Some go off during the breeding season and some go off during a natural brumation cycle, even though we are artificially controlling their environments. We hear this the most with ball pythons and bearded dragons. It is very common for both of these to have very long stretches of not feeding. It’s not unusual for them to refuse food for months at a time. As long as they stay hydrated and do not lose significant amounts of weight, it is nothing to worry about.

Why did my pet regurgitate?

Snakes and lizards can throw up for several different reasons. The first thing that you want to check is your cage temperatures. If the animal does not have a good hot side or basking spot, it may not be able to get warm enough to digest properly. If the food rots faster than they can digest, they may throw it up. Stress after eating can also cause them to get rid of their meal, try to keep handling to a minimum after eating. Eating too much too fast, or eating a prey item that is too large can also cause this. If it continues to happen and it is none of these problems, bring your pet to a reptile vet and have them checked out.

How do I know when to give larger food items?

Different kinds of snakes eat differently. Some are nest raiders and eat smaller rodents, but several at a time. Some eat large meals but eat less often. As a general rule, if you can not see a bulge in the thickest part of the body, this is when you move up in size. Please remember that the size of the head has nothing to do with the size of the meal. You want to look at the thickest part of the body.

Lizards are a little different, as a general rule of thumb you can kind of use the space between the eyes as a guide to the size of the insect. Please research your animal though, there are differences in all of them.

Why can't I get a refund on an uneaten feeder rodent?

Once an animal has been in a cage with any snake, we can no longer resell it. We would never sell you any feeder rodent that could have possibly been exposed to any kind if disease, mites, or anything that could harm your pet. We never assume that anybody has sick animals, however there is no way that can be guaranteed. We don’t even put mice or rats that were refused by our animals back in to the resale boxes. You can try waiting a few days and offering again, as long as you have a secure place to keep it and give it food and water. NEVER leave a live mouse or rat in a cage unattended with your snake! They can do serious damage to your pet.

Do all snakes eat mice? Don't baby snakes eat crickets?

Not all snakes eat mice. There are some that eat frogs and or lizards almost exclusively. There are also some that do eat crickets and other bugs, and some that eat fish. However, most eat rodents. And yes, even the babies, even tiny little baby corn snakes eat mice— just small ones.

Don't they bite? Aren't you scared of them? Don't you take their "fangs" out?

Anything with a mouth can bite. Just like dogs, some may bite, some may never bite. Certain kinds are much less likely to be defensive than others. But it is really always an individual animal thing.

We wouldn’t work with them if we were scared of them. Some of us are scared of heights, so we don’t have jobs cleaning high rise windows.

We don’t have venomous snakes, which is what fangs would refer to. And no, we don’t take their teeth out either, that would be cruel. We also do not remove the fangs from the tarantulas, that would kill them.

My snakes eyes are blue, what is wrong with it?

It is going in to shed, and this is normal. They will look dull and the eyes look cloudy. This will then clear up and look more normal. Usually within a week or so the old skin will come off. They can often be sensitive to touch at this time, and also will usually not eat. However after a shed they are usually pretty voracious! Lizards will also look dull, but they don’t all shed in one piece. They often eat their sheds as well, so you may never actually see shed in the cage.

Are your snakes and lizards up to date on their shots?

I am always surprised at how often we hear this, and of other stores saying that their reptiles have all their shots. There are no vaccinations for reptiles. They aren’t like mammals that have to get annual shots after their initial first year series.

Why is my nice pet lizard all of sudden being mean? It's never been like this before!

We hear this every spring, mostly about iguanas and bearded dragons. This is common behavior during the breeding season, mostly with males. They can get more territorial, can head bob, tail whip, sometimes bite. This behavior generally calms back down after the initial rush of hormones settles down.

What if all the shed doesn't come off, and how can I help it shed easier next time?

Warm water soak with some Shed-Ease works wonders for getting stuck shed off. Never leave your animal in water so deep it has to swim though, it could drown. Gently peel the stuck shed off, as long as it is relatively soon after shedding. If it has been several days since it shed, it may be easier and safer to wait until the next shed cycle to get it off. Make sure that you check the eye-caps, this is a common place to get shed stuck.

To help prevent shedding problems there are different ways for different animals. One of the easiest ways is to add a shed box.

Why don't you sell live rabbits as feeders?

While we do stock frozen rabbits, live rabbits can do serious damage to even the largest of snakes. They have extremely strong legs and nails, and it only takes a second to eviscerate your pet.

Why don't you sell feeder frogs?

What is usually sold as feeder frogs are wild caught frogs that can carry parasites that can be passed to your pet. We won’t sell any animal that will only eat frogs for this reason.

Aren't they all "poisonous"?

Although we do carry a couple of kinds of snakes that would be considered “rear fanged” we do not carry any kind of snake that is truly venomous. Garter snakes, Hognose, and Barons Racers are all considered to be rear fanged, however they are capable of at the most causing some swelling and maybe some itching for a little while. Also, the word poisonous refers to something you eat, venom is something that is injected.

Why did my pet that is by itself lay eggs? Why did my pet that is with another one lay eggs if I didn't cycle them?

Females that are old enough to breed often go through the process of developing the egg follicles and pass unfertilized eggs. These are usually small and yellow or orangish in color. These can be simply removed and thrown away. This simply means that her body is in good shape and she is old enough and healthy enough to breed.

Pairs kept together can and will breed even if you didn’t do anything special to make them do so. Although breeders cycle their animals to try to induce breeding, any time you have a male and a female together, there is a good chance that you are going to get results from that. If you absolutely do not want them to breed, you need to keep them in separate cages.

How do you know what sex it is?

The majority of snakes are sexed by probing or popping. Both of these should be done by experienced people only. If you have never done it before, have somebody show you. We can sex your snake for you for a small fee. All snakes that we sell are already sexed, or if not we will sex it for you for free.

The sexing of lizards is a whole different thing. Some are easily visible differences, some are a little harder, some are impossible.

Don't reptiles carry diseases?

Absolutely some can. The one that people often refer to is salmonella. And no, not all reptiles carry this. That being said, you always want to follow basic good habits. Always wash your hands after handling your pet, just like you would wash your hands after cleaning up after your dog or cat, which carry many more diseases which can pass to people than reptiles do. Keep in mind, you are much more likely to get salmonella from the chicken you are making for dinner than from your pet.

Why don't you sell baby turtles or tortoises?

There is a federal regulation against selling any turtle or tortoise under 4 inches in shell length. There are places that try to bypass this by having a little sign that says that they are “For educational or scientific purposes only”. We do not break this law, nor try to falsely bypass it.

The sexing of lizards is a whole different thing. Some are easily visible differences, some are a little harder, some are impossible.