Transporting and settling in

To ensure that your new pet quickly becomes accustomed to his new home, try to keep the move as stress-free as possible. The most important thing is to transport your pet safely and to quarantine him before introducing him to the terrarium.

The time has finally come for a bearded dragon, a corn snake or maybe even an iguana to move in to your terrarium. All that’s left to do is to get your pet safely into his new home and help him to settle in with as little stress as possible. As you can imagine, your pet doesn’t understand what moving is all about. For this reason, find the quickest way to get him home. As a general rule of thumb, make sure that your new pet can’t escape, and take the most direct route home.

Moving into a new home is stressful for any animal. An error in your pet could also damage his immune system or lead to health problems for your little newcomer. You can easily avoid these problems, however. Make sure, for example, that your pet’s heating needs are met during transit. Keep him warm, but don’t let him overheat.

Ideally, you will transport your pet in something called a faunarium, which is a special transport box for reptiles and live foods. If you don’t have one of these to hand, a special carton from a specialty store will also get the job done. Alternatively, you can use a cotton bag that can be tied securely. Turn the bag inside out to keep your pet from getting tangled up in threads that may be sticking out. You should then place your container of choice in an additional polystyrene box to prevent your reptile from developing hypothermia. You can also use a hot water bottle in particularly cold weather. This is not necessary in summer.

If possible, get someone to go along who can hold the transport box securely when transporting the animal by car. If you can’t find anyone to help you on this day, then make sure to secure the container in your car with a seatbelt.

First steps in the new home
Once at home, first leave your new arrival in his transport container so that he can calm down.

Most how-to books and experts also advise against placing him in his actual terrarium. Instead, it is better to quarantine him first in a separate terrarium for approximately two weeks. This step makes even more sense if the animal did not come from a qualified specialty store, but from a private person. In this case, you can’t be sure of your new pet’s medical history.
If other reptiles already live in your terrarium, these precautionary measures will also prevent him from infecting your other pets.

Getting your new pet settled in

A terrarium with newspaper and a cardboard house will suffice for quarantine. Of course, the temperature and climate need to be right, and fresh drinking water should also be available. Let your pet settle in and calm down. Use the time to observe your reptile and his behaviour carefully. Don’t worry if it takes a couple of days before he begins to eat. This is generally not a sign of sickness and is simply a part of the settling-in process.

Incidentally, place nocturnal reptiles in their terrariums about an hour before turning on the light, and diurnal reptiles about an hour before night falls. Put the transport box directly in the terrarium and open it. By doing so, the reptile can decide for himself when he wants to brave the new environment. If you are sure that he is healthy, he can move into his new home.

If your pet is moving in with a group of the same species, you can help him get acquainted with his new roommates with one simple trick: Completely rearrange the interior of the terrarium before adding the new animal. First add all the female animals, and then add the single male at the end. Keep in mind that different species should never be kept together, regardless of whether they have similar requirements or not.

Call into your local store today to discuss your reptile’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts