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While our normal lives are being restricted during this horrible pandemic, it’s important to remember and appreciate all of the things we can still do. Me personally, I am taking this time to catch up on some tasks that I may not have a lot of time for during my normal everyday life and that includes spending more time with my reptiles and focusing on their care. I encourage you to do the same!
If you think about it, our reptiles are pretty much quarantined the majority of the time. So, let’s take the time we have been given to ensure our reptiles are not just given their basic care. It’s really important to enrich your animals’ life at this time just like we are trying to enrich our own. I have compiled a list of 21 things you can do for reptiles during the COVID-19 quarantine in hopes of helping my fellow reptile lovers.
Let’s get started!
1. Deep clean their enclosure
Deep cleaning your reptile tank is a very important part of maintaining their health and can be easily put off with just basic spot cleaning. Take this time to change out their substrate, wash their decor, and clean their food and water bowls.
2. Do a water change (for aquatic animals)
If you have an aquatic animal like a turtle or fish, weekly water changes are a must. They can be time-consuming so now is a good opportunity to do at least a 25% water change and clean any substrate with a vacuum.
3. Do a water test (for aquatic animals)
Another good thing to do at this time if you have aquatic animals is to check their water parameters with a water testing kit. Their water chemistry is extremely important and you should test it regularly to make sure it falls within safe parameters. We use API Freshwater Master Test Kit.*
4. Start tracking their humidity and temperature
Are you having a hard time keeping your reptile’s temperature and humidity at an acceptable range? Try keeping a daily or weekly log of the temperature and humidity readings. I have the perfect printables for this available on my Etsy Shop!
5. Keep a weight log
I always encourage reptile keepers to keep a weight log for their animals. For more information, see my blog post 3 Reasons Why You Should Weigh Your Reptile where you can also get a FREE weight log printable!
6. Take pictures with them
One of the best parts of owning a reptile is admiring just how cute they are! Take some pictures of them enjoying their favorite things. (And feel free to share them with me so I can admire them too!)
7. Play with them
Our Bearded Dragon loves to chase things. You don’t have to buy any special toys to play with reptiles. Do you have an old shoelace laying around? Give it a try!
8. Let them explore
As I mentioned before, reptiles are pretty much quarantined a lot of the time. Take them out and let them explore in a safe area. If you can’t leave the house, just let them walk around inside while supervised. This is a great way to offer them enrichment and it’s fun to see them lick everything!
9. Clean your feeder insect cages
A not so fun idea but a huge necessity. Use this time to clean out your insect cages to prevent parasites. Healthy insects = healthy reptiles.
10. Feed your feeder insects
Do you have some leftover vegetables? Feed it to your insects! Make sure whatever you feed your insects is also safe for your reptiles to eat. Remember: your insects’ health is just as important because whatever you feed your insects are just going to be passed on to your reptiles. If you don’t have any extra vegetables, try Repashy Bug Burger.*
11. Meal prep for your reptile
Social distancing is hard enough as it is but it can be especially hard for reptile keepers that require fresh foods for reptiles like bearded dragons. I am taking this time to cut up some extra salad and using a vacuum sealer* to keep it fresher for longer so I don’t have to go out as much.
12. Give your reptile a treat
Has your reptile ever had a hornworm? They are a great treat! Hornworms are a good source of water and our reptiles love them! Click here* to get 10% your order at dubiaroaches.com!
13. Cuddle with your reptile
Don’t feel like deep cleaning your tanks yet? Then how about getting them out and cuddling with them on the couch instead? Reptiles are cold-blooded and they will love cuddling up to you for extra warmth.
14. Give your reptile a bath
Is your reptile shedding? Try giving it a warm bath. Check out my post Crested Gecko Shedding FAQ’s for how to give your reptile a bath safely. Even if you don’t have a crested gecko, the information is still very valuable and can be applied to all reptiles.
15. Let them look out the window
If you can’t go outside, simply letting your reptile look out the window can offer a lot of enrichment. Diego loves to look out the window and watch the birds!
16. Do more research on your specific reptile
New information is available every day and I recommend continuously doing research about your reptiles. Is there something you have been meaning to do more research about? Take this time to look up your questions to ensure you are giving your reptile the best care.
17. Draw a picture or portrait of your reptile
Being stuck inside can do a number on your mental health. Try a creative outlet like drawing a portrait of your reptile. Once it’s finished, you can even hang it up in your reptile room!
18. Measure them
An easy and fun method to tell how much your reptile has grown is simply by measuring them!
19. Check and dust light fixtures
Dust can accumulate very quickly and can collect on top of light fixtures that get very hot. Take this time to check all of your reptile’s light bulbs and light fixtures to make sure there are no fire hazards and that they are away from anything flammable. Replace old fixtures or ones that are broken, untangle the cords and make sure none of the cords are damaged as well.
20. Make sure you aren’t overloading your outlets
As reptile keepers, we have a tendency to use a lot of electricity so it is extremely important to not overload your outlets or it can cause a fire. A simple way of doing this is to check to see how many amps your devices are using by looking at the base of the device and then doing the same for your surge protector or outlet so that you know what it is rated for. Also, do not plug too many things into extension cords or surge protectors and do not daisy chain extension cords. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a licensed electrician.
21. Join a reptile community online
A very important thing to remember during this stressful time is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Joining a reptile community will not only help keep you connected but offer a great deal of support and ideas. Don’t know where to start? Follow me on Instagram!
I hope this list has helped you and your reptiles. These are just a few ideas but they are endless! It is important that during this time we stick together! If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here for you.
What are some things that you are doing for your reptiles during this quarantine? Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram! And please share this post with anyone you think that can benefit from it =)
*This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. We do not recommend any products that we have not or would not use personally.