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  • Blended Pet Families
  • Oct 13, 2013
  • Dog and cat owners often ask if their current pet would get along with a reptile. A blended pet family is possible with careful planning, close supervision, and some knowledge of reptile behavior. Here are some things to keep in mind:



    1. Reptiles pets are wild animals forced to live in captivity. 
    Their behavior will always be unpredictable, so close supervision is advised whenever reptiles interact with other animals or children. 

    2. A reptile pet will likely view a dog, cat, or large bird as a predator.
    Reptiles in the wild spend a lot of time avoiding being eaten. A cat on top of the habitat or a dog on the other side of the glass can be stressful for the reptile inside. Birds are a natural predator to many reptiles, so a large pet bird can cause stress if housed where it constantly looks down at the reptile.

    3. Dogs and cats tend to chase a moving reptile.
    This is another stressful and potentially dangerous situation for the reptile, even if the dog or cat just wants to play. Dogs and cats can also be injured by being bitten, clawed, or whipped with a spiked tail as the reptile attempts to defend itself.

    4. Past behavior is no guarantee of future results.
    Even when the novelty of the new reptile pet has worn off and the dog or cat seems no longer interested, it is not a good idea to leave them out together unsupervised. 

    5. Reptile pets don't require the companionship of dogs and cats.
    Some reptile pets are safer if they never encounter the family dog or cat. Small reptiles such as leopard geckos are too small and easily injured. Snakes can behave erratically when being held and can move very fast if they get loose.

    Large slower-moving reptiles, such as tortoises and adult iguanas, might learn to tolerate dogs and cats to the extent shown above - but again, only with close supervision!

- Colorado Reptile Humane Society
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