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Owning a Dog and Reptiles in The Same House: 10 Essential Things to Know

When it comes to owning pets, many people are drawn to having dogs and reptiles in their homes.

However, owning these two types of pets can come with some challenges that you need to be aware of to ensure the safety and well-being of both animals.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ten essential things you need to know when owning a dog and reptiles in the same house.

Can You Keep a Dog and a Reptile Together at Home?

Yes, you can keep a dog and a reptile in the same house, but it requires careful planning and monitoring to ensure the safety and well-being of both animals.

Dogs are natural predators and may see small reptiles like snakes, lizards, or turtles as prey. Additionally, dogs can carry harmful bacteria and parasites that could harm reptiles. Hence, it’s essential to supervise interactions between your dog and reptile mostly.

For instance, if you’re feeding Dubia roaches or other live insects to your lizard, it may attract your dog’s attention. Your dog may lunge at your reptile in an attempt to catch the insect. Hence, caution is necessary.

Furthermore, it’s essential to research the specific needs of both animals to ensure that they are being cared for correctly. Consult a veterinarian, an experienced reptile, or a dog owner for more advice on properly caring for your pets.

Now, let’s get you introduced to ten significant aspects you need to know about owning a dog and a reptile in the same house:

1. Understanding the Natural Instincts

What you must realize is that dogs are natural predators and may see your reptile as prey. In addition, some dog breeds may be more aggressive than others and may pose a greater risk to your reptile.

If you have mixed-breed dogs, making them live with the reptiles will uncover unique personality traits of mixed-breed dogs and reptiles. 

Reptiles like geckos, iguanas, etc., on the other hand, are prey animals and may feel threatened by the presence of a dog. As a result, they may hide or become stressed, which can affect their health.

2. Training Your Dog

Training dogs to behave appropriately around your reptile is essential. This includes teaching them basic commands like “leave it,” “move,” and “stay,” which will help you control your dog’s behavior when they are near your reptile.

Besides, training your dog to be calm and gentle around your reptile can help prevent accidents or injuries.

3. Proper Housing

Your reptile will need a secure enclosure that is out of reach of your dog. In addition, depending on the species, your reptile may need a heat lamp or other specialized equipment, which should be kept away from your dog’s reach.

It’s also essential to ensure your dog can’t barge into the reptile’s enclosure, which may knock your reptile’s house over and harm it physically.

4.                  Feeding Your Dog and Reptile

If you feed live prey to your reptile, it is essential to do so away from your dog.

Dogs are instinctively attracted to movement and may try to chase or attack your reptile’s food. This can be dangerous for both your dog and the reptile.

Avoid such commotions by maintaining separate feeding areas and hours for your tail-wagging and scaly friends.

5. Health and Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene is paramount when owning a dog and reptiles in the same house.

Reptiles can carry Salmonella bacteria, which can harm humans and dogs. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your reptile, and keep their enclosure clean and disinfected.

6. Supervision

You must monitor and supervise your dog and reptile in the same room together. Accidents can still happen even if your dog is well-trained and your reptile is safely housed.

Make sure you’re always present when your dog and reptile are coexisting, and be prepared to intervene if necessary.

7. Temperature and Humidity Control

Reptiles require specific temperature and humidity levels to stay healthy, and these can be affected by the presence of a dog in the same room.

Dogs emit heat and moisture, affecting the reptile’s enclosure’s temperature and humidity levels. Therefore, you may need to adjust the temperature and humidity levels in the room or use a separate room for your reptile to ensure their optimal health.

8. Separation

If your dog has a high prey drive or has shown aggression towards your reptile, keep them away from each other at all times.

This could mean keeping your dog in a separate room or using a physical barrier like a baby gate to keep them apart. Besides, you should consider whether owning a dog and reptile is the right choice for your household.

9. Veterinary Care

Both dogs and reptiles require regular veterinary care to stay healthy. Ensure you have a veterinarian knowledgeable about both dogs and reptiles, as their care needs can differ.

Be prepared to take your reptile to a separate vet if necessary, as not all veterinarians are trained to treat reptiles and dogs alike.

10.              Time and Attention

Owning a dog and reptiles in the same house can be time-consuming, as both animals require distinct attention and care. Ensure you have the time and resources to properly care for both animals before bringing them home.

This may mean dedicating separate time and attention to each animal or enlisting the help of a trusted pet sitter or family member when needed. Moreover, consider hiring a dog trainer to control its unpredictable behavior in front of your pet reptiles.

To Summarize

Owning a dog and reptiles in the same house can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and management. Understanding and maintaining the instincts, training, hygiene, room temperature, etc., will make the coexistence of your dog and reptile much easier and more peaceful. 

With proper care and attention, you can enjoy your dog’s and your reptile’s companionship for many years to come.

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