Owning Your First Reptile

Hi! If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re thinking about or have an interest in keeping a reptile (or a few reptiles) of some description as a pet and want to find out more about them. Good on ya! Here at Reptile One, we are reptile fanatics and just LOVE them to death so we’re really happy that you’re reading this as we know you will eventually share in our passion for these wonderful creatures once you’ve had one (or more) as a pet!


Why do we love reptiles so much?

Well, firstly, there are so many species and different types of reptiles that everyone is bound to find one they like, whether it’s a gentle but very cute turtle, or a cheeky and intelligent dragon, through to an extreme, wild and mysterious snake! The variety is awesome! And they are all so very different.

Then of course, it’s the fact that reptiles are unusual and exotic, which makes them even more appealing! Imagine the conversations and reactions from family and friends when they see what pets you have! That’s just way cool.

Lastly, they all have their own unique personalities and they all have different husbandry requirements. This means there is always a lot to learn about them which makes it so fascinating to be able to learn all about them, study them and watch them in action!

However… and we’re making the assumption here that you’re a beginner because you’re reading this page, which is designed for people who are thinking about owning their FIRST reptile. There are some very important things to consider before you go out and buy your first reptile. We hope that after you’ve read this page, we’ve been able to help point you in the right direction to get you started.

It is said that reptiles are low maintenance, which in some circumstances, can be true – for example, reptiles do not require daily walking or weekly brushing or monthly baths, so in that sense, they can be considered to be lower maintenance when compared to other pets. But, there are other important things to consider when keeping reptiles. For example, it is very important to consider their environment, which means proper cage design involving lighting, heating, substrates and naturalistic ornamentation. Remember, reptiles are not generally social animals and have limited tolerances for each other so understanding them and having the right information about your chosen reptile is important as two male reptiles housed together could lead to a very sad situation for one or both occupants.

Here at Reptile One, our belief, which is reflected in our brand slogan “Next Best Thing To Nature!”, is that we recommend interested hobbyists spend the time & effort to research the needs of your chosen pet reptile before acquiring the animal so that you can fully understand them and can provide to them, as natural and realistic an environment as possible! This means YOU have the ability to provide your pet reptile the “Next Best Thing To Nature!”


When it comes to finding sources of information about your animal, there are lots of places to look and they include:

  • Reputable specialist reptile pet shops,
  • Websites on the internet such as our Reptile One website,
  • Reptile magazines and books,
  • Herpetological Societies and Associations,
  • Reputable Reptile Breeders and
  • Published articles from scientists and wildlife experts.

These are just some of the huge variety of sources of information available to you so do the preparation work and learn as much as you can. There is still a lot the world doesn’t know about reptiles and new discoveries are made every day, so there’s always plenty to learn and read about!


When it comes to setting up your reptile’s housing, you will need to consider some basic things such as:

  • Heating and heat sources – (Remember, reptiles can’t generate their own body heat like humans can.)
  • UVB lighting to aid in Calcium D3 absorption,
  • The most appropriate substrate for your animal,
  • Size of the cage – (Remember that you need to consider the animal’s fully grown size when choosing the correct size for your enclosure, not only what they need when they are babies!)
  • “Thermo-gradient” within the enclosure – simply put, a hot end where the basking spot is and a cooler end for your animal to cool down in,
  • Naturalistic ornamentation such as branches, rocks and places to hide for your reptile.

Here at Reptile One, we encourage you to re-create as closely as possible the natural environment of your chosen pet reptile so be sure to check out our Product pages as pretty much everything you will need to setup your enclosure is available from Reptile One.

*Tip: Reptile One also recommends that you have the animals’ enclosure set up and operating at least 48 hours before you bring the animal home, this will enable you to have your temperature gradients checked and all the equipment operating according to plan! Remember, not all reptiles need high heat constantly so you need to know what your animal prefers. Don’t forget to setup TWO thermometers inside your enclosure, one down the hot end and the other in the cooler end so you can monitor your enclosure’s temperature gradient.

With your environment all setup and ready to go, the next thing you will need of course is an animal. Even though this might sound obvious, it is vital to make sure you purchase an animal that is HEALTHY and disease free. Reptiles can hide health problems very well and whilst they might appear on the outside to be healthy, they could in fact actually be deteriorating in health and die shortly after you take it home.

That is why it’s so important to buy your animals from well known reputable breeders or specialist pet stores. There, you can check out the conditions under which they are kept & raised, as well as getting the chance to inspect them before you buy them and make sure they are feeding properly, especially snakes. Ask the breeder or pet store when they will next feed the animal so that you can be there to watch the animal eat and make sure they have a good healthy appetite.

Lastly, it is Reptile Ones’ aim to assist the hobbyist/beginner in getting started in this wonderful hobby of reptile keeping and to make it easy for you to find the right information. We have put together a section of this website called “RESOURCES” which we hope you will find useful. There are “Care Sheets” for you to download which has been designed to give you the basic “must know” information in helping you learn more about your chosen pet reptile.

*Don’t Forget: You need to have a reptile license in Australia in order to keep reptiles as pets. It is also illegal to take animals from the wild. To apply for a license, you will need to apply to the relevant government authority in your state. For more info, go to our “RESOURCES” page where you will find links to their websites.

There is also a “Glossary of Terms” so that you can learn the reptile “lingo” and understand the more technical terminologies. We have also provided some links to other useful resources including reputable breeders, reptile parks & exhibits, and we will continue to add to this list.

Reptile One is committed to helping more people get into the hobby of reptile keeping and our guiding principles means that we strongly believe in the responsible & sustainable ownership & care of reptiles. We want to make sure that reptile owners all over the world share our passion for the welfare and natural care of our pet reptiles by making sure we learn all about our pets and provide for them as close as possible, their natural environment whilst under our care. Let’s give our pet reptiles “The Next Best Thing To Nature!”

Check out our useful Resources, Hints and Tips to help you care for your first reptile.

Reptile Care Sheet




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