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Walking a Lizard

July 1, 2021

Do you have an iguana, gecko, bearded dragon, or another cute lizard as a pet? There’s a lot to be said for having a tiny dinosaur that won’t soil your rug or scratch your furniture! Many reptiles actually enjoy being walked on leashes. This can be quite beneficial for your pet, as they get to enjoy natural sunlight, exercise, and stimulation. A local Fort Myers, FL vet offers some tips on this below.


Harness

Choosing the right gear is very important. You can find harnesses and other ‘outfits’ for bearded dragons and other lizards. If your pet has a spinal ridge, you’ll need to keep that in mind as well. Harnesses made for ferrets may work. Just make sure that it fits comfortably.


Training

Before taking your lizard outdoors, take time to let him get used to his harness. Start by letting him wear it indoors. If your pet likes to sit on you while you are reading or watching TV, this may be a good opportunity. Treats can also help. Keep an eye out for signs of distress. These can be subtle with reptiles. They can also vary a bit, depending on what type of lizard you have. Some common ones include trembling, freezing, and trying to retreat. If you see any of these, or if your lizard just seems scared or uncomfortable, take the harness off and try again later.


Timing

Choosing the right time is also important. Temperature is, of course, crucial to lizards. Pick a time when it’s warm and sunny out, so your pet doesn’t get chilly.


Location

You don’t want to bring your pet iguana to a busy beach, and you definitely shouldn’t take a bearded dragon to a dog park. Look for a quiet, open area. Keep your pet’s natural inclinations in mind. Some reptiles, such as iguanas, can both swim and climb trees, and may try to take off if you drop the leash. Avoid areas with sharp objects, heavy traffic, or other hazards.


Food

There’s not much you can do to keep your pet from gulping a fly down, but try not to let your reptilian buddy eat wild insects. Store-bought ones are much safer, as they are free of parasites and diseases.


Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Fort Myers, FL veterinary hospital, we’re here for you!

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