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Reptile advice: where to get your pet

Reptiles make fascinating pets, but always choose a reputable source

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Pet shop or private seller?

Many reptiles are among the more exotic animals you can have as a pet, and it’s important to make sure that you get yours from a reputable outlet where they have the animal’s welfare at heart. The choice is generally between going to a pet shop or buying your reptile from a private seller – either online or in person. Which you choose is up to you, but take the information on this page into account.
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Licensing etc.

Pet shops must be licensed and are regularly inspected by their local council to ensure that they are selling healthy animals from legitimate sources. They also need to provide information about caring for the animal when you buy it. Remember that other outlets aren’t licensed in this way, so take care!

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Keep informed

Although pet shops will give you some care information when you buy your reptile, it’s your responsibility to make sure you know all about the species you choose and how to look after it. If you buy from a private seller, they don’t have to give you this information, but if they have the animal’s interests at heart, they will.
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Human contact

Most of the most popular reptile species are bred in captivity, which means they are used to human contact. They are much more suitable as pets! Those that are caught in the wild might not be as tolerant of humans, and they could be prone to health problems.