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Ask An Expert: 5 Tips For Owning Your First Reptile

Reptiles are beautiful creatures. Bearded dragons, chameleons, iguanas, geckos, lizards, turtles and snakes are just a few types of reptiles. Owning reptiles is a privilege and a responsibility. It takes a proper ecosystem to care for reptiles. Though reptiles are low in cost and maintenance, they still need care and attention. Reptiles don't show love and affection the same way dogs and cats do, but when spending time with a reptile a relationship can be built- which makes reptiles a unique pet.

There are a couple questions to ask yourself before bringing home a reptile: what type of reptile are you wanting to own? are you able to provide the proper care? are you willing to feed the reptile what it needs? are you able to maintain a healthy environment for your reptile? These are just a few basic questions- so it's always best to speak with a specialist. Matt Troszak is the reptile specialist at Lou's Pet Shop. He has worked with reptiles for many years. Speak with him regarding all your reptile needs, and he will make sure your new pet will have a healthy, happy, long life.

Matt Troszak
Lou's Pet Shop
20779 Mack Ave.
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
(313) 885-1560

Matt Troszak has been providing Lou's Pet Shop with reptile excitement for over five years. He was in grade school when he started building a passion for reptiles. All throughout grade school, middle school, high school, and now through college, he continues to improve his knowledge and expand his passion for reptiles. Matt has kept and bred over 100 species of reptiles. Among his favorites are the Asian python species and the pac-man frog color morphs.

Here are Matt's top five tips when getting ready to own your first reptilian pet:

#1: Determine Your Lifestyle

How much time can be allocated to the new mini dinosaur? Although most reptiles are low maintenance, some reptiles do require more time than others. For example, some chameleons require water misting twice daily to simulate their humid environment, unlike the bearded dragon that comes from the dry deserts of Australia.

#2: Herbivores Or Insectivore

Would you prefer keeping a cricket eater or a lettuce eater? Some geckos even eat baby food! Tortoises need fresh veggies everyday, whereas a tree frog may only need to be fed crickets once or twice a week. It's important that you choose a pet you feel comfortable feeding. 

#3: Space

Be realistic with space. Even though the soft scales of a baby red tail boa are attractive, you need to think about how much space you can truly provide for a 6 foot snake.

Related: Best Pet Shops For Reptile Owners In Metro Detroit

#4: Connect With A Reptile Specialist

You will find that Google searches and YouTube videos alone will not answer all you questions. Practical advice from a reptilian expert is worth it's weight in gold! A specialist can give you an in depth explanation of the needs of your reptile, and can provide you with the best sources for equipment, food and care.

#5: Continue The Pursuit Of Knowledge

The reptile community is continually learning about the behavior, breeding and needs of captive animals. Forums and online groups are a great way to share advice and continue growing your knowledge for your new exothermic pet!

Lou's pet shop focuses on many in-house reptile breeding projects. They connect with breeders that share their vision of responsible and sustainable reptile keeping.

Related: Public's Help Sought To List Michigan Reptiles, Amphibians

A feisty and intelligent young woman who resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When she isn't hitting the pavement digging up stories, she enjoys music, sports, animals, and having fun with friends and family. Contact her through the following:,, or be bold and read
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