Be sure to research the specific nutritional requirements of your scaley friend! Health problems related to an inadequate or incorrect diet are extremely common in reptiles.
Bearded Dragons: should be fed a variety of insects, greens and small amounts of fruit. Insects should be dusted with vitamin and mineral powder before being offered. Adults should be fed every 2-3 days.
Long-Necked and Short-Necked Turtles: long-necked turtles should be fed a variety of whole fish, shell-fish, insects, molluscs and worms. Feed short-necked turtles a similar diet but add vegetables, fruit and plants like Duckweed and Nardoo. Adults should be fed 1-2 times per week.
Pythons: pythons need to be fed whole prey such as rodents. All prey fed must be dead. Adults are generally fed every 2-3 weeks. Occasional multivitamin supplementation is beneficial.
Health problems related to poor husbandary are extremely common. It is very important to research the specific needs of the reptile you are thinking of purchasing before you do so. As well as feeding a proper balanced diet, heating and lighting are two very important husbandary factors that need to be addressed.
Reptiles require a 'temperature gradient' in their enclosure, with thermometres at both ends for close control and monitoring. The 'hot' area should be maintained at 32-35 degrees, with the 'cool' area being maintained at roughly 8 degrees lower (these temperatures are species specific, ask us for more information).
UVB light rays are required for Vitamin D3 production which is essential for proper calcium metabolism. In addition to supplying an artificial UV light source and replacing it at least every 6 months, reptiles should be placed in direct sunlight for 20-30 minutes several times a week. UVB light may not be essential to pythons, but they will still benefit from regular access to unfiltered sunlight. Day and night cyles for most reptiles should be 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.
Reptiles should be vet-checked annually. Recording their weight at home on a regular basis is a good idea.