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Taking a Reptile to The Vet

August 1, 2020

Do you have a snake, lizard, or turtle? Just like other pets, these guys need regular veterinary care. However, you may find getting your pet to his doctor a bit challenging. We can help! A local Burlington, ON vet offers tips on bringing a reptile to the vet below.


Choosing the right case is half the battle. For some reptiles, a regular hard-shell dog or cat carrier is fine. For other pets, you can use a plastic storage tote. Be sure to cut air holes in it! If you have a large turtle, you may want to strap the top down. These guys are actually strong enough to pop lids off! Another option is to get a second tank. This can also come in handy when you are cleaning your pet’s cage. Just make sure to remove anything that could fall over on your reptilian buddy.

Getting Ready

When you put your pet in the car, be sure to position the carrier so it doesn’t slide around. The floor is usually a good spot. Brace it with blankets or other objects.


Stress can really take a toll on pets. Try to make the trip as easy as possible. When you’re driving in, make the trip as smooth as possible. Avoid bumpy roads, or sudden stops or starts. If you’re traveling in winter, warm the car up before bringing your pet out.


One area where reptiles differ than other pets is the fact that, because they’re cold-blooded, they are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. Your pet could get very sick if they get too cold! Keeping your reptilian pal warm may not be too much of an issue on a hot summer day, but it can get tricky in winter. One thing you can do is put a hot water bottle in the carrier. Or, put some uncooked rice in a sock and microwave it for a minute. Put this in the tank. Drape a towel over it, so your pet doesn’t get burned. Another option is to fill a few water bottles with hot water. Nestle these in on either side of the cage. Blankets are also helpful here.

Do you have questions about caring for your reptile? Please reach out to us, your local Burlington, ON vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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