Setting Up a Terrarium for Reptiles

You’re considering buying a reptile as a pet, you’ve researched the food requirements and basic care needs… but you’ll need a place for it to live in. The reptile’s terrarium is its home, and as such needs it to be set up properly with the right components. Here, a Milford veterinarian advises on setting up your pet’s terrarium.

Type and Size

Different reptiles need different sizes and types of terrariums. Obviously, a large iguana is going to need a bigger enclosure than a tiny gecko or salamander. Certain pets will need different areas in the same enclosure marked off for swimming, drying, sunning, etc. Also remember that your reptile may grow—choose a terrarium that will accommodate your pet when it’s grown. Your Milford veterinarian can help you with choosing an enclosure that’s perfect for your pet.


Many reptiles will require a humid environment. A closed, solid lid will be required for this type of pet, not a mesh lid that won’t contain any humidity. Even solid lids need ventilation holes, though—ask your Milford vet about drilling the proper size and amount of ventilation holes without sacrificing humidity requirements.


A heat lamp is a key component of a terrarium—some reptiles can get both the light and heat they need from the lamp, while some may need a separate source of heat like a pad. Your Milford veterinarian can help you pick the right heat and light combination for the terrarium your pet needs.

Proper Components

Simulating the natural environment of your particular reptile is the whole point of the terrarium. Whatever your pet might find in its natural habitat needs to be in the terrarium, whether that is spongy wet leaves or sand and small ponds for swimming. Rocks, branches, plants, and other materials can go into the terrarium as necessary.

Remember, every reptile has different environmental needs. The above tips are only general guidelines—your particular pet will have specific requirements and necessities. Talk to you Milford veterinarian about these needs and how to go about accommodating them before you purchase your new reptilian pet.


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