Do you already have a dog at home and are considering getting a reptile to accompany your dog? Did you know that a dog and reptile can co-exist, provided you follow a few tips?
People don’t usually expect dogs and reptiles to like each other and live in the same space in harmony.
This article will enlighten you with practical tips to help your dog and reptile to live together.
What Type of Reptile Should You Get
The reptile's interaction with the dog largely depends on its type. For example, if you have a curious dog, you should not get an iguana as they are moderately aggressive.
On the flip side, turtles and tortoises would be great pet choices since they need very little upkeep and are usually pretty friendly.
If the tortoise feels threatened by anything, it will retreat into its shell; hence you can allow them to roam around freely.
Turtles are also kept safe generally as they live in water tanks. However, if you are looking to bring in a non-conventional reptile as a pet, such as a crocodile, snake, or lizard, it is advised to house them in a large enclosure.
Teach Some Basic Commands To Your Dog
Your dog should be able to follow basic commands such as sit, stay, leave, and be quiet. You must ensure that your dog can follow these commands even when distracted, so you must be thorough while teaching them.
This way, your pets are protected even if your reptile is roaming outside its enclosure or your dog lunges at the tank.
Make Sure There is a Dog-free Room For Your Reptile
When setting up the enclosure for your pet reptile, try to set it up in a dog-free place. Keeping them close all the time might make the reptile squeamish and aggravate your dog. Set up the enclosure in a room that your dog only wanders in sometimes.
You should also place the enclosure on a table that isn’t reachable or accessible by your dog. Finally, you can try to keep them in a room that has a door to separate them.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Behaviour
You can pick up on any aggression signs from your dog as you are the best person to judge your dog. You must observe how your dog behaves in the presence of other animals.
Before you introduce your dog to a pet reptile, you must know if your dog is territorial or not. Check out animalvivid.com for more info about dogs and their breeds.
Types Of Dogs That Are Good Around Reptiles
How your dog responds to the reptile is influenced mainly by the dog's type.
For example, your reptile will more likely be scared off by a panicky and anxious dog. Hence you would be better off avoiding dog types that fall into this category, such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, King Spaniels, Bichon Frise, and Cocker Spaniels.
If you have a large family, a Goldendoodle is a great option as they can be trained easily and quickly adapt to changes. This makes them more receptive to a reptile companion.
In addition, the coats of Goldendoodles are non-shedding, making them an excellent choice for people with fur allergies.
Related: How to Get a Scared Dog to Trust You
How Should You Introduce The Reptile To Your Dog
You must properly introduce your reptile to your dog to avoid stressing them both, as dogs are well aware of a new animal in the house. Plus, dogs are all about attention. You should give your dog cues and positive reaffirmations before introducing it to your reptile.
Any dog who can interact comfortably with other small dogs or children will be more likely to respond positively to a reptile. You have to bring both your pets to a vet to get them checked for parasites and diseases.
Next, you must wash your hands well before handling the reptile. Make sure you put a leash or training collar on your dog before you allow it to interact with the reptile.
Rewarding your dog with treats is also an encouraging way to instill good behavior, reinforcing your appreciation towards them.
Finally, you must remove your dog from the room by reprimanding it if it starts to whine or bark. You can try later to see if they behave well with each other, but if the dog continues to exhibit such behavior, then probably any friendship is unlikely between them.
You need to adopt a step-by-step approach to introduce your dog to your pet reptile through supervised play dates and providing them with proper training. This way, you can ensure a blossoming friendship forms between the two.
Follow the steps mentioned above and be equipped with a camera to capture the cute moments between your dog and the pet reptile.
Also read: Why Dogs Walk in Circles Before They Poop