7 Things to Know About Moving with Reptiles

Whether it is your first time or your 10th, moving with a pet can be a daunting experience. If you’re moving with reptiles, it can be even more challenging because your pet needs specific care when moving between two environments.

Our key steps give helpful details and tips about how to effectively move to a new house with a reptile in tow, including how to keep them safe and healthy and how to maintain their environment throughout the duration of the move.

1. Check your reptile’s health

Everything Reptiles says you should be aware of common signs of stress in your pet. This can be tail autonomy in lizards, snakes can curl into a ball or turtles can snap.

If lots of packing and organizing is going on, you might forget to look out for some of the key indicators that your reptile is not well, such as checking their waste or their food consumption.

Make their health one of your top priorities, as moving home with a sick reptile will cause multiple problems, such as taking up time going to the vet instead of moving into your new home.

lizard in tank

2. Plan moving your reptile in detail

While you will undoubtedly have many different plans and boxes in place to make moving home go smoothly, it’s also important to map out your moving with reptiles gameplan to avoid encountering any problems along the way.

You should make lists of all the items you’ll need to pack, such as your reptile’s enclosure, food, tank accessories and any substrate you have.

If you leave planning until the last minute, you run the risk of forgetting or losing important items that you’ll need when you arrive at your new home.

3. Keep all your reptile resources in the same place

One of the best and most important steps is ensuring that everything you need for the reptile’s move (as mentioned in the previous step) is kept together, whether that be in the same box or the same room.

This prevents confusion as to where certain items are, and ensures that you always have access to everything your reptile needs throughout the moving home journey.

4. Use an effective moving container

It’s vital that you take time to make sure your moving container is perfectly designed to house your reptile for a long duration of time, because if they feel uncomfortable in their new environment they may react badly.

Ensure that the mobile enclosure has the correct ventilation needed by creating small holes in its roof or sides. Be cautious about the size of these holes, as reptiles such as snakes can often escape through the smallest of gaps. It’s vital that the enclosure is secure.

Mimic the everyday environment that your reptile lives in by providing the same substrate and tank accessories to make the move as comfortable for the reptile as possible.

Also, make sure that the mobile tank is a similar size to your reptile’s normal enclosure to avoid them feeling too constrained and claustrophobic.

turtles eating

5. Avoid feeding them 12 hours before the move

You want a smooth and easy transition period between moving your reptile into their mobile enclosure and moving them into their new home. To ensure that this happens, a great tip is to avoid feeding your reptile in the 12 hours before the move, as this will prevent waste from being deposited during the journey. You do not want this unnecessary waste, as this will add yet another step to your complex moving plan.

It’s also very important to monitor the conditions of your car or moving van to ensure that the temperature and lighting requirements for your reptile are met as much as possible. This will prevent your reptile from experiencing discomfort and becoming agitated during the move.

6. Make your top priority setting up their new habitat

It goes without saying that your top priority should be your reptile when you arrive at your new house. Leaving it outside or inside a car for too long may affect its well-being. Set up its enclosure as soon as you arrive, and provide it with food and water to ensure it’s comfortable and can relax into a new space. Change the substrate and move your reptile into its enclosure gently, giving it time to adjust.

7. Keep a close eye on your reptile as it adjusts to a new environment

Although your reptile’s enclosure might have stayed the same, it will no doubt be adjusting to a new room and potentially a new climate or environment. If this is the case, it’s vital that you take the time to settle your reptile in and monitor its health throughout the first few days.

If you spot any signs of ill health, such as issues with waste or eating, contact a specialist, who might explain that these are signs of discomfort with a new environment. This is a great way of ensuring that you do everything you possibly can to provide your reptile with a similar environment to its previous one in your old home.

Take care when moving with reptiles

If you follow all of these steps, we are sure that the process of moving with your reptiles will go smoothly!

Make sure to carefully plan each of the three stages of moving (before, during and after) to create the best and most comfortable transition period for your pet!

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Johnathan DavidJohnathan David leads the editorial team at Everything Reptiles as our Editor in Chief. A reptile hobbyist since childhood, he has years of experience in herpetoculture and has cared for Geckos (2 Gargoyles), Skinks (Blue Tongue) and a Frog (Poison dart).

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