Friday, September 28, 2012

Know Before You Go

A few years ago when we moved here to Long Island we took a trip up to Tuxedo New York for the Renaissance Faire.  A wonderful place full of fun shopping costumes and Jousting.  While we were there we saw St. George's Dragon Orphanage where you could "adopt" baby dragons.  They came with little cages like these:

With some rocks and decorations.  The sales people were holding the little lizards who sat calmly on their hands.  We thought about "adopting" a couple the price seemed right.  We decided to wait until closer to closing and by the time that came around we figured we should probably do a little research.

Well I'm very glad I didn't buy them it turned out that the "Baby Dragons" were Green Anoles and after working with them in the pet store I know what they didn't tell us at St. George's Dragon Orphanage.  These reptiles are wicked fast when they are warmed up to the proper temperature.  At the Renaissance Faire they were cold and that's why the sales people could hold them to show them off.  The little cages they sold with them are inadequate since they require a heat lamp which you can't install on a little plastic box.  That's a valuable lesson everyone should learn.  Know what your getting into before you buy a pet.  
Don't expect a pet store worker to tell you what you need to know.  Not that there aren't a great many whole will spend all the time you need to make sure the pet is right for you but there are those that won't bother, don't know, or don't care about anything but making money.  How do you know which your getting unless you know something about the animal your interested in.  Need more proof that its important to know before you go.  Well here is what you will see in a pet store:

Awww isn't he cute

what a tiny little baby

Well that's the thing the pets you seen in pet stores are Babies.  Babies are sold because they are cute adorable and small.  But don't forget babies MUST grow up.  That little guy there well turn into this:
Meet Baby Beardy All Grown up

Yep that cute little 3 inch baby bearded dragon you see in the pet store turns into this monster 2 foot lizard.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Bearded dragons are excellent beginner lizards.  Their calm dispostion and just hang out attitude make him a great choice.  But if your not ready for the size he gets to you might find yourself spending out the wazoo to keep him housed.    

Which is why I can't stress enough KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
It doesn't cost you anything but a little time.  Hit the library they will have the books you need to get started.  I found an excellent one at my library called The ultimate encyclopedia of small pets and petcare by David Alderton.  Its a great place to start!


Jennifer Kelley said...

Just an FYI - St George's sells Anole's NOT Bearded Dragons. Anoles stay about the same size as what you'll get from St George's. Two totally different lizards.

April Sargent said...

actually Jennifer I said the ones that St George sold were green Anoles. These lizard are sold in containers that are substandard for their needs and sold in an almost hibernating state so they stay on your hands trying to warm up. When they do warm up they are wicked fast and not a good choice for someone who wants to handle their reptile. Then I said that if you want a reptile you can handle a Bearded Dragon is a superior choice. Yes they get large but they will hanging out with you. If they do chose to make a run for it they are much slower and easier to catch. The anole will be gone.