Things You Should Consider Before Getting Tegu
I know pet store owners have two agendas to accomplish. First is the safety of the animal they are selling. They want to make sure that family or person is willing to accept the responsibility of this pet before selling it. Second is to sell the animals. That is what they bought the store for.
Being a pet owner is a serious business as well. You have to feed, water, and entertain these pets, as well as clean up their mess. Reptiles are a different kind of pet. Some people freak out once told, I have two lizards as pets. Others think it is totally awesome and want one of their own. That is until I show them the scars from a hatching tegu.
A dog can bark to tell you when it is hungry or needs to go outside. Plus, they are walking around with you and get your attention everyday. Cats will not leave you alone, until you feed them. Lizards and reptiles are completely dependent on you to remember to feed them and play with them. They are in a cage all day, everyday unless you take them out to play.
They eat live food as well as dead, but you can't just open a bag of food and throw it in. You need a wide variety of food for them as well. Reptiles also need heat. You can't expect to throw in a blanket and the little guy will live very long. These are the basic things you need to think about before you buy any reptile.
Pick A Color Any Color
Like dogs there are many breeds of tegus. It is just a matter of picking the one that fits you the best. Things to consider when picking a breed: Aggressiveness, Color, and Size.
Argentine Black and White Tegus
Colombian Black and White Tegus
Chacoan Red Tegus
Gold Tegus.... as well as many others.
The Argentine Black and White are said to be the least aggressive out of the breeds. These animals are very smart and do not underestimate how much they can learn. They are also escape artist and can fit into very small places , when they are young.
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Houses For Sale
Every animal needs it's special place to call it's own. Tegus love to dug and burrow, so they need a big and deep area to do such activities. Sand works well for these little guys, plus you don't have to worry about an impacted digestive track if the tegu accidentally eats some if the bedding. They like to hide in things as well so tunnels or leafs for coverage would be nice. They must have a a UVB ray light. To make things more complicated they live in humid areas. I use a spray bottle and spray the bedding once a day to give them moisture. You need a watering bowl as well with chlorine free water. My little girl loves to bath in hers, so make sure it is big enough for them to climb in and clean it everyday.
Tegus can be vicious eaters. They will tear apart things and use their teeth to attack their prey. Keep your fingers clear when feeding them. Young tegus need fed everyday. You can feed them crickets, meal worms, berries, lettuce, baby mice, ground turkey, and many other things. Sprinkle calcium on the food to give your little one some added nutrients.
These are some of the best care sheets I have found.
So You Want A Tegu?
Taming The Wild Beast
Taming your tegu will take time. Do not think you will just reach your hand inside and BAM instant love. I have 6 people in my family and have had our little girl for almost six months. There is only one person she will respond to positively.
Tip one: Start small, place your hand in the cage every day. Clean around them and set your hand flat, so they can climb on it.
Tip Two: Do not try to pet on top of the head first. This will scare them and you are more likely to get tail whipped or bitten.
Tip Three: Bath time can be fun time. I place my hand in the bath with them and they climb on me like I am a rock.
Tip Four: These little guys are fast when they are young. Make sure you have a contained room where they have no place to hide if you are going to let them out. Bathrooms work great.
Tip Five: Let them explore.
Tip Six: Use the shirt method for younger tegus. Put on two long sleeve shirts and put a belt on over top of them. Put the little guy in between the two shirts and let them get used to being close to you, the sounds of the house, and your smell. It will tickle and they may dig into you a little.
Tip Seven: Rodent Balls. I use a hamster ball to let my little girl explore. They are a little heavy for them and the wholes are a little to big for their nails, but with a few home made mods, it is a great tool to let them explore with.
Tip Eight: Have a feeding section outside of their enclosure. It will help with aggressiveness.
Tip Nine: Be prepared to be bite and tail whipped. They will also puff up and open mouth gasp when they are frightened.
Tip Ten: Talk smoothly to them. High pitched voices or loud voices will make them more ski dish.
Toys For The Little Ones
Tegu toys are hard to find. I have made all mine. A rodent ball, I added screen to the inside, so the toes will not get stuck. But a must would be a reptile leash as seen above. This one is a soft braided nylon adjustable leash. You can put this one your tegu and walk him or her around for hours. My little girl loves them. The colors add a little personality as well.