Do Not Buy or Adopt Sight Unseen
Decide whether to Build or Buy your Reptile Cage
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By : Arron Stewart
Submitted 2009-09-13 00:00:00
If you already own a reptile or are thinking of getting your first lizard, snake or other reptile then thinking about where it will be kept is something you need to know first. There are all kinds of reptiles and each have differing needs and as a result there are a variety of enclosures and cages. They all have different purposes and knowing about the needs or your pet is very important. After you know what they need then you can consider whether to buy a cage or build one instead. Let’s talk more about that now.
Start by looking at your pet’s needs and that can give you an idea of what enclosure or cage is needed. For instance, if you have a lizard that needs lots of different light and is going to grow much bigger then you need to think about what material is best suited for this. You may also need to consider where it will be kept (indoors or outdoors) to know whether it needs to be able to weather humidity or lots of sun. This is a big consideration and you need to understand your pet’s needs first.
Once you are familiar with reptile’s needs, and the location you will be keeping them start to consider whether to buy or build the enclosure. Sometimes a reptile tank might be a more sensible option for very little snakes or lizards and should be considered. With that said there are all kinds of various designs and styles of cages you could buy or build and that makes building some of the more complicated then others, but let’s look a little closer.
First of all you need to consider the cost of buying the enclosure compared with building it and the time and effort involved. If you can build a cage with your skill and time and only spend $100, but the same cage costs around $300 in the store then it might be worth it. That’s one thing to consider and if you’re worried about not having the skill to build a cage there are good e-books and resources that can be easily followed to guide you and are dirt cheap! Check out my website listed in the resource box of this article if you need somewhere to get started.
When it comes to building the cage for your pet, don’t forget to consider whether your reptile will grow bigger and if you need to plan to build another cage. Remember if you’re not sure how to build it now, being guided by an expert through a book or resource, can really save you more money for the next cages you might need. Consider it as learning a trade, but not as hard. Deciding to build (or learn to build) your reptile cage is a great way to save money and you can control the finished product’s look and features.
Aside from the fact that it may be cheaper to build a cage (once you learn how if you don’t already know) it still might be better to buy one from an online store or pet store. Some of us would rather NOT spend the time and effort to build the enclosure even though we have the skill and time to do so. It might just be that we would rather sip margaritas on the beach for that amount of time or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that either since it’s our time and money that will be spent so the decision is ours. If you do plan to buy here’s some tips to get you started also.
Consider shopping around a little and compare prices. Most people will do this anyway since it’s very common, but doesn’t hurt to mention. Think also about purchasing from an internet based (online) store vs. the pet store in your neighborhood. You will usually find that pet stores have to charge more since they have electric bills and employees to pay and most internet stores don’t, which can mean some of this savings will be passed to you the consumer. Look into it and try to get the best value for the money and not just the lowest price. Try not to purchase a shoddy cage because it is less expensive. If you have to buy another one because it broke easily or something, you spend a lot more in the long run.
Keep in mind your reptile’s lighting needs, how large the access holes/doors need to be to clean the cage, and whether it will be very wet inside the cage. You want to have these things in mind when you shop to get the cage with the right features and specifics you need. Deciding to buy a cage is probably less work, but as a result you can’t always decide on the design or features without hiring a custom cage which can be much more expensive to do.
[PGAA: Help you make the important decision on your next Chameleon cage
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