How to Set Up Your Reptile’s Terrarium

A reptile will spend the vast majority of its time in a terrarium, specially outfitted for his specific needs. Here, an Indianapolis veterinarian provides the basic guidelines for what you need to know.

Size and Structure

Of course, different reptiles will need different sizes and types of terrariums. The larger the animal, the larger the cage will need to be. The largest lizards may need terrariums that take up an entire wall! Certain reptilian pets will need space for swimming, sunning, drying, and other specific needs, so make sure the terrarium you pick has these. Keep in mind that a young reptile might grow quite a bit larger over time—be sure to select a terrarium that will accommodate your full-grown pet.


Many reptiles require heat lamps to be healthy. Some need a lamp that gives off both heat and light, while some may require a heating pad to lay on. Talk to your veterinary professional to discover what sort of heat and light combination your reptilian friend will require, and ask about a recommendation on good-quality products.


In combination with heat and light, humidity is another key factor for many reptiles. Keep in mind that a solid lid will be needed on the terrarium if this is the case with your pet. A lid with large holes, or one made of mesh, won’t keep in any moisture! Consult your vet for more information on providing your reptile’s terrarium with the proper amount of humidity for optimal health.

Accessories and Components

A terrarium is designed to simulate a reptile’s natural environment. As such, you’ll need to furnish it with rocks, leaves, sand, water, or whatever else would be found in your reptile’s natural habitat. Do research online and have a discussion with your veterinarian to find out exactly what your reptile will require. You’ll want to look into this as well as all the basic care requirements before deciding on a reptilian pet.

Call the office today or set up an appointment to talk with your Indianapolis veterinarian. By being prepared ahead of time and knowing what you’re getting into, you’ll be able to make the best and most informed choices for your new pet!

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