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#1: Red eared sliders and many pet water turtles DO NOT need heated water.

Many common pet water turtles are cold water species. Pond sliders, red eareds, painted turtles, map turtles, and most other species of temperate water turtles should NOT have heated water with an aquarium heater warmed to tropical fish temperatures. 80 degree water can cause health problems and promotes rapid bacteria growth.  Exotic tropical turtles do need heated water.  Visit the ARR Climate Guide here.

#2: You should NOT use vitamin/mineral supplements at every feeding.

Use vitamin and mineral supplements sparingly with reptiles. It is very easy to over do it with supplements, causing hypervitaminosis and metabolic bone problems. Feed a good, well balanced diet instead of relying on supplements for good nutrition.  Visit the ARR Supplement Guide here.

#3: You don't need to buy expensive night time lights or heat your reptile at night.

Most reptiles don’t need overnight heat or lights. Night temperatures fall more than 20 degrees almost everywhere in the world. Room temperature is fine at night in most cases.  Visit the ARR Climate Guide here.

#4: Not all reptiles require expensive UV lights.

Most snakes and some amphibians don’t need UV light. Most lizards and turtles do. UVB lights produce the needed UVA in addition to UVB, but UVA lights do not provide UVB rays. Without both UVA and UVB, many reptiles cannot synthesize or process Vitamin D3.  Visit the ARR UV and Lighting Guide here.

#5: Commercial manufactured reptile pellets are not adequate as your pet's only diet.

Never rely on commercial foods alone. Use only as a supplement in between feeding quality fresh food items. Vary the diet as much as possible or risk nutritional disorders. Visit the ARR Nutrition Guide here.

#6: Read the label of any calcium, vitamin, or mineral supplements before you buy.

Know what your reptile needs and find the appropriate diet and supplement.  Avoid over-using vitmain and mineral powders, and buy the correct product for your pet.  Visit the ARR Supplement Guide here.

#7: Don't use "hot rocks" or heated fixtures inside the enclosure.

Reptile hot rocks do not heat uniformly, and hot spots can cause thermal burns to your pet.  Place a real rock in the cage under an appropriate heat lamp to make a basking spot.  Otherwise, an electric skillet would be an equivalent option.  Visit the ARR Climate Guide here.

#8: Reptiles need doctors, too.

Like any other pet, your reptile should see an exotic veterinarian for a check-up on a regular basis. Especially important if your pet is sick or injured. Don't try over-the-counter treatments for parasites or illness. You are just wasting money and prolonging proper treatment. Find a herp veterinarian near you here.

#9: Don't release your unwanted pet reptile into the wild or leave it for someone else.

It is illegal, unethical, and immoral to release a captive reptile pet that is comfortable with and reliant on humans into the wild. It is never, ever acceptable to let your pet go or dump them outside. Abandoning or neglecting an animal is a crime. Don't leave your unwanted pet with someone else that doesn't want them. Don't abandon them in empty structures with no heat, food, or water. These are acts of animal cruelty and punishable by law.  Visit the ARR Laws & Wildlife page here.

#10: Wash your hands.

Reptiles do carry many bacteria and pathogens. This is NORMAL for reptiles. They are not sick and don't require treatment in most cases, but if you don't wash your hands you might. Reptiles are safe to keep assuming you use your head and common sense. Don't keep your turtle on the kitchen counter. Don't hibernate your reptiles in the refrigerator with your food. Wash your hands. Clean the cage. Duh.  We can't give you a link to this one.  It's all you.

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