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Submitted on
March 1, 2007
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Happy Lizards Stamp by CatharsisJB Happy Lizards Stamp by CatharsisJB
From the full-sized: [link]

This stamp does actually have some meaning. I hope you will read this.

Since I started posting these gecko pictures, I've ended up (purposely or otherwise) encouraging people to go out and invest in the hobby of reptile-keeping. Some people who have picked up crested geckos in the recently past months, I'm sure, are well-suited to the task of keeping their new pets happy. However, I do need to add a note of caution.

Geckos, or reptiles of any kind, are not like kitties and puppies.

You can't just go out and get one and take it in to just any vet when it gets sick; do your research ahead of time and make sure you have a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, or in an area that you are willing to drive to.

You can't handle them a ton like you can with mammal pets or they get stressed out; they are, for the most part, a look-but-don't-touch-too-much set of creatures. When I photograph my lizards, I take them out for about 10-15 minutes to do so and they go right back in to rest.

Some reptile species tend towards "mean." You can often train dogs out of bad behavior; there is very little you can do to stop an iguana from taking a chunk out of your hand aside from learning how to hold the animal to avoid the teeth and tail. When your beautiful Tokay gecko draws blood just because you wanted to pick him up, you can't yell "NO" at him or take him into the Lizard Training Class. That's just how they are.

There are entry-level lizards and there are animals that beginners have no business owning. Crested geckos are very easy to care for, as far as reptiles go. They still have specific requirements that must be met. You can take a kitten home with a food and water dish and a litterbox, and it's mostly set and happy. Reptiles need special humidity gauges so you can make sure they're shedding properly. They usually have very specific diets you need to follow. They need specific heat settings - too much temperature change one way or the other can stress an animal out, lead to poor eating, and eventually kill it. They need places in their enclosures in which they can feel safe, and enough room for something their size to move around. (PLEASE do research to find out how big your animal will get before you make your commitment! A 5-inch iguana baby can turn into a 6-foot monster. If you have no room for the end product, you should not get that adorable baby.)

Most importantly, there are tons of conflicting care sheets out there. When I first looked into getting crested geckos, I read that baby food was a viable food source for them. Only after a few weeks of digging around (BEFORE making my gecko purchase) did I discover that that feeding method is outdated and possibly dangerous to the health of the gecko, as baby food is formulated for, well, human babies. There are now better options out there.

I encourage you, if you are looking to bring home a reptile pet, to get involved in not just one, but several internet forums for your specific animal if you can. Lurk, ask questions, understand what you are getting into. If that's not an option, look to see if your area has a local Herp Society. Visit reptile swaps/shows. Ask many different breeders what they recommend for keeping animals healthy. Don't just go by one source, because that one source could be misinformed, outdated, or just dangerously incorrect (though there are some conscientious keepers there, I've discovered that YouTube is a horrible repository for many dangerous animal-keeping "tips"). Keep your eyes open and be flexible and willing to change the way you care for your animals if it becomes apparent that your old method of husbandry is outdated.

Jumping in headfirst to almost anything can be dangerous - doing so with reptile-keeping can be dangerous to your new pet. Please, keep your lizards, snakes, tortoises, whatever, happy, and do some research before you buy.

If you use this stamp, do it to support being well-informed about your pets!
Add a Comment:
Shiwolf Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice stamp. Who doesn't like happy geckos? :D
RhythmLizard Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007
I'm a use this, k? :)
queenpili Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
Hehe my bf has geckos, but one of them killed his anole. He also has an iguana and a bearded dragon.

I guess this applies to any "lizard" :D
CatharsisJB Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
How did the gecko kill the anole? :( Some geckos are very mean, it's not a good idea to make them live together.
queenpili Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
I don't know how it was, but you can ask my bf .
Aeyoqen Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2007   Filmographer
I'm really glad I found this! I've recently been looking into purchasing a gargoyle gecko, and have been reading books as well as spending endless hours on the internet. It makes me sad to see people who buy these guys on a whim, without really understanding what it entails (internet forum quote - "I have to feed them WHAT!?").
I'm definitely adding this to my journal.
VirginiaVitamins Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007
Thank you for posting this. I agree wholeheartedly.:)
Aasiya Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007
Yeah, it is harder taking care of reptile pets then mammal pets.
Lluhnij Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
I'm going to add this to my journal, your message is very important. Thank you! :hug:
SunGryphon Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Great stamp, wonderful message. I'll be adding this to my collection.

You need to make an "I :heart: Gecko Toes" stamp, though
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