Providing Heat for Reptiles - Safe Alternatives
By: Dr. Dawn Ruben
Reptiles need a variety of temperatures in their enclosures to allow for thermoregulation. Since reptiles rely on environmental temperature to regulate their body temperature, cool spots, warm spots and basking areas are crucial in maintaining your reptile’s health. There are many different ways to provide a temperature gradient and supplement heat in your reptile’s enclosure. Some are safer than others.
Though readily available and commonly used by beginning hobbyists, heated rocks are not recommended by seasoned reptile people. These rocks are typically electrically powered and are meant to provide a warm area for the reptile to lie and bask. The primary problem with these rocks is the high rate of malfunction and poor distribution of heat. Some have very hot spots that can burn your reptile. If you choose to use a heated rock, covering it with fabric can help reduce the risk of contact burns.
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