The Importance of Reptile Bulbs
Not only are reptiles cold-blooded, but like all living creatures, the sun helps dictate their daily routine, stimulates metabolism, and aids in the synthesis of nutrition. Heat and light also regulate reptiles’ internal clocks. This helps them know when to sleep or eat, and without this factor, your reptile can suffer from stress as well as health problems.
Ultraviolet Light is Vital
Since your pet reptile lives in a terrarium and not in a prairie or desert, it’s essential to provide him or her with a proper reptile bulb. Besides giving off warmth and mimicking the sun’s radiance, the correct habitat lamp supplies the right amount of ultraviolet output. There are three types of UV light, but only UVA and UVB are necessary for reptiles. It’s important to understand that not all bulbs are the same. Lighting requirements vary for different species of reptiles, so consult with your pet care professional on the best type for your pet.
Heating at Night
Although a reptile bulb does provide heat and light, it needs to be turned off at night, so the environment mimics natural darkness. If you don’t your pet’s sleep cycle will be disturbed. You’ll need a particular heater suitable to the species for keeping him or her warm during the night hours. A general guideline is to provide 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Reptile Bulb Replacement
UV bulbs should be replaced about every 12 months (once a year) or after 3,500 hours of use. However, some types of linear fluorescent lights (most commonly used reptile bulbs) need to be replaced more frequently. Fluorescent lights need to change every six months. If the bulb starts to dim or flicker before the anticipated end of its life, it should be replaced. Otherwise, your pet won’t get sufficient UV light.
For advice on lighting and habitat needs, contact the experts at Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital. Our staff knows exotic pets needs, and we’re dedicated to giving your reptile many more years in the sun!