Despite their tough-guy attitudes, reptiles can be delicate creatures to keep. Lighting, temperature and humidity can affect whether a reptile will absorb calcium, deflect parasites or avoid a scale and skin disease. You can’t stock a lizard’s preferred optimum temperature zone (POTZ), but you can stock vitamin, calcium and humidity boosters with special formulas for indoor and outdoor pets.
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Calcium is the bone-building element that grounds the entire skeletal system, and it’s directly related to a reptile’s heartbeat, metabolism and nerve signals. If a family reptile is suffering from a dietary issue, chances are it’s related to calcium. Maybe they’re not getting enough, or need an accentuating element like magnesium or vitamin D to metabolize and digest it properly.
Liquid Calcium-Magnesium Supplement
EXOTERRA BY HAGEN
Selling point: A combination liquid power pack of calcium and magnesium to maintain strong bones.
Marketing tip: Passes directly into the small intestine, which means high absorption rates.
exo-terra.com, (800) 724-2436
Selling point: Serve up fresh calcium to herbivores and omnivores with this 80-gram cup of fresh-cut Nopales cactus.
Marketing tip: Play up the garden-fresh element and keep the cactus crisp in your store’s cooler.
timberlinefresh.com, (800) 423-2248
Ultrafine Calcium Powder
Selling point: Oyster shells are ground into an ultra-fine powder in this phosphorous-free calcium carbonate, combined with vitamin D3 to boost absorption.
Marketing tip: Mix it with fruits, vegetables and RepCal’s Herptivite for a full meal.
repcal.com, (800) 406-6446
Even reptiles can use spa days, especially those that frequently lose a layer of skin. Give transforming creatures the comfort of an easy peel with the same approach you’d take at Club Med: Apply balms, lotions and steam to shed that tired old hide. For an added spa element, give out sachets of almond leaves as a DIY water conditioner.
Repti Shedding Aid
Selling point: Jojoba oil and vitamin E conditions reptile skin and provides a visible sheen as it helps snakes and lizards shake off dried-out skin.
Marketing tip: The conditioner gives new skin a healthy luster, too.
zoomed.com, (888) 496-6633
Shed-Ease Reptile Bath
Selling point: Aloe vera combines with other emollients to soften old skin in 20 minutes and slide it off.
Marketing tip: Also helps with shedding linked to stress, poor health, improper diet and lack of humidity.
zillarules.com, (888) 255-4527
Selling point: Fill this natural bamboo humidifying element with wet moss to promote shedding in woodland reptiles and amphibians.
Marketing tip: It doubles as an egg incubator or tarantula hide.
galapagospet.com, (805) 618-2829
Keeping a balance of vitamins and minerals is key to good reptile health, but what do you do with a picky eater? Serve up fresh greens with a dressing or find supplements that align with the pet’s preferences. Forget the jelly pot and excite your customers with vitamin and mineral fortified treats made just for their pets.
Sticky Tongue Farms
Selling point: Includes naturally grown aquatic vegetation, which brings 50 vital minerals like zinc, iron and copper.
Marketing tip: Available in two formulas, for indoor pets and sun bunnies.
Banana Cream Pie
Selling point: The recipe combines bananas, dates, honey, mango and watermelon — perfect for frugivores, which are herbivores and omnivores that prefer fruit.
Marketing tip: Target owners of skinks, bearded dragons, iguanas, anoles and tortoises.
repashy.com, (855) 737-2749
Reptile Salad Dressing
Selling point: A splash of flavor encourages appetite and new food acceptance, with vitamins that brighten skin color and boost the nutrition of mixed greens.
Marketing tip: Available in strawberry for bearded dragons, cantaloupe for tortoises and musk melon for iguanas.
naturezonepet.com, (530) 343-5199
This article originally appeared in the May-June 2017 edition of PETS+.