Scaled and Sassy: 9 Different Pet Reptile Parent Problems

Posted by Samantha Bubar

If you consider yourself a reptile parent, you likely have your hands full.

For those who don't interact with reptiles, they assume that our scaly family members don't have much of a personality. Boy, are they wrong.

Reptiles are a sassy bunch. They make it known when they are displeased, when they are content, and when they are simply fed up with your shenanigans.

Here are nine problems all reptile parents have encountered at least once, if not on a daily basis.

1. A sparkly clean tank! ... for a solid two minutes.

You spend a considerable chunk of time cleaning a tank. Scrubbing the inside, the outside, new substrate, sanitizing the decor, the plants.

Then you spend another chunk of time setting up the decor in a way that will please your reptilian pal.

water dragon reptile parent

You place them back in their new palace, and walk away. You're gone for approximately two minutes, and you walk back into the room to... mayhem. The substrate is everywhere, the plants are all knocked down, the hides and decor are upside down.

Smack dab in the middle of it all is your reptile, with a mischievous glint in their eye, staring back at you saying, "What are you going to do about it?"

2. Finger Casualties

You've prepared a lovely meal for your reptile. Whatever appropriate dish is on the menu is being lovingly lowered into their tank. When all of a sudden...

chameleon reptile parent

A flying mouth comes out of nowhere and latches on to your finger. Or maybe you're one of the lucky ones and your finger is narrowly missed. Either way, you were viewed as food.

Nail polish has been found to highly increase the likelihood of you becoming dinner.

3. Poop Parties

This almost always takes place right after the tank has been scrubbed clean. Everything is meticulously cleaned and rearranged in the perfect way, and you leave the room for a millisecond. When you return...

lizard reptile parent

Poop is everywhere. On the plants, on the substrate, on the hides, footprints on the glass. And right in the middle of the mess sits a very cute reptile with a mischievous glint in their eyes.

As a good reptile parent, you gather your cleaning supplies again and get to work.

4. Parent Faux Pas

You're running a little bit late and you realize, when you're halfway out the door, you need to feed your reptilian friends. You grab the cup of feeder insects and you open the tank.

Then you're filling their food dish with their favorite treat, when all of sudden they see your finger as food and you jerk your hand away.

gecko reptile parent

This causes you to spill or entirely drop the cup of feeders in your hand. Which means that now you're already late for work, and you have to pick up your mess because you've got a number of insects crawling around on your floor.

Might as well call your boss and take a sick day...

5. A Sudden Change in Appetite

Just yesterday, your beloved reptile was gobbling up superworms faster than you could dust them with calcium and get them in the bowl.

Today, however, you receive nothing but stink eye when you present them with the same food they LOVED just 24 hours ago.

chameleon reptile parent

So you try all other feeders to your disposal- mealworms, waxworms, dubia, phoenix worms. Nope, all you're getting is an evil glare. Meanwhile all the feeders are frantically crawling everywhere trying to escape. Which brings me to my next parent problem...

6. When Crickets Run Free!

Crickets are highly nutritious feeder insect, and they happen to be a royal pain in the rear. Sometimes, a cricket gets hidden in the tank. Neither you nor your reptile can find this cricket.

So, you either have to tear the tank apart hoping that you can find this bugger, or listen to the sweet cricket chirping all...night...long.

chameleon reptile parent

Even better is when the cricket gets loose in your house. Good luck finding that little guy!

7. Calcium Powder

Calcium powder is formulated to stick to feeder insects. It is also formulated to stick to every single surface it touches- your reptile, the dish, the insects, your clothes, the floor.


If you are a reptile parent you are forever cleaning calcium powder off of something.

8. Parent Alarm Clock

Hopefully you don't ever have to wake your precious snoozing reptile. The look you will get in return is one of pure hatred. If looks could kill!


You're better off if you let them wake up on their own time and schedule, that way you won't get the evil eye.

 9. Impromptu Beds

If you haven't fed your reptiles enough, or quick enough, you're likely to find them hanging out in their food dish. Yes, that's right. IN the dish. Not near it, or around it.


They will plop themselves directly where their food SHOULD be to let you know that they require more food immediately.

Reptiles are incredible pets to share your life with, and their antics are sure to keep you laughing and on your toes.

Being a reptile parent is one of the most rewarding roles you can have. Consider yourself lucky to share your heart with a scaly friend!

Tell us your reptile woes in the comments below!

READ MORE: 22 Reptile Shaming Pics That Every Scaly Pet Owner Will Understand

WATCH NOW: Bearded Dragons Are Awesome Reptiles!

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Scaled and Sassy: 9 Different Pet Reptile Parent Problems