Skinks as Pets


Authored by Kennedy Allen in Pets 
Published on 08-28-2009

Skinks make great beautiful pets for exotic reptile lovers. Skinks are gentle and docile, and can be easily handled. Growing to around 20 inches, these creatures can live for around 10 or 15 years. So, how can you take care of your pet skink?

For starters, make sure you provide the adequate living conditions in your pet skinks shelter. Skinks, like most reptiles, need a nice and warm environment as well as a basking rock with a basking light. For skinks, a 40-55 gallon tank is the perfect size.

Being as to how skinks are ground lizards, there is no need for branches for them to climb. Skinks however do like to burrow and hide, which means you should provide some spots for this in their tank. Skinks also seek out humidity, so keep a spray bottle by the tank to spray their home every day and keep it moist. Add some moss and PVC pipes to their terrarium and your pet skink will be one happy camper.

Keep a shallow but sturdy plate filled with water for your pet skink to bathe in and cool down. The “bath” also helps your pet skink during shedding.

The most important step in keeping your pet skink as healthy and happy as possible is to keep their home very clean. This is not only for their benefit, but for yours too. Preventing salmonella with a pet skink is of utmost importance.

At least once a week, put your pet skink in a safe place while you thoroughly clean their tank. Take out all the parts, change the bottom layer of the habitat and clean the tank with bleach. It is wise to also clean all the parts and pipes in the tank. Rinse everything thoroughly until the smell of bleach is no longer evident and set everything back to how it was.

Your pet skink should be alert, curious and active. Their eyes should be clear and there should be no mucous in their nostrils. Also, check their scales to make sure they look healthy and are shedding properly. Sores or missing patches can signify disease that needs to be cared for by the vet! Do not hesitate at the first sign of something being wrong.

When it comes to food, skinks are true omnivores. To keep your pet skink happy, make sure they get the appropriate amounts of fruits, vegetables and meats. While skinks prefer live insects as their protein, dog food is known to be good for them as well. A well balanced nutritional diet for your pet skink consists of about 60 percent fruits and veggies along with 40 percent of protein.

Remember that skinks are live creatures that can live for a long time. Consider their life expectancy before buying, and make sure you will be in the position to care for the animal for this period of time. Skinks need the proper care to flourish and stay happy and healthy, so before committing to one, make sure you see yourself caring for it in the next 15 years!


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