Do Dogs And Reptiles Mix As Pets? (An Inside Look)

Everyone loves their pets, but what do you do when your pets don’t love each other? According to the Washington Post, 68% of households had a dog or a cat in 2016 in the USA. Additionally, 1.8 million homes also have a reptile as a pet, according to PRNews Wire.

Unlike dogs and cats, these two groups don’t always get along. But it doesn’t have to be this way. This is why we are going to share some advice on mixing dogs and reptiles as pets. You don’t have to choose. You get to have it all if you go about it the right way.

5 Suggestions On The Dog Reptile Pet Mix

Dog and turtle playing on grass

Over the years of owning both pets and talking to many who do as well, We’ve picked up some tips we’d like to share with you. Keep all of these in mind, and the process of cohabitating will be much easier.

1. Always, Always, Always Watch Them

It’s always a good idea for any pets to keep an eye on them as they interact with each other. Watching them is so critical with the dog and reptile pet mix.

You never know when your dog will try to “play” with your cute little turtle. Most reptiles aren’t used to dogs and will panic. They may fight back or run away quickly (or slowly if you are a turtle).

By being present whenever they come together, you’ll be ready to intervene if needed. Most reptile pets live in separate cages, so keep your dog in a different room whenever it’s left alone.

2. Introduce Them To Each Other Slowly

When first introducing a new dog or reptile pet, take it slow. Dogs are naturally curious about everything. It’s adorable, but your slithery pet might not want to be inspected so much. They’re usually prey for creatures the size of your dog.

Reptile and dog looking at each other
  • Start by bringing them into the same room as each other. 
  • Keep your dog on a leash near you.
  • Let them get used to each other’s presence.
  • Don’t let your dog lunge for the other pet.
  • Gradually, bring your dog closer until they meet.
  • Do this for a couple of minutes, and then separate them.

Over a few days, add more time until they’re used to one another. For your dog, it won’t be so curious. For your unique reptile pet, it won’t feel so threatened.

3. Provide Separate And Safe Spaces

In the wild, all animals have their homes or habitats where they feel safe and can relax. You’ll need to provide this for both your pets. Moreover, their hangouts or dwellings to rest should be in different rooms. It’s a place to give them breaks.

For your reptile pet, you’re probably looking at a cage, tank, or enclosure in a smaller room. Your dog probably has more of the house or apartment left for them to use. This is fine, but consider having a special blanket or dog bed to use as their safe place.

Keep the door closed between your dog and your unique pet for much of the day (though you may relax this if they get along). Even inside a cage, your reptile may get stressed to see the dog’s nose always sniffing at the walls of its home.

4. Pay Attention to Their Body Cues

Whenever the animals are together, watch for body cues. If the hair on your dog’s neck and back stand up, it’s feeling threatened. Other stress signs in dogs include a still tail and flattened ears. These are signs the dog is hunting or focused. Even if it doesn’t attack, it’ll monitor the animal and be ready.

The signs to watch for with reptile pets depend on the pet itself, so do your research on specific stress signs. In general, be on the lookout for hissing or other sounds and gaping mouths. Both of these are warnings, and the critter may bite or fight back. 

5. Accept They May Not Be Best Friends

As much as you may want them to get along, your dog and reptile pet may not be buddy-buddy. This is okay. Most of us aren’t best friends with our siblings growing up, but we still live with them. Pets can do it too.

Though there are some cute stories and pictures out there of dog and reptile friends, you should still spend time making sure they’re used to each other to avoid more significant problems, but if they want to leave each alone, this is fine.

Dog and Reptile Pet Mixes You Should Avoid

As much as we’d like all pets to get along, there are a couple of combinations to avoid. This doesn’t mean they can’t live together; the two animals should just never come into close contact with each, if at all possible.

Dog and Boa Constrictor Pet Mix

Boa constrictors are one of the safest snakes to own for humans. They have no venom, and their squeeze isn’t enough to hurt you. Many owners say they get more injuries from cat scratches than a boa.

But dogs, especially smaller ones, are in the size range of a boa constrictor diet. Therefore, it’s best to avoid letting them interact with one another.

Dog and Leopard Gecko Pet Mix

Training your dog to avoid seeing a leopard gecko as food or something to play with isn’t hard. But the interaction is always stressful for the small reptile.

Add in how a leopard gecko drops its tail when startled; it’s best to leave them apart. Leopard geckos will drop their tails a lot when around dogs, no matter how nice it is.

Final Thoughts

Reptile pets and dogs may not seem like a match made in heaven, but it’s possible to have both with no problems. Follow the simple tips and suggestions in this post. Make sure you never leave dogs and reptiles alone with one another and provide both groups with a safe space.

When this happens, you surround yourself with more animal love, and your home becomes even happier. 

Additional Resource: Oddly Cute Pets.

Do you have a dog and reptile pet mix in your home? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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