apartment life pet

mardithepanther

New Member
I have been thinking about getting a pet at my dad's house(the house where my other pets arent at). The only problem is he works from 6:20 A.M to 5:45P.M. And I will not be there half the time(monday-wednesday and every other friday-sunday). He would be able to take care of it(if its low enough maintanance) between 5:45 A.M.-6:20 A.M. and 5:45 P.M.+. There are no dogs allowed, my dad is terribly allergic to cats, if its a rodent, snake, or slimy my dad's girlfriend will kill it. I have been looking at leopard geckos and other geckos and tortoises and box turtles(we have a 15x40 foot backyard) or frogs of some sort( but then again croaking would be a problem). Is having a pet even possible for me? I want to be able give whatever I get best life possible with the circumstances im under. I love animals and I cant stand being without something to love and take care of. Flying squirrel?:p
 

Julirs

New Member
I think it would be cruel to get any animal you can not devote your full attention to unless your dad is as excited as you are to get a pet HE has to take care of, don't do it.
 

Texas Ranger

Avid Member
I think a Blue tounge skink. They are very easy to take care of. And a adult only needs to be feed a couple times a week. I love mine. He goes shopping with me and around town with me. He is just like a scaly, cold dog. IMO. He is my best friend.
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
Your idea of leopard gecko is a very good one for those circumstances.

I used to breed them and gave my nephew one when he was 6 and it is still alive and he is in his early 20s now. The lizard kept great body weight in spite of being attended to very irregularly. They store fat deposits up and can go for long periods of time without food or water if they have to (months if they are adult and start with good body weight). If your gecko was well fed on days you were there, and you made sure he had fresh water before you left, he would do great in your situation. They tend to make one small place in the cage their toilet and they don't make a lot of waste and it doesn't smell much unless you have your nose right near it, so when you returned you would just need to remove the waste and feed and water him again, then feed him plenty on the days you were there.

Tortoise is much more difficult. Leopard geckos will thrive on mealworms with a calcium supplement or any other insect. A heat pad is all they need for heat and one labratory bred them for decades at room temperature, so even if power fails or heat goes out it isn't an emergency. Heat is better for them though. Tortoises have highly specialized diets, very specific heat and lighting and humidity requirements, much more space than can be provided in most apartments (depending on the species, there are a few small species but they are very expensive for the most part) and more mental stimulation to remain healthy.

Go with a leopard gecko- you can be the primary care giver with that one, food is about the easiest of any insectivorous lizard, he won't mind your times away, and your dad won't have to do much if anything to help you along with him.

Blue tongue skinks I have also bred- I think too much maintenance unless your father wants to do a little daily care while you are away.
 
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mardithepanther

New Member
Your idea of leopard gecko is a very good one for those circumstances.

I used to breed them and gave my nephew one when he was 6 and it is still alive and he is in his early 20s now. The lizard kept great body weight in spite of being attended to very irregularly. They store fat deposits up and can go for long periods of time without food or water if they have to (months if they are adult and start with good body weight). If your gecko was well fed on days you were there, and you made sure he had fresh water before you left, he would do great in your situation. They tend to make one small place in the cage their toilet and they don't make a lot of waste and it doesn't smell much unless you have your nose right near it, so when you returned you would just need to remove the waste and feed and water him again, then feed him plenty on the days you were there.

Tortoise is much more difficult. Leopard geckos will thrive on mealworms with a calcium supplement or any other insect. A heat pad is all they need for heat and one labratory bred them for decades at room temperature, so even if power fails or heat goes out it isn't an emergency. Heat is better for them though. Tortoises have highly specialized diets, very specific heat and lighting and humidity requirements, much more space than can be provided in most apartments (depending on the species, there are a few small species but they are very expensive for the most part) and more mental stimulation to remain healthy.

Go with a leopard gecko- you can be the primary care giver with that one, food is about the easiest of any insectivorous lizard, he won't mind your times away, and your dad won't have to do much if anything to help you along with him.

Blue tongue skinks I have also bred- I think too much maintenance unless your father wants to do a little daily care while you are away.
very cool! I think having a gecko would also be awesome. Is having a backyard tortoise tortoise cruel during the summer? I totally be able to build it an awesome house and a sweet setup but is it "ok" depending on tortoise or turtle?
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
I keep a couple of sulcata tortoises- they get very big. I also have kept russian tortoises- a smaller species, and box turtles.

Tortoises are just a lot more complex. Indoors during the winter is the problem, not outdoors during the summer. They are vegetarian, and diet is much more complicated because you have to make sure you are giving them enough calcium, enough fiber, enough this, enough that so everything is balanced properly. Indoors they need full spectrum lighting. They poop- a lot compared to lizards, because they are grazing vegetarians- that means they eat all day and poop multiple times per day. They love pooping in their water sometimes too, which instantly becomes foul and smelly when they do.

If you are deep in the south and have a big yard that you can create a specialty fence for (part of the fence a couple feet below ground because torts love to burrow) then it is easier. If you live in an apartment and if you cannot give your tortoise attention at least a couple times a day to clean and change water and feed, then it's probably a bad choice.
 

PrettyInInk87

New Member
I say you go with a Crested Gecko... Crested Gecko Diet, no heating or lighting required, one misting every night, and your good to go. :D
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
I would say the crested (I used to breed those too) but a few things steered me away-

1) commercial diets are made to be mixed with water. Feeding is super easy, but the food goes moldy after 36 hours or so. I have heard of at least one breeder offering the diet dry, so maybe it could be left like that in her situation- but then again, maybe not the best thing to do either.

2) they don't have the fat reserves like the leopards- they do best if they are fed every couple of days.

3) they do best with a little humidity- a little spraying of the cage at night for them.

That said- if she could transport the gecko in a little carry case and have an enclosure at both homes, or if her father wanted to put in a few minutes care time one evening while she was gone, it might be a good choice too.
 

mardithepanther

New Member
I keep a couple of sulcata tortoises- they get very big. I also have kept russian tortoises- a smaller species, and box turtles.

Tortoises are just a lot more complex. Indoors during the winter is the problem, not outdoors during the summer. They are vegetarian, and diet is much more complicated because you have to make sure you are giving them enough calcium, enough fiber, enough this, enough that so everything is balanced properly. Indoors they need full spectrum lighting. They poop- a lot compared to lizards, because they are grazing vegetarians- that means they eat all day and poop multiple times per day. They love pooping in their water sometimes too, which instantly becomes foul and smelly when they do.

If you are deep in the south and have a big yard that you can create a specialty fence for (part of the fence a couple feet below ground because torts love to burrow) then it is easier. If you live in an apartment and if you cannot give your tortoise attention at least a couple times a day to clean and change water and feed, then it's probably a bad choice.
Ok. Cool. I shall begin my search and research:D
 

Amanda1801

New Member
Wait - do you want a pet, or does your dad want a pet? If your dad wants a pet, then fine, help him out with some research and stuff - but if its for you - why get one if you're hardly there?
 

pssh

Avid Member
A sulcata or other desert tortoise shouldnt have too much trouble in socal in the winter. Mine eats a massive amount of hay, native plants, weeds, wild flowers, and fresh grasses with leafy greens and veggies thrown in occasionally. It gets down to 35 some nights, but he does fine in his little dog house with a heat mat and fresh hay. He waters himself, so I hardly have to do anything for him except change the water in his tub. He seems to really hate coming inside for anything. He doesn't like people anyways so I think it's better for him. (He was abused/mistreated previously.)
 

mardithepanther

New Member
A sulcata or other desert tortoise shouldnt have too much trouble in socal in the winter. Mine eats a massive amount of hay, native plants, weeds, wild flowers, and fresh grasses with leafy greens and veggies thrown in occasionally. It gets down to 35 some nights, but he does fine in his little dog house with a heat mat and fresh hay. He waters himself, so I hardly have to do anything for him except change the water in his tub. He seems to really hate coming inside for anything. He doesn't like people anyways so I think it's better for him. (He was abused/mistreated previously.)
I think tortoise is what its turning out to be. geckos will(supposedly) get out of the house and end up in our food?:confused: My dad digs the backyard tortoise idea. Im thinking either leopard or sulcata. They basically the same. from the research i have been doing they have the same care sheet. now i just need A good site to get em. I have been looking but some say they are selling sulcatas for $135:eek: Anyone know of a good tortoise site?
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
$135 is cheap compared to the rest of what they will cost you.

I have a pair- not idly giving advice. Males can get 30" across and 175lbs. but if your dad really digs them, that's cool.

But be aware they graze most of the morning and afternoon, require a big pen outdoors, like to burrow ( a couple feet deep several feet long holes), and poop fist size poops multiple times per day. They will outlive you too.

Make sure you do your homework- temperature and humidity indoors very critical, as is diet. They aren't diffucult but have very specific demands.

If they are right for you they are very intelligent and fascinating. I wouldn't keep them if I didn't have an outbuilding for the winter months- too much room, too much poop causing too much smell indoors unless someone is there all day to constantly pick up after them.

Leopard geckos can't climb and get out by the way. They don't have sticky pads. LOL
 

mardithepanther

New Member
$135 is cheap compared to the rest of what they will cost you.

I have a pair- not idly giving advice. Males can get 30" across and 175lbs. but if your dad really digs them, that's cool.

But be aware they graze most of the morning and afternoon, require a big pen outdoors, like to burrow ( a couple feet deep several feet long holes), and poop fist size poops multiple times per day. They will outlive you too.

Make sure you do your homework- temperature and humidity indoors very critical, as is diet. They aren't diffucult but have very specific demands.

If they are right for you they are very intelligent and fascinating. I wouldn't keep them if I didn't have an outbuilding for the winter months- too much room, too much poop causing too much smell indoors unless someone is there all day to constantly pick up after them.

Leopard geckos can't climb and get out by the way. They don't have sticky pads. LOL
Im seeing a lot of sulcatas for $75 dollars now:). But now im thinking box turtle or smaller tortoise because my backyard really isnt that big. And I watched a video of a girl who kept a bunch of little dessert tortoises and box turtles in her little backyard. I dont know. I just need a good site.
"Leopard geckos can't climb and get out by the way. They don't have sticky pads."- good luck explaining that.;)
 
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