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New Tegu Petsitter

MadKat

New Member
Hello! I am currently taking care of my boyfriend's golden Columbian Tegu while he builds a large tank! Rex is about 7mo old, and very skiddish. I have never had a tegu before, and my boyfriend has only cared for an adult before. I think he gave me Rex because I take care of our two Sulcata tortoises and get pretty picky about caring for pets properly. I've looked at a few care sheets and have acted accordingly, but I would love some basic tips and maybe some instruction on how to navigate this forum!
Some questions I have:
-Should I wake Rex up in the morning?
-Should I wait for Rex to trust me before picking them up?
-How often should I give Rex "baths" (they get warm shower time and play in the puddles)
-Does putting my worn clothing in the tank actually work to get them used to my scent?
 

rantology

Active Member
I would try to follow the general routine your boyfriend had with him if possible in terms of baths. If humidity levels are good they generally do not need them unless having a shed issue but they don't hurt either. You do not need to wake them up, just provide good bright lighting (UVB + Basking hot spot of 110-120 degrees) for him on timers and he'll do the rest... they aren't always out all day (my guy is only "up" for about 4 hours out of the day). It is also getting close to brumation time for many tegus but I'm not super familiar with Golds on that front. Shirt in the hide does indeed help (at the very least won't hurt to try). Don't try to force handling but build trust... check out this video for tips on that.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
Agree with Rantology.... the relationship is better when not forced. They calm and settle when they feel secure and safe. That doesn't mean you don't take your moments to engage them, but watch the body language and be respectful of it. They are scared/suspicious by nature, when new homes are introduced. They take time to get used to new people too - depending on the situation. My 3 yr old male raised up and was on edge when my adult son was visiting and came into the kitchen the other day. Skully was basking on the floor and seemed completely chill until that moment. It surprised me because Skully is pretty adjusted to life now and hasn't had a lot of changes for about a year, but then in that moment - he appeared protective of his space. No huffing or heavy aggression, but "there's a stranger in my house" got a raised back until the threat was assessed. (Not suggesting EVERY Tegu reacts this way) They're smart and very aware.

As far as baths go - I've always done them and I think it's good to have your Tegu used to them. There are times I just like to clean them up and dare I say it....get rid of that smell when it is overwhelming. They seem to like them, and even sleep or relax in the (very) warm water.

I haven't mentioned my recent Tegu accident. I had a perfect female that was 1 1/2 yrs old (Captain). She had little or no aggressive behaviors and seemed to be the happiest animal on the planet. She was easy to feed, and hold, and was always willing to engage me. Unfortunately, I put both my Tegus in the tub at the same time, and had done this for over a year. I'm not sure how it happened, because I wasn't in the room, but when I checked on them, she had drown. It was shocking. My thought is that she may have gotten pinned under him, and it happened quickly. I cried for too long - we get more attached than we think.
 

rantology

Active Member
I haven't mentioned my recent Tegu accident. I had a perfect female that was 1 1/2 yrs old (Captain). She had little or no aggressive behaviors and seemed to be the happiest animal on the planet. She was easy to feed, and hold, and was always willing to engage me. Unfortunately, I put both my Tegus in the tub at the same time, and had done this for over a year. I'm not sure how it happened, because I wasn't in the room, but when I checked on them, she had drown. It was shocking. My thought is that she may have gotten pinned under him, and it happened quickly. I cried for too long - we get more attached than we think.
Omg thats terrible... so sorry to hear :(
 

MadKat

New Member
That video is so helpful! I'll definitely keep that in mind from now on.
So this is gonna sound bad, but my boyfriend is a terrible pet owner in my opinion. He has had Rex for a month and was "too broke" to buy a UVB light and a heat lamp. He had little to no humidity because he was kept in a broken tank. I wouldn't share this if it didn't piss me off. So Rex went 3weeks like that (he kept promising he was gonna buy the stuff) before I ordered everything on Amazon and made him owe me money. The tank is a bit small and still has struggles with maintaining humidity, so bath time seems important to me. He isnt shedding right now, so that's good. I admit, I've manhandled him once to get him out for feeding/shower. He was happy afterward? But I don't want to worsen our relationship so I won't do that again. I was told his new tank would take up to 3 weeks to be completed. I will give you all updates as I go along
 

rantology

Active Member
That video is so helpful! I'll definitely keep that in mind from now on.
So this is gonna sound bad, but my boyfriend is a terrible pet owner in my opinion. He has had Rex for a month and was "too broke" to buy a UVB light and a heat lamp. He had little to no humidity because he was kept in a broken tank. I wouldn't share this if it didn't piss me off. So Rex went 3weeks like that (he kept promising he was gonna buy the stuff) before I ordered everything on Amazon and made him owe me money. The tank is a bit small and still has struggles with maintaining humidity, so bath time seems important to me. He isnt shedding right now, so that's good. I admit, I've manhandled him once to get him out for feeding/shower. He was happy afterward? But I don't want to worsen our relationship so I won't do that again. I was told his new tank would take up to 3 weeks to be completed. I will give you all updates as I go along
Good on you for taking care of the little guy! that's very concerning.... They will die without heat & proper UVB..... they need the heat to properly digest food and it can be dangerous if they don't have it. They will develop metabolic bone disease without UVB. Those are not optional and it saddens me someone would get one of these animals without being prepared for one.... they also grow extremely fast and need their adult enclosure generally within the first year of life... so if buying a heat lamp is too much I would think affording the adult enclosure is not even in the realm of possibility for him. It does not sound like he should be responsible for this animal.... They are a very expensive endeavor and require a lot of care for a very long time (20+ years!). I would strongly recommend considering rehoming it if he's not prepared to do that.... it will be much better for him, and for the animal.
 

MadKat

New Member
Good on you for taking care of the little guy! that's very concerning.... They will die without heat & proper UVB..... they need the heat to properly digest food and it can be dangerous if they don't have it. They will develop metabolic bone disease without UVB. Those are not optional and it saddens me someone would get one of these animals without being prepared for one.... they also grow extremely fast and need their adult enclosure generally within the first year of life... so if buying a heat lamp is too much I would think affording the adult enclosure is not even in the realm of possibility for him. It does not sound like he should be responsible for this animal.... They are a very expensive endeavor and require a lot of care for a very long time (20+ years!). I would strongly recommend considering rehoming it if he's not prepared to do that.... it will be much better for him, and for the animal.
I agree with you. I was very much against him bringing Rex home but he wouldn't listen to me. It didn't help that the pet store owner told us he could go a month without uvb and be fine ‍♀ the one saving grace was that he put the tank outside sometimes for light and heat and it was midsummer. All I can do is nag and take over out of my own pocket smh.
 

MadKat

New Member
I agree with you. I was very much against him bringing Rex home but he wouldn't listen to me. It didn't help that the pet store owner told us he could go a month without uvb and be fine ‍♀ the one saving grace was that he put the tank outside sometimes for light and heat and it was midsummer. All I can do is nag and take over out of my own pocket smh.
My emoji failed. It was a facepalm
 
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