Reptiles can offer companionship to disabled children
Though a reptile may seem like an unusual choice for a disabled child, they can be the perfect companion for the right child. Here are three reasons why you would choose a reptile.
Reptiles are low maintenance
Compared with a cat or a dog, reptiles are low maintenance pets. They do not need daily walking or feeding, and they do not need the regular grooming you see with furry pets.
Though it may seem complicated to set up their vivarium or terrarium correctly, once this is completed they are easier to look after than your average pet. Fresh drinking water (and bathing water, where appropriate) will need to be provided every three days and feeding schedules will vary depending on the species you have chosen.
One of the main advantages of acquiring a mammal is the social support they can provide their owners with. Though it may seem unlikely, choose the right reptile and you can find social support here too!
There is an abundance of evidence discussing how pets can help to promote a happier lifestyle for disabled children. Research indicates that having a pet can promote more social behaviour from the child when playing with a pet over a toy. When spending time around animals, researchers saw more social behaviours, such as talking and petting the animals.
Bearded Dragons make a great choice for teenagers who are looking for their first pet. They are larger than a Gecko, so will need a larger enclosure, but more space means more love and support for them.
Leopard and Crested Geckos can be an excellent choice for a social pet. They are small, and so could live in a child’s bedroom, and have relatively simple needs. Leopard Gecko’s especially are known to be very social animals who thrive on handling.
Watching a reptile go about their daily business in a terrarium is oddly calming. This can have a similar effect on a disabled child.
When they feel stressed, it may be beneficial for them to have a place they can go to calm down. Sitting and watching a reptile bask or explore their environment can be a fun way to pass time!
Equally, spending time at the tank talking to their reptile can be equally soothing. Having someone to listen when your child feels sad, mad or happy can be a blessing. Reptiles, like all pets, are non-judgmental and are happy to spend time with you just listening.
Though it may seem like an unusual choice, reptiles can provide emotional support. Not conventionally cuddly, these non-judgmental animals can provide social support. They are also relatively easy to look after, making them a great first pet for those looking for a unique support animal.
Have you ever had a reptile? What pets would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!