“It’s Time To Trim Your Claws!”

“Ooch!” “Ouch!”     “Stop, Murph… aaagh… I know you want down!  Hang on! You can’t walky around right here!

Fine. I guess you’re just going to slice me to ribbons until I set you down!

Dang it. Is that blood? Yep, it’s blood!”


Red is surfacing from numerous scratched lines upon my forearms. This is usually a good indicator it’s time to trim the darling’s cute little blades!

I have trimmed my Dragons’ claws for about an accumulated 9 years so far. I believe the following tips to be the ideal way for anyone who needs to do this. This is how it’s done:

What you need:

1: CLIPPERS      You can purchase reptile claw clippers at pet stores and online. However, I cannot attest to the performance of these. The exotic animal vet will trim claws (the one time a veterinarian trimmed my lizard’s claws, she trimmed too far and my sweety was bleeding from it, so I do the trimming now). I’ve only trimmed claws with a clipper made for a human baby’s finger nails (sorry, the clipper I’ve used all these years have no label. I don’t know the brand). You can probably obtain tiny clippers in the baby care section of stores in most locations.

2: A SAFE PLACE WHERE YOUR LIZARD CAN SLEEP BEFORE AND WHILE YOU CLIP   This means where animals or people won’t sit on him/her, you won’t forget he or she is there, and so on.


4: A BLANKIE       to help them to stay asleep during the clipping with a bright light

Step 1)           

After giving your lizard a best day ever, he or she has had food, freedom & lovins’, and is now sleepy, let them lay somewhere you can easily access all limbs to trim claws.

Step 2)

Cover lizard with the afore mentioned blankie so he or she feels secure while you’re messing around with fingers and toes. Don’t ‘tuck them in’. Give it 10 minutes or so and VOILA! He/she is deep enough in rest mode to perform the trimming.


Step 3)

Aim the light beam of your flashlight precisely onto each claw to be trimmed. Hold the little finger or toe at a slight angle so your vision is aimed at the side of the claw. YOU MUST CLEARLY SEE WHERE THE BLOODLINE ENDS ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE CLAW TO CLIP JUST BEFORE THAT, OTHERWISE YOU WILL HURT THE SLEEPING BEAUTY!

Step 4)

Proceed with trimming.

Step 5)

When trimming is completed, scoop your lizard into your hands and lay them (lovingly) onto where they normally sleep through the night (and possibly with that blankie).

Step 6)

Return to the location of the trimming and brush onto the floor the tiny claw fragments for sweeping.


About to trim the pain-inducing tips

See where the thick, light color of mass ends under the black claw? Don’t clip that! Only trim the razor tip of the black portion.

Very asleep

Now we trim…


*If you cannot see clearly or have any doubts, you should not clip.

10 cute fingers and 10 cute toes… All done!

This procedure may take around 10 minutes due to the necessity to work slowly and carefully. Personally, I only trim because I’m confident in my ability… and I don’t want any more scars : ).

That being said, if you’re too concerned you may hurt your lizard if you trim his or her claws, and you don’t mind the little slices they can cause, it’s not worth the risk of making your lizard hurt & bleed if the claws aren’t really causing problems.

It is wise to have a collection of your reptile(s) belongings in one place, except of course, what may need refrigerated.  Family and your lizard(s) care-takers need to be aware of the location. Keep a number to the vet or preferred hospital handy as well.  Along with bedding, blankies, teddy bears, 🙂 or whatever, you can have a reptile first-aid kit!!! Ideas for what it may contain can be found here:

note* Styptic powder can stop bleeding, if say, you trimmed too much of a claw.


: – )


“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee♥




Pets Mailed In A Box, Really?!

Call me old-fashioned, but I’d prefer to meet any being with whom I’m going to spend years of life. Have you ever met an animal and liked that one more than most, were you instant friends? Have you adopted an animal because you saw in it’s eyes that it was most desperate for love and care? I’ve seen a cage full of lizards, but felt a pull towards one single individual, even though I want to pamper them all. I’ve wanted to purchase old iguanas because I saw they were lonely and sad.

Reptile Brazil Iguana Nature Lizard Eyes Animal*photo courtesy of Max Pixel
frozen_iguana_mazxine_bentzel_twitterIguanas, cold-blooded lizards incapable of regulating their body temperatures when the weather turns abnormally cold, have been falling from trees in Florida.  (@mazxinebentzel / Twitter)       *I found this on The Star

Lizards need saving too! Too bad I can’t warm the wild ones! I could so cuddle that one, it’s too cold to fight me about it. He or she would warm up and realize how awesome hugs are!

I once encountered a trio of Beardie babies that I wanted to love. They were all up-front and center with their hands on the glass watching pet store activities like a tennis match was taking place! In unison there heads would look left, dart to the right, and back again!! Too much cute! I silently named them Larry, Moe, and Curly. It saddens me to know they were separated one day.

Anyway, I guess some folks don’t feel the way I do about meeting new pals before choosing to care for them, they have cute little strangers shipped to their door, as I learned, by stumbling upon this regarding too cute baby turtles:

Here’s the link:

 I am not trendy, I didn’t know this was a thing. I am not a fan of this. However, if animals don’t die during the confusing and stressful experience of getting mailed just after birth and get treated with love upon arriving to their destinations, I cannot complain.

Now, about that video, I mentioned in this post: Before Choosing A Lizard Friend…

… that it is best to not have a knee-jerk reaction to cuteness when you see a baby lizard, or any animal, for that matter. One should research the potential size, life expectancy, and care requirements before investing in an animal companion, as many adults know. So, I’m watching that ‘youtube’ video, and I see that tank in the background will be a fair size for only a short amount of time for young ones. I did some research. If the babies are indeed Red Eared Sliders, they will grow to approx. 12 inches (30.48 cm.) long. They can be expected to live more than 20 years, and even up towards 50 years with ideal care!!!! Let’s all hope the young man in that video will be a great turtle Daddy (and purchases 2 more tanks like the one already in the room)!!

So, if you were wondering, yes, our sweet lizard friends get flopped around in boxes too. In fact, so do infant foul, live scorpions, and a host of other lovelies! Check it out:

Murph is appalled and literally climbing the walls about this crazy news!!


“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee♥



Lighting for Lizards

20190102_073853“Murph, you’re an intelligent being… what are you trying to accomplish?”

Playing with light…  or… trying to navigate through it…

well, here are some tips for trying to figure it out any way, regarding a lizard’s requirements of it…20181227_175359.jpgThis is one of Murph’s bulb’s boxes. Upon researching lighting for reptiles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the scientific aspects of it all, and reading reviews and opinions do not always help. You will see above, the chart shows if your reptile is 8 inches from the bulb, he or she is at about 95 ° fahrenheit in the basking location. There are dual receptacles, in which one can also place an infrared heat lamp for more warmth without too much full spectrum exposure, if the basking spot is too cool. The box shown above encased a full spectrum bulb.

Here, Lil’ Murph is sleepy in his hammock. I didn’t want him too cool, so I left electrified only the infrared heat lamp until it was cuddle time for us. Companies do make a heat-emitting night light.

Personally, I do not trust plastic in the lamps or their stated maximum wattage acceptance, so I purchase bulbs with an output just under that. I play with and place (sometimes with very fool-proof rigging for safety) bulb receptacles where it feels right. I then monitor the temperatures of the basking area and the cool-down area, adjustments may be needed. Basically, there is a small window of appropriate temps, for example, if the ideal basking temp is say, 105° for your reptile, and it is 115° at that spot, lower their basking area or raise the lights if you can. Also know that if your lizard is too hot for too long, she or he will move. Do your best.

As for brands of bulbs, a vet once told me some companies’ bulbs were believed to slowly burn the retinas of reptiles. Awful. I can’t say I have found evidence in that statement, and I shall not recommend one brand over another as of yet.190101_120853_399If you have a Beardie, I want to again recommend “The Bearded Dragon Manual.”  It is important to research what the full spectrum bulbs, and seperately, but very importantly, the UVB bulbs do for reptiles. Not all reptiles have the same requirements. Please see this link for uvb requirements:

Where research is concerned, don’t rely on one thing you read, not even here. Research and compare your findings. Sometimes you may find yourself working in the middle of 2 opposing care-taking tips.20181215_100213Lil’ Murph’s UVB receptacle requires an 18″, or nearly 46 cm fluorescent bulb. This one is Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0, high output, 15 watts. If ordered online, that skinny, yellow bulb-containing box comes in a shipping box that much larger! It’s silly. Murph (on his 2nd level, where he almost always hangs out) is 7 – 9 inches from the UVB, thus, making 10.0 ideal to replicate the sun exposure he would absorb in his ancestral origin among the sands and brush of Australia (based on what seems good over years of Beardie motherhood).

I want to point out here… If you reside in an area where flooding or snow may prohibit travel, it is a good idea to always have more bulbs in the event that one burns out because heat and light are vital to a reptile’s health. Also, if you are like me, and prefer to plan for the worst, such as a power outage, or an unforeseen catastophe, consider ways to safely keep your sweeties warm (in an animal carrier, perhaps) by a wood-burning fireplace or other means (carbon monoxide is a caution here). 20181017_16034420170430_175633

If they must go without sunlight, artificial, or not, it should not pose too much a health risk if this is very temporary, so long as they can stay warm for a few days or so, all should be well. If such a precaution is taken, check skin temperature and signs of overheating, such as a constant gaping mouth. If they are lethargic, they may be too cold or depressed from lack of liberty and/or their enclosure with which they are familiar. Move them nearer or further from the heat source as believed is best. Give her or him a just amount of time as is possible to walk around while you observe, but don’t let him or her get too chilled. Cuddling and/or petting is very important in the lizard/human relationship, so if the power goes out, don’t forget our lizards, amphibians, and all other animal friends need us.20181224_20525420181224_205139

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee♥