If you’re lucky enough to own both a dog and a reptile, you’ll no doubt be wondering how best to introduce them, and build their relationship so that they become great friends.

Many owners of both dogs and reptiles have encountered numerous problems when introducing their fury and scaly pets to each other, therefore we have compiled a list of the top 5 mistakes that are usually make during the introduction process.

We hope that, by utilising our advice to avoid these problems, your puppy and reptile can build a strong and happy relationship that will last for their lifetime!

Too Much Too Soon

Owners often place their dog and reptile in close proximity too quickly.

It is very important that one day, your dog and reptile can exist together in close proximity, however when they are first introduced, allowing your dog to lick or nudge the reptile can cause distress for the reptile.

Your reptile won’t be used to the texture of fur, or large animals, especially if they have been bread in captivity.

We recommend that they meet from a distance, like through a glass container, where they can look at each other and get to grips with a new species in their house. 

Owners Assume That An Interested Dog Is A Good Sign

It is easy to assume that if your dog is constantly fixated on your reptile’s habitat, that they are comfortable with its existence and are getting to know it.

However, this could be a negative sign, as not being able to leave your reptile in peace could result in an attack on the reptile in the future.

The best way of avoiding this is to distract your dog from the reptile, and try to make it as uninterested as possible. Therefore it will become less obsessed and will view the reptile as less of a threat.

Your Dog Must Know Basic Commands

Many owners do not train their dogs to follow simple commands before introducing them to a reptile.

Teaching your dog simple commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’ is imperative in order to discipline your dog whilst it is in proximity to your reptile.

As reptiles do not respond to commands, it is your duty to ensure that your dog is cautious and is able to respond quickly if they are threatening or potentially harming your reptile.

If your dog growls or barks at your reptile, for example, this could ignite fear in them, therefore your dog should be disciplined with a simple command to demonstrate that this behavior is not acceptable. 

Keep The Reptile Enclosure Away From Your Dog’s Crate

Many owners situate the reptile enclosure in an area that the dog often spends time in.

Dogs can sometimes be territorial, and if they feel like their space has been imposed on by your reptile, they may become hostile to it.

It is therefore important to position your reptile’s enclosure in a neutral area of your house, where your dog does not usually have access to, in order to relieve tension between the two, and ensure your dog feels comfortable and unthreatened. 

Owners Leave Their Dog And Reptile Alone Together

Whilst it may appear safe to leave your dog and reptile alone together, this can go seriously wrong and should be avoided.

It is important to be careful because any interaction between them could be harmful to both parties, since reptiles can be over-powered by dogs, and dogs can become very sick if they are affected by any of the communicable diseases carried by reptiles.

Even if your reptile’s enclosure seems secure, dogs are strong creatures, therefore close monitoring of both pets is vital to maintain their safety.


Hopefully these hints and tips have made you feel more confident and prepared to introduce your dog to your reptile.

Whilst these two animals are rarely discussed in terms of a partnership, there is no reason why, with the right training and precautionary measures, they can’t live together in harmony.