If you’re planning a vacation, you may be wondering what to do with your blue tongue skink while you are gone. How can you make sure that your skink is safe, healthy, and happy while you are away?
You can go on vacation without worry so long as you plan carefully for your blue tongue skink’s care before you leave. This includes having someone dependable who can care for your pet while you are away. A remote video surveillance system provides you with additional peace of mind.
Read on to learn more about what to do with your blue tongue skink while on vacation, so you can enjoy your time away without worry.
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How long can you leave a blue tongue skink alone?
The longer your vacation, the more planning you will need to do to make sure your blue tongue skink is well cared for while you are away.
If you are leaving for a long weekend, the only thing you may need to do is make sure heat and light sources are working properly and fresh water is readily available.
But if you’re going away for an extended time, you’ll need to find a responsible pet sitter who can provide the necessary care for your blue tongue skink.
How often your skink needs to be fed will dictate how long it can be left alone. Adult blue tongue skinks are typically fed every two or three days and should be left alone for no longer than a long weekend.
Juvenile skinks, on the other hand, need to be fed daily. You will need to be certain that whoever looks after your skink while you are on vacation is able to commit to this feeding schedule.
So long as you have a reliable, steady pet sitter, there really is no limit to the amount of time you can be away from your blue-tongue skink.
Reptiles don’t really have the capacity to form emotional attachments to other beings in the way that we do.
So, it is unlikely that they feel “loneliness” the same way we do. However, this doesn’t mean that skinks don’t bond with their owners at all.
Just like any other animal, skinks can form what’s known as a “habituation response” to the people or animals they see on a regular basis.
This simply means that they become used to their presence and learn to associate them with positive experiences (like food and water).
While we can’t say for sure whether blue tongue skinks get sad when their owner is away, it’s certainly possible that they miss having someone around to keep them company.
For this reason, if you are going to be away for an extended period (e.g., months), then it is best to find a full-time pet sitter.
Can I take my blue tongue skink with me on vacation?
It is possible to travel with your blue tongue skink, but the next question is “should you?” The changes to its environment and routine will no doubt cause your skink stress.
It is never a good idea to cause any animal unnecessary stress.
Our advice is that if you do not have to take it with you, then don’t. If you must take it with you, you will need to be mindful of a few things.
Ambient temperature is very important. If it’s too cold, your skink will become inactive and won’t be able to digest food properly.
Make sure to continuously check the temperature in your blue tongue skink’s carrier and adjust the ambient temperature as needed.
If you are going to be in a situation where you are not able to do this, then this is a good reason to leave your pet at home.
You will want to make sure that your skink has a secure home during the journey. A plastic container with ventilation holes works well.
Be sure to line the bottom of the container with something soft like paper towels or shredded newspaper so that the container is comfortable for your skink.
When you get to your destination, you will need to make sure that your skink has all the comforts of home. This means an escape-proof enclosure, a heat source, light, and the proper tank substrate.
If your pet’s home tank is small, it may be just a matter of packing it up securely and bringing it with you. Then you can simply set up its “old home” in your new “home away from home”.
Don’t, however, use the tank as a travel pet carrier as your skink may be injured if contents move or shift. If it tips over, your skink might also escape.
Can’t I just leave extra food in the tank for while I’m away?
Blue tongue skinks eat a variety of foods, including insects, fruits, and vegetables. There are several reasons why it is not a good idea to leave extra of these foods in its tank to “tide it over” while you are away.
- First, there is no guarantee that your skink won’t overindulge and eat everything too soon, leaving it nothing for later. There is also a risk of impaction if it eats too many insects at one time.
- Second, it is never a good idea to leave live insects in a reptile’s enclosure. Feeder insects such as cricket and mealworms can bite and possibly injure a reptile while it is sleeping.
- Lastly, fresh fruits and vegetables will quickly rot, and can lead to digestive issues for your blue tongue skink such as diarrhea. Rotting food also makes a mess of the enclosure and attracts pests like fruit flies.
Leave your blue tongue skink at home with someone checking in on them
When choosing a pet sitter, it’s best to find someone who is familiar with reptiles and has experience caring for them.
If you know someone who meets these criteria, that’s great! But if you find someone willing to take care of your skink but has no experience with them, don’t worry. You can make that work too.
Most people can adequately care for skinks for a few weeks with some basic instructions. You can also contact a professional pet sitting service or search for a reptile-specific pet sitter in your area.
Have the pet sitter practice the routine with you at least once so you can be sure they know what to do. Give them a detailed run-down of your blue tongue skink’s care routine.
This includes everything from what type of food to feed them to how and when to clean their enclosure and change their water.
Be sure to leave clear written instructions so there is no confusion. Make sure to leave your contact information in case the pet sitter has any questions or concerns while you’re away.
Find full-time care for your skink while you are away
You may not be comfortable leaving your pet alone for any length of time. Or you may not be able to find someone to drop by to feed and check it every few days.
In these situations, you may want to find someone who can look after your skink full-time. A few options to consider are:
A House Sitter
Find a house sitter to live in while you are away who is also willing and able to care for your skink.
Family And Friends
Ask family or friends if they are willing to look after your skink if you bring it to their house. They may be more willing to care for your skink if they can do it right in their own home.
You will need to make sure that you take its tank and enough supplies to last the duration of your trip to the sitter. Make sure they know what to do and leave written instructions and your contact information.
A Kenneling Service
Find a professional kenneling service. While not as common as dog and cat kennels, there are many businesses that kennel exotic pets like reptiles as well.
If the kennel or sitter cares for other reptiles in addition to yours, make sure that they are washing their hands and any equipment used to care for other animals before caring for your blue tongue skink.
This will help prevent the spread of diseases from one animal to another.
Whether you have someone coming by your home every few days or whether you take it to the pet sitter or kennel, make sure that all equipment is working and in good condition.
You don’t want to discover that something is broken after you have already left on your vacation.
Before you go on vacation and leave your blue tongue skink, check all the equipment to ensure everything is running smoothly.
If your equipment has been operating for a while, you will want to clean it, change any light bulbs, and ensure automatic timers and heat sources are working as they should.
If your care arrangement means someone is checking in on your skink every few days, you might consider setting up backup equipment to ease your mind.
It’s also a good idea to include a backup battery power source set up in case the electricity goes out while you are away.
A little peace of mind goes a long way. Imagine being able to look in on your skink to make sure all is well – wouldn’t that let you relax and enjoy your vacation just that much more?
With today’s technology, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up a video monitor that will let you do just that.
Just choose one with Wi-Fi capability, set it up so that it has a clear view of your skink’s habitat, and make sure that you can connect to the monitor from your smart phone.
We’ve had good luck with the Little Smart Elf smart security: with zoom, 360-degree coverage, night vision and motion detection, you can not only keep an eye on your skink, but you can also keep tabs on how often your pet sitter visits.
Go on vacation and relax
Owning a blue-tongued skink does not have to be an obstacle to going on vacation. However, you do need to take extra steps to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety while you’re away.
If you plan ahead, find a trustworthy pet sitter or kennel, and prepare for your trip, you will be able to leave your skink without worry.