Lack of sunlight can make people depressed. This condition is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It is most likely to occur in the winter when people spend a lot of time indoors due to the cold and other adverse weather conditions.
A particular type of lighting is effective in treating these patients, this light is much the same as sunlight and it helps by simply exposing the patient to it.
Your pet will suffer also if not given the proper amount of exposure to light. They cannot talk to us but they show by their actions that they are depressed. They may become lazy or show less interest in food. They may also display serious conditions such as kidney problems, metabolic bone disease, or rickets. If you give your pet the right type of lighting their health will improve, they will remain active, eat well, and even increase their breeding tendencies.
Heat and light go together if you have a reptile pet, they need heat and light to thrive. Most lights produce heat, some produce more than others do. You may have seen heat light bulbs in stores or noticed the lights that keep the food warm in restaurants, even a common light bulb puts off a certain amount of heat.
In years past, it was thought that providing heat for a pet reptile was sufficient. Now we know that not only do reptiles need a specific level of heat and humidity that closely mimics their natural habitat, they also need specific types of light. Of course, the optimal light for your pet reptile would be the natural sunlight of its natural habitat. It is unlikely that the natural sunlight at your location would be an exact match, and it is usually impractical to house your reptile outside.
Proper lighting is important to your pets ability to use vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D work together to build bone and maintain them as well as forming healthy nerve cells for sending messages. Your pet as well as humans are in danger of osteoporosis if their bodies have a shortage of calcium. The nervous system can also fail and death can occur.
Reptiles from the food they eat absorb Vitamin D, or if they have light the precursors are converted into vitamin D in the skin, the same way it works in humans. The only way the skin produces vitamin D is if it is with exposure to ultraviolet light, this must be of the B type, or UVB.
When choosing a light for your pet reptile, make sure to choose a light that provides UVB light. Ideally, 5% of the light will be from the UVB spectrum if you keep pet reptiles that are active during the day (diurnal). If your pet is active mostly at night (nocturnal), it may not need exposure to UVB light at all.
Ensure your reptile has a place to hide from the light as well as the heat. The reptile knows when it needs to go somewhere cool and dark so it is important to provide this for the health of your pet as well. Their instincts will prevent them from staying in the heat and light too long if they have a place to retreat.
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