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Shipping reptiles - what you should know

I have been in this business for so many years that I’m at the point where I can almost predict a client’s reaction when it comes down to shipping a reptile.

“Hi! I’m really in love with that leopard gecko that you posted on Instagram today. Do you ship?” I always ask them to give me their postal code and promise to come right back to them with a quote.

“Are you serious? That’s expensive! That’s crazy! I’m going to Pet Smart to get my leopard gecko there.”

These are always newbies. They own one or sometimes no reptiles. They have no idea what goes in to shipping these babies out.

Shipping a reptile is not like ordering something from Amazon Prime. I can’t just stick a crested gecko in a bubble envelope and send it on the way.

A proper insulated box is needed to protect your new scaly friend. Depending on the weather, we need to add a heat pack, cool pack or cryopack to keep the temperature inside the shipping box stable. Then, LIVE ANIMAL stickers need to be placed on the box. Don’t forget about the packing material we need to use.

Lastly, we need to arrange pick up by a reliable shipping company with preferably overnight priority service. We all know the quicker the service, the more expensive it is. Lots of coordinating goes in to getting these shipments out. Shipments can be canceled and then need to be rescheduled due to weather. That happened to me this week. I was sending a crested gecko out to Saskatchewan. The weather in Saskatchewan was great for shipping reptiles but it wasn’t great here because it was too hot. So, the order will hopefully go out next week, weather permitting. The client was super understanding about it.

We need to do what’s best for your new scaly kid and I’m sure you would be happier if they arrived safely as well.


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