The Animals at Home Network is a nature-based podcast network and is currently the home of two separate podcast programs: The Animals at Home Podcast hosted by Dillon Perron and Animals Everywhere hosted by Bryce Broom. If you have a passion for animals, then you are going to love this network! Each show on the network brings all members of the animal community, from pet hobbyists to wildlife experts, together under one roof to discuss anything and everything animal-related. Listen to experts talk about reptiles, mammals, fish, birds, and everything in between with the topics ranging from breeding, pet husbandry, scientific research, wildlife conservation, and more!
Here's the Latest Episode from The Animals at Home Network:
Cory Aymar of Toothless Reptiles is back! In this episode, Cory fills us in on the massive monitor breeding facility he built in his front yard. He discusses the challenges and successes he has had with the building and of course, we chat about his success breeding various (Lace), salvator (Water), and the elusive salvadorii (Crocodile).
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/74-cory-aymar/
In this short bonus episode, I discuss the hedonic treadmill, how it negatively impacts keepers, and how we can overcome it.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/bonus-hedonic-treadmill/
Zac Loughman, Ph.D. is a professor of biology at West Liberty University. In this episode, Zac breaks down his most recent paper: "Utilization of Natural History Information in Evidence based Herpetoculture". We discuss how reptile natural history can be used to develop husbandry practices, where folklore husbandry came from as well as how to bridge the gap between academics and hobbyists.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/73-zac-loughman/
In this Round Table discussion, we cover the topic of accessing natural reptile behavior in captivity. Of course, seeing our captive reptiles display natural behavior is the foundation of good husbandry, but the question is which behaviors do we want to see? Surely we do not want every possible natural behavior to be present in a captive setting. Wild-type behaviors do not always equal to higher welfare. Guests: JTB Reptiles, Reptile Mountain, Reptifiles, Lori Torrini.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/rt-2/
In this episode of the podcast, I chat with Nick Bella a private anaconda keeper, as well as Troy Bumgardner a Zookeeper out of the Denver Zoo. The main focus of our discussion is two-fold: 1) appropriate enclosure size for large constrictors and 2) appropriate feeding, including fasting and food cycling for large constrictors.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/72-anaconda/
Sam Perrett of Herp HQ returns to the podcast to discuss the development of an advanced lighting system that he has been working on for the past several months. This system allows for a completely automated light cycle including sunrise/sunset, day length, solar noon, light intensity and temperature, and more! It is an incredible device, Sam walks us through how it works and how he developed it!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/71-sam-perrett/
Anthony Pierlioni is the Senior Director and Vice President of the TurtleRoom, as well as the host of The Pondcast and Turtley Devoted. In this episode, we discuss turtle conservation including the work done at the TurtleRoom, we cover the importance of communicating effectively with each other through online discourse, and finally, Anthony provides some advice for maintaining a healthy relationship while simultaneously being very involved with animals.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/70-anthony-pierlioni/
Francis Cosquieri is a reptile keeper out of the UK and is a literal reptile encyclopedia! He maintains a collection of 170+ reptiles and does so with some very impressive self-imposed rules. Most notably, every snake must be kept in an enclosure at least as long as their body, and all animals must have access to UVB. If you believe the only way to keep a large collection is by racking & stacking, then this is a must-listen!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/69-francis-cosquieri/
On today's Roast Session we discuss our progression as reptile keepers and YouTube creators, we cover if keeping venomous snakes in racks is ethical, and we also discuss the concept of setting goals for yourself in the hobby! How much should a snake cost? We also discuss the implications that inexpensive snakes have on animal (and human) welfare.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/2-rs/
Are you aware of the Ball Python epidemic that currently plagues the hobby? Today’s guest, Elijah Snyder breaks down everything we need to know about the ball python nidovirus. Nidovirus is a highly contagious family of viruses that affects many of the common snake species kept in the hobby, especially pythons. Elijah discusses methods of managing the virus, testing, quarantining procedures, and more.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/68-nidovirus/
Is Bio-active husbandry the gold standard of reptile care? Are there cons to going bio-active? What responsibility do Pet & Reptile content creators on YouTube have to ensure they are providing good information? Welcome to the first episode of the new series: Round Table Discussions! On Today’s episode, we are joined by Liam Sinclair of Reptiles and Research, Joseph Brabin of JTB Reptiles, and Harvey Tweats of Celtic Reptile and Amphibian.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/rt-1/
In this episode, my great uncle (Ken Broom) tells us the stories of growing up and catching snakes in Africa, these will be some of the most insane stories you’ll EVER hear. From catching snakes in mid-air while they flee from fruit trees to catching some of the fastest striking snakes mid-strike. Uncle Ken has lived an adventurous life throughout Africa and has had some hair raising stories to go with it. Including that of a black mamba looking him dead in the eye and not knowing what to do.
As Mike Tytula drove his way across Canada to move to his new home in Ontario he made a quick stop in Winnipeg to record an impromptu episode of the podcast! In this episode, we discuss Mike's history with YouTube, how he got started in the hobby, his herping experience in Costa Rica, the best plants to use for your vivariums, and much more!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/67-mike-tytula/
Ash Norman is a reptile store owner and college instructor out of the UK. In this episode, we discuss the challenges of operating a reptile store, especially when it comes to educating the customers. We also discuss the college classes Ash teaches which include, Exotics & the pet trade, Exotic Husbandry, Exotic Welfare, and more! Finally, we wrap up the chat by asking the question: are reptile expos ethical?
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/66-ash-norman/
Have you ever heard of chemosensory enrichment? If not you should definitely listen to this episode with Joe Hymes. Joe is the venomous keeper at Phoenix Herpetological Society and has over one million followers on TikTok, he uses his large following to infect the masses with an appreciation for reptiles of all shapes and sizes, even those toxic beauties!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/8-joe-hymes/
Johnothan Wallace, aka The Bearded Herper joined me on the show today to finish off a discussion we start in the comment section of one of my YouTube videos. In this episode, we discuss the ethics of morph and hybrid production, the pros and cons of each as well as maintaining a high standard of care while breeding reptiles.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/65-the-bearded-herper/
Johan Marais. An incredible businessman and one of the world's most recognized herpetologists. In this episode, Johan tells us stories about herping in wild Africa, including all the hair raising encounters with large African wildlife, and how he spent weeks on end in the middle of nowhere away from civilization, sacrificing food just so he could carry camera gear. Who knew one would sacrifice food just to photograph new species in some of the wildest places on the planet.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/7-johan-marais/
Dillon and Bryce chat about Bryce’s move to a new home including how he moved all his venomous snakes. They also speculate what the next big thing in the reptile hobby will be, discuss how to achieve proper ventilation, misinformation on the internet, halogen lighting, overfeeding snakes, and much more!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/1-rs/
Steve Rempel is the owner of Prairie Exotics, a reptile rescue and education business out of Manitoba, Canada. In this episode, Steve discusses his transition from reptile breeder to reptile rescue/educator as well as provides some tips for anyone interested in hosting a reptile expo. We also discuss the local herpetofauna found in frozen Manitoba, including Narcisse Snake Dens which is the largest gathering of snakes on the planet.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/64-steve-rempel/
In this episode, Ross Rowan discusses quarantining your animals including how to properly quarantine as well as the negative consequences of not following proper quarantine practices.
Roman Muryn, C Eng. is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to reptile heating and lighting. Roman is an engineer and spent a career designing and developing flight control systems for helicopters including the Apache. His background in data collection and system control has allowed him to analyze the way we provide heat to our reptiles. In this episode, we discuss the difference between IR-A & IR-C, how to set up a thermostat probe, which source of visible light to use, and much more!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/63-roman-muryn/
Olly Wilson is a ZooKeeper and reptile keeper out of the UK. In this episode, we discuss the dissertation Olly wrote for his degree which focused on habitat preference of amphibians in Madagascar. We also discuss the day-to-day roles of being a zookeeper and the tactics Olly used to convince the zoo-owners to upgrade a tortoise enclosure from a small unenriched cage to a full-paddock style enclosure that includes many layers of enrichment. This episode is key for those of you looking to pursue a career in zookeeping.
In this episode, Arno Naude tells us how he got into treating snakebite throughout Africa. To date, he has personally dealt with close to 600 snake bites, with all that experience he explains how he has NEVER seen two bites that were the same. Arno shares some of the most common reasons venomous keepers get bitten and how to avoid that, he said "don't be in a hurry to die" and will elaborate more on what that means in this episode. As keepers, we don't always realize how the snakes we keep actually affect people in rural areas where these animals come from. The effects of one bite can be so detrimental to an entire family for life and that's where the hate for snakes could stem from and if we want to change that we must realize the real reason for the fear!
Show Notes: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/5-arno-naude/
Lori Torrini, the founder of Behavior Education LLC, has 30 years of experience and education in animal training and behavior and in the last 3 years, she has shifted her focus to mainly working with snakes. Many of the snakes within Lori's collection are capable of behaviors that most keepers would think are not possible. In this episode, we discuss target training, the importance of training, positive reinforcement, understanding body language, and much more!
In this episode, Wilnes explains how he is able to keep some of the most “difficult” species (dwarf bitis) and a lot of his success with them has to do with replicating nature in captivity. Airflow, heat, localities are all things you need to consider when you want to keep an animal properly. Not every animal in the same species must be cared for in the same way, localities of the same species should be cared for differently according to where they come from. Wilnes also explains the best way to start working with venomous animals and the importance of always obtaining more knowledge!
Harvey Tweats and Tom Whitehurst are the co-founders of Celtic Reptile and Amphibian, UK based company dedicated to the conservation and education of European herptiles. Together they manage a lot containing several outdoor enclosures that are home to many native species including, Tree Frogs, Agile Frogs, Western Green lizards, Sand Lizards, Eyed Lizards, and more. We discuss keeping replies outdoors year-round, re-wilding, and the importance of amphibians to our planet.
In this episode, Eckhard Vd Westhuizen gives some amazing info on how to feed tricky snakes, particularly arboreal vipers and the importance of feeding a proper diet and replicating the wild. Something Eckhard said that I will not forget is that people with influence must use that influence to share better care. How true is that? Something that came up was the importance of UVB in the hobby and how we believe UVB is beneficial to large-bodied vipers like Gaboons, listen to find out why.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/3-eckhard/
Pete Hawkins is a long time reptile keeper and a prolific herpetoculture author with articles appearing in Practical Reptile Keeping, Canadian Reptile Hobbyist Magazine, Reptile Apartment, and more! Pete is also the creator of the popular reptile"Network" groups on Facebook. In this episode, we broke down a few of Pete's articles, discussed his bio-active setup for his Brazilian Rainbow Boa, using a wide variety of feeder insects and much more!
Marcel is a reptile keeper who strives to better the way he cares for his animals in every way. In this episode, we talk about what it takes to keep venomous reptiles and why it's important to always expand our knowledge and care for the animals we work with. Marcel also explains how to start working with venomous if you've had no experience, as well as the importance for advanced reptile keepers to take people in and mentor them, teaching them the right ways to work with these animals in a safe way.
John Courteney-Smith MRSB, the Head of Science and Innovation at Arcadia Reptile returns to the podcast! John is the author of a series of incredibly popular reptile and amphibian guides including Bio Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation® and his latest, Fire, the Sun & Its Replication in Reptile Keeping. In the episode, John expands on his concept of the 3 parameters of overall nutrition, including lighting/heat, moisture cycles, and physical and mental enrichment.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/58-jcs/
In this episode, Israel Spruch from Crocohilics Conservation Center explains exactly how he successfully breeds one of the rarest crocodilian species. Year after year Iszy has been able to breed the west African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) and he gladly shares the exact “recipe” for how to breed them.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/1-israel-spruch/
In this episode, Dillon announces his plan to change Animals at Home from a show to a Network and in doing so welcomes Bryce Broom to the team. Bryce is the host of the Animals Everywhere podcast which is officially the second show to exist under the Animals at Home Network. In this episode, he tells his incredibly inspirational story, how the responsibility of his reptile collection kept him in a positive mindset during a dark time, and he also lays out the future plans for his show.
Paul Rosolie is the Author of Mother of God as well as his latest book, The Girl and the Tiger. In this episode, we discuss the importance of interacting with nature, Paul's insane solo expeditions deep into the Amazon Rainforest, and the incredibly important role the Amazon Rainforest ecosystem plays on the planet. Paul also lets us in on his experience working on the Discovery Channel show, Eaten Alive.
Joseph Brabin in the creator of the JTB Reptiles. In this episode, Joseph talks about the electromagnetic spectrum and how to apply that knowledge to the way we heat/light our reptiles. We also discuss the inherent issues with the Pet Tube community and whether or not the husbandry advice they give is accurate and valuable. Joseph also walks us through the brumation process he uses to temperature cycle his reptiles in the cooler months.
Stefan Wennekes is the creator of the Terrarium Channel on YouTube. He has a very diverse collection of reptiles including a variety of turtle species, Chinese crocodile lizards, Borneo Earless monitors, Green Mambas, and more! Stefan has one of the nicest large collections out there. Despite having a large number of animals, Stefan still maintains very high care standards. In the episode we chat about his care philosophy (including how he maintains his cold reptile room), studbooks, and more!
If you are a reptile business owner in any capacity, then this episode is a MUST LISTEN! Josh Willard is the founder and owner of the well-known company Josh's Frogs. Josh's Frogs is one of the largest producers of captive-bred dart frogs in North America. In this episode, Josh tells the story of why and how he started Josh's Frogs as well as the philosophy he used to grow it from a small start-up in his garage to the thriving business it is today.
Dillon Damuth is the founder of Gecko Labs and a founding partner of the organization Urban Ark Conservation. In this episode, we discuss Dillon’s very diverse and rare collection of animals. We talk about the importance of quality of care over quantity of production breeding and we also discuss conservation in the reptile trade. Specifically, Dillon gives the listeners a few great tips for how the everyday keeper can participate in conservation.
SHOW NOTES: animalsathomenetwork.com/52-gecko-labs/
Dr. Sergio Balaguera-Reina is a conservation biologist who re-discovered the Apaporis Caiman after a 60+ year gap in the scientific literature. The Spectacled Caiman subspecies was first described in 1955 by Fred Medem. However, political unrest in Colombia made any further research impossible until 2018. In this episode, Sergio tells us about the expedition and current research surrounding the Apaporis Caiman and we also discuss the episode of Animal Planet's Extinct or Alive series that claimed they were first to re-discover the species.
Liam Sinclair is a reptile keeper out of the UK. He is currently completing a bachelor's degree in Animal Management with the goal of working in a zoo setting focusing on conservation. In this episode, we discussed how to properly do reptile husbandry research, we analyzed captive animal welfare and discussed UVB, IR, morphs, and varying snake diets!
Rebecca is the familiar voice behind the popular YouTube Channel, Leopard Gecko! In this episode, Rebecca tells us why she started her YouTube Channel, and how it has evolved over time. We also discuss leopard gecko care including common mistakes, proper substrates, UVB lighting, and IR-A/IR-B heat sources. Rebecca tells us what equipment she is currently using to keep her geckos healthy and thriving and also talks about her latest Bio-Active leopard gecko build using a Custom Reptile Habitat enclosure.
Adam Wickens is a fellow Canadian content creator with a YouTube Channel that is starting to take off! Wickens Wicked Reptiles is only about 15 months old and has already reached nearly 17k subs! In this episode, we discuss Adam's popular and sometimes controversial "top 5 list" videos, keeping reptiles outdoors in Canada and also the ideal size of a reptile collection.
Emma Lock is the creator behind the popular YouTube Channel, Emzotic! In this episode, we discuss the animal encounters in Em's childhood, her work as an animal educator in the UK as well as how and why she started her YouTube channel. Of course, we also discuss her new book, Animal Kind and chat about the important role animals can play in a person's life.
Show Notes: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/47-emzotic/
Angela is the manager of the reptile section in The Road Show, a store located in Michigan. In this episode, we discuss the procedures Angela and her team use to responsibly operate the store. This includes selling animals to customers who have demonstrated knowledge of the species they want to purchase, providing care sheets and on-going care support, species-specific kits and the promotion of enriching and bio-active setups!
Show Notes: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/46-angela/
Troy Goldberg is a long time dart frog keeper and breeder with a YouTube Channel of nearly 10k subs. In this episode, we discuss the quality of care found in the dart frog community, Troy's garage which has been converted into a jaw-dropping frog room as well as the many DIY projects Troy has featured on his YouTube page. The dart frog community treated natural enrichment within captive habitats as a must for over a decade... it's time the reptile hobby catches up!
Jude Farthing is a budding reptile enthusiast who has a hard line position on one of the more controversial topics in the reptile industry: live feeding. Jude came from the rat keeping hobby before a family allergy pushed him into the hypo-allergenic world of reptiles. This episode explores the ethical treatment of rodents in the reptile industry and grapples with the challenge of being fair to captive predators and prey.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/44-jude/
Jordan Jones is one of the 15+ whistleblowers in the Wildlife in Need scandal. Wildlife in Need was opened by Tim Stark in 1999 and initially intended to function as rehab and release for native animal species. Early on the non-profit took a dark turn toward exotic animal exploitation. Jordan, who was once a volunteer at the establishment tells horrific stories of captive conditions the animals are kept in and the current legal battle brewing in order to have it shut down.
Show Notes: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/43-wildlife-in-need/
Dr. Andy Anderson DVM is an exotic vet in the United States. In this episode, we discuss many important topics including Vitamin D hypervitaminosis (also known as Vitamin D toxicity), obesity in reptiles, tips for finding a good exotic vet, and the importance of UVB. Dr. Anderson also answers a few rapid-fire questions including, morph related genetic disorders, common reptile illnesses, and of course enrichment!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/42-dr-anderson-dvm/
Dru Reeves is the primary admin on the Facebook group, Chameleon Central. Chameleon Central boasts an impressive 23k+ members making it the largest chameleon group on FB. However, its most impressive feat is the group's helpful and effective demeanor. In the episode, Dru shares his road map for running a successful FB group including admin strategies, group rules and more! Dru and Dillon also discuss chameleon care and Dru's rescue, "Reeves Reptile Rescue."
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/41-dru-reeves/
Emily Medeiros is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the animal world. Over the past 6 years, Emily has worked at Reptilia (Canada's largest indoor Reptile Zoo), bred and cared for 300+ reptiles, she works at a holistic pet food store and is an expert on dog and cat nutrition and she also owns and operates a reptile education business in a remote city in northern Alberta. On top of that, Emily has also been educated in Animal Behavior and Wildlife and Forestry Conservation.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/40-reptile-rodeo/
Peter and Carrie of Reptelligence are today's guests. In this episode, we discuss the basics of animal training including classical and operant conditioning, learning history, and how behavior is shaped using positive reinforcement. We also discuss how these methods can be applied to reptiles. The Reptelligence team leaves us with examples of success stories they have had working with their own animals and provides the listeners with a few strategies to start implementing enrichment and training into your care routine.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/39-reptelligence/
In this Bonus Episode of the podcast, I read the article I wrote for ReptiFiles.com. This article uses the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare as a guideline to performs an audit on the current state of the reptile industry.
Check Out Custom Reptile Habitats! HERE: https://www.animalsathome.ca/crh
Jason Norman of The Reptile Project is the guest on today's episode. Jason and Dillon cover a ton of ground during their discussion including caiman lizard care, how to apply for and the benefits of acquiring 501-(c)(3) non-profit status for reptile education businesses and Jason also explains the latest project he is a part of—building a reptile zoo from scratch. The episode ends with an in-depth discussion on falconry!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/38-the-reptile-project/
The Komodo Dragon is one of the most iconic species of reptile on the planet. Kate Gore is a Herp Keeper at the Chattanooga Zoo and in this episode, she discusses the zoo's current Komodo Dragon breeding project. In August the zoo hatched three healthy male Dragons, however, these are likely not the result of successful copulation between the two adult dragons. In this episode, Kate explains virgin birth, their latest pairing and her day-to-day role as a herp keeper at a zoo.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/37-breeding-komodo-dragons/
Richard is the creator of the YouTube Channel Northern Exotics. In this episode, we discussed a personal hardship Richard overcame and the role his animals played during that time. We also discussed the process of focusing on individual animal care, including some great questions raised by Richard that if answered, will progress the reptile industry forward.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/36-northern-exotics/
Tom Moran of Tom’s Big Spiders is today’s guest! Tom’s Big Spiders is a blog, YouTube Channel and Podcast. Tom is an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to the tarantula hobby. In this episode, Tom tells us the story of how he initially started in the hobby as an arachnophobe with a single spider and how that snowballed into a 100+ spider collection. We also discuss the reasons behind starting his online presence, as well as basic tarantula care, including beginner vs. advanced species, old-world vs. new-world and much more!
SHOW NOTES: www.animalsathomenetwork.com/35-toms-big-spiders/
Dr. Kelsey Chapman brings us stories from her vet clinic in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Chapman provides advice for those considering a career in the field of veterinary medicine. We also discuss surgical operations on reptiles, her best/worst days in the clinic and common health issues found in the reptile industry.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/34-dr-kelsey-chapman/
Roy Arthur Blodgett was one of the first individuals in the USA to hatch a captive clutch of Amazon Puffing Snake eggs (Spilotes sulphureus). In this episode, Roy tells the story of how he acquired his first pair of puffing snakes as a young teenager. We discuss his early days in the hobby, as well as the decade long break he took from it. Roy has re-entered the hobby with a very conscientious mindset which allowed us to discuss the purpose many of us derive from working with such amazing creatures.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/33-roy-arthur-blodgett/
Is a career in an animal-focused field still on the table without a university degree? Mallory Lindsay is a conservationist, an educator, and a content producer. In the episode, Mallory tells us how she began on her path to becoming a conservationist and educator. She provides great advice for those of us who want to pursue an animal-related career but don't have university credentials to back it up.
Mallory shares many stories from her various adventures in visiting the Narcisse Snake Dens, the Caretta Research project and the temperate rainforests of the west coast. We also discuss her Fear2Fasination and Backyard Adventure online campaigns.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/32-ms-mallory-adventures/
Josh Jones is PIJAC's deputy director, government affairs and staff liaison to the Herp Committee. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) is an organization that helps keep the pet industry healthy and functioning. Specifically, PIJAC focuses on animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, environmental stewardship and the protection of our right to own pets.
In the episode, Josh and I discuss government legislation that impacts the reptile industry and how to communicate with lawmakers in order to help create fair bylaws. We also discuss Habitattitude, which is an initiative promoted by PIJAC to help educate new pet owners prior to point of sale.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/31-pijac/
Josh Halter is the owner and founder of The BioDude, a company that focuses on bio-activity in the reptile and amphibian hobby. In this episode, we cover the full range of bio-active questions starting with setting up your first bio-active vivarium to more advanced topics such as bio-active for snakes and arid climates.
Josh also shares the story of his journey from closing his frog breeding company, Genesis to starting The BioDude. This interview reveals Josh's intense passion for the reptile hobby as well as a deep determination to realize his dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/30-the-biodude/
Check Out Custom Reptile Habitats! HERE: https://www.animalsathome.ca/crh
In this episode, Sam Perrett goes into great detail about lighting and heating. These two related topics are often misunderstood and misused in the reptile hobby. Replicating the sun is an extraordinarily difficult task. However, almost every living thing on the planet uses the sun as an energy source, therefore, it is our duty to continue to advance the hobby towards better use of light and heat.
Sam explains how to properly set up your lighting to achieve full-spectrum light, how to control temperatures, and how to time your lighting to achieve a more natural sunrise/sunset effect in your reptiles enclosure.
Sam is one of the organizers behind the 2019 Advancing Herptelogical Husbandry Conference held in Rodeo, New Mexico on September 27-28th. He is also the creator of the Facebook group, Herp HQ as well as the free online magazine, Herp Bytes.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/29-sam-perrett/
Ryan McVeigh is the brand manager of Zilla, the popular reptile supply company. However, that is only one of the many hats Ryan wears within the reptile hobby. This episode is a must-listen if you are part of a herpetological society or are planning on founding one. Ryan explains what makes the herp society he founded (Madison Area Herp Society) one of the most successful herp societies in the country. He includes information on how to grow herp societies, how to communicate with lawmakers and much more!
Ryan is very much a big-picture kind of guy and it shows. He is not only a great visionary, but he also executes his plans. After listening to this episode you will learn that Ryan is an invaluable asset to our hobby.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/28-ryan-mcveigh/
In this bonus episode of The Animals at Home Podcast I chat with an individual who left a critical and rude comment on one of my videos. I reached out to her to see if we could work out our differences through verbal conversation rather than a keyboard war in the YouTube comments.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/bonus-rude-commenter/
Can snakes be trained? It is commonly believed that reptiles are not capable of complex learning or behavior. Peter Amelia is the Director of Training and Media at Reptelligence, an organization that promotes low-stress handling, husbandry, veterinary care, and housing for reptiles living in human care, with a focus on the use of behavioral and environmental enrichment and training through positive reinforcement.
In the episode, Peter explains the techniques used to target train snakes as well as methods for safely using puzzle feeders to enrich your reptiles meal time! This episode will re-define your idea of the mental capacity of reptiles.
Foundations of Snake Training by Reptelligence: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundationsinsnaketraining/
Understanding Snake Body Langauge: https://reptileintelligence.blogspot.com/2018/03/understanding-snake-body-language.html
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/27-reptelligence/
The reptile industry should be in a consent state of evolution. This week Forrest Fanning and I discuss the current state of the reptile hobby including methods each individual hobbyist can use to level up the reptile industry. Reptek, Forrest's reptile company, features a wide variety of species including tree monitors, crocodile monitors, green tree pythons and abronia lizards. He also runs a rodent business, Cold Blooded Cafe.
Forrest has derived an undeniable passion and purpose through his work with reptiles. Over the years he has acquired an incredible scientific knowledge base and has become a successful entrepreneur. Forrest is an example of how powerful the privilege of working with reptiles can be and why it is important that we keep the industry healthy and functioning.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/26-forrest-fanning/
Misinformation and folklore on the internet is a major issue within the reptile hobby. What information should you believe? Who should you trust? Mariah Healey is solving this problem with, ReptiFiles. ReptiFiles is a blog designed to promote proper reptile husbandry. Mariah has gone to extraordinary lengths in order to write and publish extremely thoroughly and informative care guides for reptiles commonly kept in the hobby.
Her care guides are several pages long and include information sourced from experienced experts, academics and veterinary journals. ReptiFiles is growing into a well-respected authority website, something that the reptile hobby is in desperate need of.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/25-reptifiles/
John Courteney-Smith MRSB is the Head of Science and Innovation at Arcadia Reptile. He is also the author of 4 very popular reptile care books including a guide to MBD, Reptile and Amphibian Nutrition, Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation and his latest book, Fire: The Sun, Its Use and Replication in Reptile Keeping.
Both this conversation and John’s books have been a massive influence on my reptile-keeping philosophy and I found myself ultra-motivated to improve the quality of my care after speaking with John. I guarantee you will feel the same way after listening to the episode.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/24-jcs/
Jenna Cole is a Biologist working in Invasive Species Management in the Florida Everglades. There is a multitude of invasive reptile species in the Everglades and almost all can be attributed to the pet trade. Jenna discusses her research which focuses on the Argentine Black and White Tegu, an animal with a thriving invasive population in Florida.
Jenna tells us about her dietary research, as well as her work on the tegu trap line. She answers the tough questions about the fate of her captured specimens and also offers up some solutions for how we might regulate the pet trade to reduce the risk of introducing invasive species to local ecosystems.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/23-jenna-cole/
In this episode, I discuss the method I used to introduce my young (and small) Jungle Carpet Python to his new and very large enclosure. I chat about the common myth we hear in the hobby: "small snakes fail to thrive in large enclosures due to stress." I discuss where I believe this myth stems from and how we can push the hobby away from myth-based care towards fact-based care.
Of course, you can't discuss this myth without chatting about the ball python breeding craze, and tub/rack systems. Here are a few of the academic sources I used to formulate my opinions:
Captive Care and Husbandry of Ball Pythons (Python regius). Jennifer M. Rizzo, DVM
Sutherland C. 2009. Ball Pythons: A Complete Guide to Python regius. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ.
Murphy JB, Schlager N, Hutchins M (eds). 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. 2nd ed., Vol. 7: Reptiles, Gale Group, Farmington Hills, MI:419–428
I also stumbled across a .PDF posted on Reptifiles.com. Unfortunately, I found this after recording the episode which is too bad because it is a fantastic resource! Take a look: https://www.reptifiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Busting-Royal-Python-Myths-by-Francis-Cosquieri.pdf
Reptile Brain Academic Sources:
Naumann RK, Ondracek JM, Reiter S, et al. The reptilian brain. Curr Biol. 2015;25(8):R317–R321. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.049. CAN BE FOUND HERE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406946/
Bruce L.L. (2009) Evolution of the Brain in Reptiles. In: Binder M.D., Hirokawa N., Windhorst U. (eds) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/bonus-tiny-snake-huge-cage/
Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in Africa? This episode we spoke with Bryce Broom of Righteous Reptiles. Bryce is a young, enthusiastic YouTuber with a passion for sharing footage of the native wildlife in his home country, South Africa. If you have ever wanted to travel to Africa… this episode will only add to your desire to visit this incredible continent.
In the episode, we discuss Bryce’s reptile collection, his venomous snake handling experience, crocodile farms, the Big 5 and much more! Check out the RIghteous Reptile channel trailer below!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/22-righteous-reptiles/
Today I chatted with Sarah Dunsmore, the co-owner of CDE Cages. CDE Cages is a small, family-owned cage manufacturing company out of Omaha, Nebraska. CDE Cages has been manufacturing animal cages since 1984 and they specialize in high-quality, hand made caging systems.
CDE Cages offer open-air, lightweight, waterproof designs that are easily assembled. The cages can be completely customized for your animal's needs, they can really do almost anything! CDE Cages are commonly used for mammals, birds, and reptiles. If you are looking for a high-quality, USA made forever home for your animal, contact Sarah at CDE Cages!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/21-cde-cages/
Crosstown Exotics is a reptile and bug show that travels throughout Chicagoland providing hands-on education entertainment and the owner, Colin Langenderfer joins me on this episode. Throughout the episode, we discuss Colin's extensive reptile collection, which includes an alligator, anacondas and a Caiman lizard, we chat about Crosstown Exotics business model including the pros and cons of operating an animal presentation business.
Crosstown Exotics has also been involved in a multitude of film and production projects by providing companies with the animals they require. Crosstown Exotics have had animals featured in many TV shows, commercials, and movies. Colin tells us about his experiences working with animals on tv and movie sets.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/20-crosstown-exotics/
Our guest for this episode is Jordan Jones aka @JJsReptileWorld on Instagram. Jordan is a Reptile Educator, Herpetologist & Rehabilitator and she is also the creator of ReptoRub, an all-natural de-shedding agent. In the episode, Jordan tells me about her experience working in vet/ rehabilitation centers, we place specific focus on some of the major problem areas of our hobby as well as chat about some potential solutions.
Jordan also tells me the story of how and why she developed ReptoRub! In the future, Jordan plans on creating a rehabilitation center for Indigenous & Exotic Wildlife in southern Indiana.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/19-jordan-jones/
Kaeli Swift, Ph.D. joins us today to discuss her research on a genus of bird you are certainly familiar with. The genus is Corvus and birds within this genus include, crows, ravens, rooks, and jackdaws. In the episode Dr. Swift tells us about her fascinating research on crow behavior, including how crows respond to dead crows, she explains the concept of “crow funerals”, as well as some of the more complex behavioral traits possessed by crows and ravens including, facial recognition, problem-solving, and tool creation.
As you know, crows and ravens permeate human mythology and origin stories. There is something about the relationship these birds have with humans that is ancient and deeply seeded in our psyche. This conversation with Dr. Swift illustrates why crows and ravens hold such a prominent spot in both our ancient past and our daily lives as well.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/18-corvid-research/
Head to the show notes (link above) for more!
Mind of the Raven: https://amzn.to/2uaNaod
Sterrin Smalbrugge is a Dutch ecologist and herpetologist, you may recognize her social media handle @sterrinswildworld. After learning of the death of her hero Steve Irwin as a young child, Sterrin made a promise to Steve and to herself to pursue a life of wildlife conservation. Sterrin has worked in Ivory Coast studying the effects of climate change on crocodilian species, and she has also studied the relationship between habitat characteristics and diversity if reptiles in South Africa.
Part of Sterrin’s goal is to educate the public on the important role reptiles play in the ecosystem. She hosts an educational show for children and is also working on a reptile-related children’s book! Sterrin is also a venomous snake expert and has taught courses for safe handling techniques for venomous reptiles.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/17-sterrins-wild-world/
This episode we are chatting with Renata Carlseen of Reptile Function. Renata specializes in Cyculra (Rock Iguanas) and Delicatissima (Lesser Antillean Iguana). Iguana delicatissima, in particular, is an endangered species with very low numbers in both the wild and captivity. Renata happens to be one of the only people in North America successfully breeding these animals. Successful captive breeding could be the key to keeping these animals on our planet.
Delicatissima are a very unique arboreal species of iguana that are currently being threatened by many factors in the wild including hybridizing with their Green Iguana cousins, human activity and habitat loss.
Renata is a trailblazer in the hobby. She sacrifices her own time and money in order to bring this relativity unknown species into the spotlight. She is exactly the type of individual the hobby should use as a role model.
Here is a link to Renata's Delicatissima Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/delicatissima.club/
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/16-reptile-function/
This week our guest is Cory Aymar of Toothless Reptiles! Toothless Reptiles is a Varanus Salvator Water Monitor breeding operation in California specializing in Black Dragons i.e. melanistic water monitors. Cory is an incredibly intelligent and interesting individual and he proves that through his work.
Toothless Reptiles is a passion-driven hobby and Cory is constantly pushing the envelope to discover new things. In the episode, we discuss Cory’s background in the hobby, and his past and current breeding projects including the construction and development of a large croc monitor breeding facility. We also discuss parthenogenesis, micro-chipping animals and hybridization of monitor species.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/15-toothless-reptiles/
Jana Bell is the Founder of the Amazon Rainforest Conservancy (ARC). In 2011, Jana traveled to South America and for the first time, visited the Amazon Rainforest. Her life would forever be changed from this moment onward. Jana tells us the story of the why she felt compelled to start a rainforest conservation charity as well as the struggles experienced along the way.
ARC currently has 3500 acres of land in Tambopata, Peru under their care. ARC’s mission is to protect and conserve the ecosystem from illegal forest destruction which includes logging, illegal gold mining, as well as slash and burn farming. The land under the protection of ARC is home to a massively biodiverse group of organisms including endangered species.
Animals at Home is one of ARC’s official sponsors. Part of the mission of Animals at Home is to donate a percentage of profits to ARC. For more information and to view the total amount of funds Animals at Home has raised and donated, click here: animalsathome.ca/save-the-rainforest
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/14-arc/
This week we are talking venom with the Director of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, Kristen Wiley! The Kentucky Reptile Zoo is owned and operation by Kristen and her husband, Jim Harrison, and is home to one of the largest venomous reptile collections in North America.
In the episode, Kristen discusses a day in the life at the zoo including the daily maintenance and extractions of the venomous snakes. We also discuss what the extracted venom is used for, keeping venomous animals in the private sector and also the mindset one needs in order to successfully work with deadly animals.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/13-kentucky-reptile-zoo/
On this episode, Dillon interviews the star of most Snake Discovery videos, Emily. During the interview, Emily tells Dillon, the host, that the channel has completely taken on a life of its own, and its current state is not at all what the original intentions for the channel were. On the podcast, Dillon and Emily also discussed some major issues currently plaguing the hobby. Mainly industrialized breeding and poor husbandry. Emily addresses the problem by sharing their future plans for Snake Discovery.
The reptile hobby is always in need of proper role models and positive influencers. Emily and Ed at Snake Discovery fulfill both of those roles quite nicely.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/12-snake-discovery/
Marc Ouellette is the founder of Little Res Q, a reptile rescue based out of Ontario, Canada. Little Res Q specializes in Red-eared slider turtles. In the episode, Marc and I discuss the basics of Red-eared slider care, why they make such great pets and also a few of the biggest mistakes new owners make.
Red-eared sliders are one of the worst invasive species the reptile hobby is currently having to deal with. Pet turtles are commonly released into the wild and have a devastating impact on native wildlife. Due to their size, durability, and longevity, education is key with this species!
As a hobbyist, it should be our duty to support rescues such as Little Res Q. Marc's rescue is there to help minimize the collateral damage created by the hobby. It is a massive undertaking and by no means is he required to take it on, but he does it because he knows the animals need it. Please consider donating a dollar or two to Little Res Q, without people like Marc, our hobby would collapse under its own weight.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/11-little-res-q/
Robin Small is the human behind the Instagram account and blog: Ontario Iguanas. In the episode, we discuss Robin's iguana collection, the basics of iguana care as well as some of the biggest mistakes new owners make.
Robin's goal with her content is to "Provide a safe and non-judgmental place for people to get any help they may need for their lizard as well as find all the supplies they need to care for their reptilian family members." Over the past few years, Robin has provided online care support for hundreds of iguana owners and has also rehabilitated and rehomed many iguanas.
Individuals who are passionate about a single species are few and far between in the hobby and I personally think the hobby is starving for people like Robin. Iguanas are a species that tend to be at risk for poor care and they need a reliable spokesperson! Robin fits that role well.
Please consider supporting Robin on her ventures, links are below! We, here at Animals at Home are incredibly excited about the release of her books and hope you are too!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/10-ontario-iguana/
Joey Mullen, aka The king of DIY has joined me for today’s episode! Joey’s life was in a dark place when the fish hobby inspired him to make a drastic, but positive change. In the podcast, we discuss exactly how something like that can occur. In particular, we discuss the responsibility that comes with owning a pet and how important that can be for an individual, especially for an individual who has found themselves on a negative life path.
Joey also shares with us the history of his YouTube Channel including the several triumphs and failures along the way. There is a lot of content in this episode, enjoy!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/9-the-king-of-diy/
Today's episode is all about environmental enrichment for your reptiles! In the episode I layout the thought process I used when trying to determine if the statement below is true or false.
Reptiles require environmental enrichment in order to reach a maximum level of health in captivity. It is our duty as owners to provide that.
In the episode, I share plenty of academic sources which support the claim n the above statement. My hope is that after you have listened to this episode you will have a clear understanding of what environmental enrichment means, you'll be able to make an educated decision on whether or not you feel enrichment is important and you'll come away with a few key ways to include enrichment into your animal's enclosure.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/8-enrichment-for-reptiles/
Today, Dr. Jen Moore also known as @DrReptilia on Twitter joined me for a chat! Dr. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Grand Valley University in Michigan. The majority of Dr. Moore's research focuses on the conservation of both reptile and amphibian species. During the episode, Dr. Moore told us about her research in New Zealand studying Tuatara, her study of Lava lizards in the Galapagos islands and much more!
Today's episode is with Nancy Miorelli, also known as "SciBugs" on social media. Nancy is an entomologist living in Ecuador and possesses a truly inspirational passion for insects! In the episode we discuss, insect phobia and where it comes from, tarantulas and other pet trade insects, and Nancy tells me some really mind-blowing insect facts!
Show Notes: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/6-scibugs/
Olympic gold medalist and reptile enthusiast, Kyle Chalmers joined me on the podcast today! Kyle runs the Instagram account @KC_Critters, which showcases daily pictures of his large reptile collection. During our chat, Kyle tells me about his blue tongue skink breeding operation, Australian pet bylaws, and his trip to a Japanese reptile cafe.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathome.ca/5-kc-critters/
This episode I am joined by Laerke Rosenberg aka Josser of the popular YouTube channel, JossersJungle! Jossers’ YouTube channel has grown to +40k subscribers in less than 1 year. We discuss her channel’s niche, her large reptile collection and her experience working with elephants in the circus.
Josser is a fantastic role model for those who are new to the hobby. She provides clear instructions, simple advice and does an amazing job interacting with her fans. Josser is the type of ambassador the hobby needs!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/4-jossersjungle/
Thinking about starting a breeding project? Then this is a must listen! Our guest this week is TC Houston of Reptile Mountain. TC is a former professional AZA zookeeper and a Blue Tongue Skink breeder with 30 years of experience in herpetoculture.TC and Dillon discuss the ethics of animal breeding, proper care an more!
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/3-tc-houston/
In this episode, Dillon breaks down the philosophy that guide’s both his animal care and online endeavors (YouTube, Blog, and Podcast). His philosophy is simple: The better the care, the more the animal will display their fascinating, natural behaviors. Dillon explains in detail how captive animals in the pet trade can play a very important role in the wildlife conservation efforts.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/2-dont-keep-reptiles/
This episode is an introduction of both the Animals at Home Podcast as well as some background information on the host, Dillon Perron. In this episode, Dillon discusses the fundamental purpose of the podcast, and what type of guests to expect in the future. Dillon also tells the story of how his passion for animals has developed over his lifetime.
SHOW NOTES: https://www.animalsathomenetwork.com/1-who-am-i/