Pet Stores and substrate


Staff member
Somerville, MA
We've all had the experience of going into pet stores and seeing the leos on sand. I won't even deal with the big chains, but I've been talking a bit to owners of small Mom and Pop type stores, most of which also seem to have their leos on sand or other particle type stuff. They have for the most part been open to making a change, but one impediment I think is that they want to have an appropriate substrate to sell to the people who buy the leos. I don't think this is necessarily only because they want to make more money. People who buy a leo from a pet store for the first time really want to get the whole "kit" and even if you tell them to put newspaper or paper towel on the bottom of the cage, for some people it's overwhelming; they'd rather get the whole set from the pet store. This is the point where some people reading this may be thinking something like "well if they can't get it together to use paper towel (or to recommend it to customers) then they shouldn't have leos". I do think it's worth pursuing this because it's a chance to actually make a difference in pet stores and for potential leo owners.

So I've been thinking about what to suggest to these pet store owners. One I talked to only wants to get supplies from distributors, not from the internet. The only place I know if that sells pre-cut cage liners (and advertises on Kingsnake) said they only do internet sales. Repti-carpet is an option, but needs washing and one owner said she doesn't like it because the leos get their claws stuck on it.

I have recently sold 2 of my babies to a small pet store and will probably be selling 2 more to another place on Friday. My solution so far is to provide ceramic tile cut to fit a 10 gallon tank for the tank the leos will be displayed in and also to sell with the leos. One place actually asked me to bring an extra set for their other 2 babies they have for sale. I can do this at a cost of $2 per cage. This is great if I'm supplying a limited number of leos (and it gives the pet store a permanent display tank with ceramic tile --a great example for potential customers), but I'm wondering if anyone has other ideas. I also think there's a market for making and selling cut-to-size cage liners (maybe out of vinyl tile, for example) if someone is looking for another cottage industry to start.