Acquired: Pet store
Posted Feb 28, 2015
I desperately wanted a dog when I was 10 years old, but my parents said no. They compromised and got me a newt. I now understand why my parents didn't want to get me a dog: I felt responsible enough to care for a dog, but I was still really young! My newt, Figgy, was actually a wonderful substitute for a dog.
I loved Figgy. I could take him out of his cage and "play" with him. I actually got a second newt after Figgy, and I used to take them both out of their cage and let them race each other. Since newts move relatively slowly on land, I never had trouble keeping an eye on them when they were out of their cage. I was a child, but I believe I was always careful and gentle when handling them.
I also had a lot of fun watching Figgy in his habitat. He lived in a glass fish tank with a lid. We filled the bottom of the tank with water but added some rocks and floating wood chips so that Figgy could sit.
I was primarily responsible for Figgy's care. Cleaning the tank was a lot easier than cleaning a guinea pig or hamster's cage. It was also easier than cleaning a fish tank, since there was less water involved, and I don't believe we added anything to the water. I would simply remove Figgy from the tank and place him in a smaller tank (or have someone watch him), take out the rocks, dump the water, wash the tank, and refill the tank with water and the rocks. I let the water reach room temperature before putting Figgy back in.
A few caveats: the tank tended to have a fishy smell, even when clean. Figgy's food, in particular, smelled fishy. Another icky thing was that Figgy tended to climb up the sides of the tank, and a few times, he was able to get out of his tank. I would recommend that a newt owner ensure the tank / cage's lid fits tightly. Overall, I loved having newts and would recommend them as pets, especially for kids :)