Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman is known as a burrower and if you are keeping one as a pet you need to make sure that you make use of bark chips substrate and if they are being kept outside you need to be sure that they are in an area where they cannot dig themselves out of and get hurt.  They are an incredibly popular choice for reptile enthusiasts due to their small size.

It has been said that the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman requires nothing but just plentiful access  to water as they are mainly a terrestrial creature however this is not really the case as you need to make a compromise concerning their habitat with plenty of land area to move around and plenty of water.  It is best that you provide them with an area that has lots of space and you’ll find that the chances are great that if you keep them in a smaller size tank with just a dish of water they will spend most of the time hidden away in a corner.  This shouldn’t be taken as the preferred lifestyle in the least bit.

Heating and Habitat

They are tropical creatures so you need to provide them with tropical temperature.  Since they are also a reptile you need to provide them with the proper environmental conditions to help them control their body temperature.  A basking lamp is a great way to provide a great daytime environmental temperature for your Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman.  While it is reported that they do not bask good portion of the time it still needs the higher temperatures in their habitat in order to regulate the temperature. Getting a ceramic heater is a good choice to provide heat to your dwarf caiman.

If you do your research you will find out that the  Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman as hatchlings will do best in a 10-20 gallon tank. This type of tank will allow them to be able to be more efficient in their feedings and to help them to feel more secure. It has also been shown that while kept as pets they do not enjoy high levels of light. Instead they prefer things to be a bit more dim and shady. As your caiman grows you will need to upgrade to between a 50-100 gallon tank.

They don’t appear to have a lot of requirements for UV light although you might need to get them a vitamin D supplement to use when you are feeding them.  Since you’re keeping the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman in captivity you want to make sure to provide either a UV light for them or give them the vitamin D supplement so that they can stay at optimal health.

You should make sure that you keep your Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman’s area as clean as you possibly can even though they dislike to be handled they need to have a clean area in which to live. You need to change the water in their habitat weekly unless you have an excellent water filtraition system in place to take care of the water.


If you’re keeping your Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman well feed it you should be known that they should be kept on an  optimal diet of the appropriately sized rodents.  You should also make sure that you offer of a variety of things to them for example every 3 to 4 times you feed them give them some beefs that has been sprinkled with a decent amount of calcium supplement on it.

Cuvier’s Dwarf Caimans become very territorial when it comes to feeding and as soon as they learn the ritual that is involved in feeding they will learn to anticipate a it.  This is why you’ll want to use something like plastic tongs in order to give your pet their food.

Normal behaviors

You’ll find that a Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman will begin to recognize individual people which basically means that they know who will feed them and they will swim over to that person especially when it is time for dinner.  They will associate whatever time of day that they are fed as dinner time and assum that food is coming at this time.

It is very important to realize that anything placed inside their tank during their anticipated feeding time is going to be viewed as some type of food even if it is your hand so you must be very careful what goes in their tank.  Care must be taken with the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman as they can be fairly aggressive so you want to make sure that you take the proper precautions when handling them.

Many Cuvier’s Dwarf Caimans do not like to be picked up so they’re just to be observed and not handled as you do not want to be bitten by one of these reptiles.  You should not be alarmed should you find that your Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman has scratches on themselves as they will often rear up in order to give themselves a good scratch.


Things to Look Out For

You should keep in mind that while some  Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman are very docile as they get older they become more active and often more irritable. So be sure to have a talk with everyone in the household about the proper care and safety proceduces for this animal. You also need to keep in mind that this reptile is not a great choice for kids even though they are quite small. While they might not be the best choice for a lot of people, if you have the right training and equipment you will be able to take care of them properly.

You should make sure that you contact your veterinarian if you feel like you’re having any troubles with your Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman.  You want to learn all the you can about the warning signs of an ill dwarf Caiman and learn all about what a healthy Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman will look like.  This is extremely important if you want to maintain your reptile’s optimal health.




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