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Keeping Our Cold-Blooded Companions Cool

With the recent periods of quarantines and lockdowns, many people have been using home delivery to get the items they desire. The same goes for owners of amphibians and reptiles: many have been ordering new snake and frog pets online and having them delivered straight to their residences. So, how are cold-blooded creatures shipped? In this piece, we will take a look at the amphibian and reptile industry, what tools are used to ship these animals, and why these tools are important.

There are many reasons why people are opting to own reptiles over the traditional dog or cat. They are good for those who are allergic to hair and fur, and cost less to feed. They are also easier to clean, take up much less space, and require considerably less training[1]. 4.5 million households have reptiles as pets, with 9.4 million individual cold-blooded critters being owned overall. Some of the more popular breeds include lizards, turtles, and non-venomous snakes[2]. The sale of products for reptiles, including food and other supplies, is expected to reach at least $550 million by 2024. Children are a driving force behind reptile ownership, and the social distancing of 2020 has increased their need to have meaningful distractions[3]. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the purchase of non-conventional pets such as reptiles and amphibians is up 30%. The pet industry overall has grown 6.7% from 2019, bringing in a total of $103.6 million. This is expected to increase by the fiscal end of 2021 at $109.6 million[4]. The supply chain disruptions and post office delays that have impacted every industry mean that reptile breeders need a long-lasting solution to safely ship their animals.

One important tool that many breeders have turned to is an item called a phase change material, or PCM. PCMs offer advanced thermal protection for temperature-sensitive products that require storage within very specific temperature ranges during shipping. Whether a product needs to be frozen, refrigerated, or stored at room temperature, there are a variety of PCMs for different shipping needs. For the reptile and amphibian industry, the best PCM is Phase 22. This material begins to change phases at 22°C and can keep a package at room temperature for at least 24 hours. In its liquid form, it will keep shipped contents warm. In its solid form, it will protect these objects from the heat. For those shipping reptiles and amphibians, this is ideal for keeping the animal alive during shipment.

Because they have proven so efficient at transporting reptiles safely, Phase 22 refrigerants have become a staple of the entire industry. “One of my main jobs is to educate breeders on how well Phase 22 works with insulated shipping boxes,” says Debbie Price, Customer Service Manager at Reptiles4You. “I make this push because of their longevity…many shippers we work with won’t ship without them. Overheating causes neurological issues for animals that can be worth several thousand dollars, so these are actual life savers.”

Dan Sutherland, President of TSK, states that Phase 22 also works well with other shipping materials. “Using Phase 22 with a heat pack or cold pack buys time to keep the necessary shipping temperature stable. Shipping has been affected in the wake of the pandemic, so we have seen more use of Phase 22 as a combatant against late deliveries.”

Cryopak produces an entire line of Phase Change materials, and Phase 22 is the preferred product for those shipping reptiles and amphibians in the U.S. To learn more about Phase 22 and other types of refrigerants.

About Cryopak

Cryopak, a subsidiary of Integreon Global, manufactures items for temperature-sensitive shipping needs, including insulated shipping containers, gel packs, phase change materials and temperature monitoring devices. We also offer package design and testing services in our ISTA-certified package testing lab through sister company, DDL. Our packaging engineers can help ensure that your products will arrive within the specified temperature range and undamaged from the hazards of distribution. With Cryopak, you can expect quality materials and superior service from an industry-leading team of experts whose primary goal is to protect the integrity of your products. Serving companies in the pharmaceutical, life science, biotech, food and electronics industries, our company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and Montreal, Quebec, Canada with locations throughout the United States, Canada, and France to serve clients across the globe.

[1]“5 Reasons to Choose a Reptile Over a Dog or Cat.” Rainforest Reptile Shows, 26 February 2017,

[2] “A Report on Reptile Pet Ownership in The United States.” Reptiles Cove,

[3]“Increased Interest in Pet Reptiles Is Boosting Product Sales, According to Report.” Pet Product News, 1 May 2020,

[4]Boom Or Bust: Will The COVID Pet Spike Last? American Pet Products Association