If you’re considering a new pet, lizards could be a great fit for your home. There are plenty of reasons why you should get a lizard. Pet lizards look creepy and cute at the same time, which makes them interesting to a lot of people.
Perhaps you want to know what pet lizards for beginners are best. Find out more in today’s guide. We’ve listed six options for you and your family.
Before we proceed, let’s look into why lizards as a pet is a good idea.
Also, remember this: Pet ownership is most enjoyable if you think carefully about your lizard’s needs! One of the most important aspects to consider its habitat. The right environment keeps it clean, healthy, and happy .
Do Lizards Make Good Pets?
“Do lizards make good pets?” You might be curious.
What’s interesting is that many first-time pet owners choose lizards. Owning a lizard has several advantages. Here are some of them:
1. Say goodbye to fur
Pet hair tends to cling to fabric and furniture at home. This is one of the reasons why someone may transition from being a dog or cat owner to a reptile owner. With lizards, you don’t have to often worry about vacuuming pet hair all over the house.
2. Minimal care or low maintenance
Our furry friends may require a lot of attention, while lizards don’t. When it comes to space, small pet lizards like leopard geckos can thrive in small enclosures. There’s no need to take a lizard out daily to do its business. Lizards are also easy to clean up after.
3. Interesting personalities
4. No training needed
Lizards will never be like dogs or cats. These exotic pets are difficult to trick train, and their brains are more primitive. In spite of that, you still have a friendly companion. This should be good news to those who like low-maintenance pets.
5. Teaches kids to be responsible
Like any pet, owning a lizard is a big commitment. If you have a kid or teenager at home, they get to learn how to feed the lizard, provide it with clean water, and watch out for health problems. When your kids do their job well, they feel more confident.
6 Best Pet Lizards
You could be asking, “What is the easiest lizard to keep as a pet?” If you want to know your best options, check out our list below.
These are good pet lizards for first-time owners.
1. Bearded Dragon
Also called a “beardie,” the bearded dragon got its name because it has skin (with spikes) beneath its throat that looks like a beard. This so-called beard flares out and changes color when the lizard feels threatened .
But don’t be fooled. While a bearded dragon’s spikes may intimidate its predators, they’re not sharp. Rather, they’re rubbery.
Males can grow up to 2 feet in length. Note that this includes their tail. When it comes to their diet, bearded dragons like crickets, earthworms, and silkworms. They also eat chopped meat and leafy greens. However, take note that a baby beardie’s diet should be comprised of 80% insects.
Do they make good pets? Of course they do. Bearded dragons are very friendly to humans. They’re good-natured creatures and won’t mind being handled. You can have your beardie sit on your lap while you’re watching a movie.
Another wonderful fact is that bearded dragons are not nocturnal. They’re more active during the day and will not keep you up at night!
2. Leopard Geckos
A cute lizard, the leopard gecko is a popular choice for beginner owners and experienced owners alike.
They sport different colors including yellow, brown, and white. You can easily recognize a leopard gecko because of its dark brown spots. Its skin has bumps which give it a rough appearance.
How long do these lizards live? A leopard gecko has a longer lifespan compared to other reptiles. In captivity, they live up to 20 years, but can also last as long as 30 years .
You might assume that leopard geckos have sticky toes, but the fact is that they don’t have them. This means that they stay on land and will not climb. So, when you set up its aquarium, make sure that it has a lot of space to move around. Glass tanks are great options.
Leopard geckos are not just good-looking, but they’re also docile.
3. Crested Geckos
One recognizes a crested gecko by the tiny protrusions above its eyes. Its crest runs from their eyes down to their tail. It has a size of 4 to 4.5 inches.
Crested geckos sport different colors too! These include orange, olive, chocolate, yellow, and shades in between.
Here’s something to note: Crested geckos like to climb on wood. You need to provide climbing materials in its habitat. Several options are branches, driftwood, bamboo, and vines. When you buy items from the pet store, make sure that they’re non-toxic.
When it comes to their personality, crested geckos are quite lively animals. Be careful with handling them because they tend to jump.
However, they’re most active at dawn and dusk. During the day, they tend to be sluggish. Don’t be surprised if your crested gecko doesn’t move around or climb. Since they dislike bright light, place your gecko’s tank away from direct sunlight.
4. Blue-Tongued Skink
Blue-tongued skinks are big pet lizards with an interesting appearance.
An adult has a size of about 18 to 24 inches. It has a tubular body and a triangular head that looks like that of a snake. But its most notable feature is its tongue which is colored bright blue.
If you have a garden, you would be glad to know that these lizards will happily make a meal out of snails and slugs. It’s quite common to find blue-tongued skinks in people’s yards in Australia.
As omnivores, they eat a variety of foods such as insects, fruits, vegetables, and even canned dog food sometimes. Ensure variety in their diet.
Whenever they feel attacked, blue-tongued skinks display their tongues .
You’ll love that these lizards are gentle, friendly, and curious. They won’t mind interacting with humans. Just make sure to handle them carefully and treat them with respect.
5. Gold Dust Day Gecko
The gold dust day gecko is commonly found on trees in Hawaii and other Pacific islands. About 4 to 9 inches long, these pretty creatures are primarily green in color with red spots between their eyes and on their back.
While these cool pet lizards are okay for beginners, they are best observed than handled – like pet fishes.
Gold dust day geckos are fragile tend to move very quickly. They’re also most active during the day, which gives their owners the opportunity to view them inside their terrarium.
Enrich your day gecko’s terrarium by adding plants, branches, and vines inside. These will allow your gecko to climb. Gold dust day geckos need UV light exposure. Using thermometers will help you achieve the right temperatures for your pet.
Be careful – these geckos can be sneaky! They will attempt to escape if their enclosure is not secure. Its diet includes small insects and fruits.
6. Red Ackie
“What lizard is best for a pet?” The red ackie is said to be the best monitor lizard . Red ackies become friendly once they get comfortable with your presence.
Red ackies live between 15 to 20 years, and males are larger in size than females. Many owners love and treasure their ackies since these pets tend to be trusting.
When it comes to handling, red ackies tolerate human interaction. But before handling your ackie after you buy it, be sure to give it time to adjust to its new environment.
Provide a large enclosure for your ackie. Since they love burrowing, also place a thick and humid substrate. Since ackies love hot temperatures, set up a space where they can bask, and also a cooler side where they can escape from the heat.
Overall, it’s easy to care for these lizards. They’re omnivores, which means you can feed them with mealworms, mice, and snails. Dust your ackie’s food with vitamin powder.
These lizards may be easy to care for, but keep in mind that they have different needs. Know what they eat and feed them a good quality diet. I hope you liked this article! If you have any thoughts about having lizards as pets, do leave a comment below.
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- McLeod L. Leopard Geckos. 2019 July 2 – https://www.thesprucepets.com/leopard-geckos-1236911
- Animal Planet. Bearded Dragon: Stats & Facts. http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/other-pets/bearded-dragon-stats-facts/
- Animal Planet. Leopard Gecko: Stats & Facts. http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/other-pets/leopardgecko/
- Heidelberg. Australian lizard scares away predators with ultra-violet tongue. 2018 June 7 – https://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/research-news/all-english-research-news/australian-lizard-scares-away-predators-with-ultra-violet-tongue/15823500
- PetHelpful. The Best Pet Monitor Species. 2019 May 30 – https://pethelpful.com/reptiles-amphibians/The-Best-Pet-Monitor-Species