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Taking a Look at the Best Lizard Pets

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Reptiles have become an increasingly popular choice for a pet, as they are relatively quiet, odorless, and compatible with a typical person’s lifestyle. If you’re considering a cold-blooded companion, a lizard pets are a great option. 

While many reptiles will grow to tolerate humans, there are a handful of lizards that actually seem to enjoy being around humans, and they are, for the most part, the only reptiles that will actively approach their owners for attention. They also are capable of having some degree of “personality” – making them more fun than other reptile pet choices like turtles

Importantly, most lizard species are not dangerous, unlike some other reptiles that can bite and even be venomous. 

Because of lizards’ popularity, there is a wide range of lizard species now available as pets. Here are a few things you should know If you’re considering a pet lizard and some of the best lizard species for beginners. 

What You Should Know Before Getting Reptile Pets

    • Lizard Cost: The cost of a lizard varies widely, some geckos cost as little as $6, while other specialty exotic lizards may cost more than $600. You’ll also need to buy a cage or aquarium, UV lights, and other habitat structures. This can cost from $150 to more than $1,000.
    • Food Needs: Most lizards eat crickets, mealworms, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s important to note that lizards have big appetites and can easily eat more than $100 of food each month.
    • Handling Your Lizard: Lizards should be handled with care. Be gentle when holding your lizard, and don’t pick it up by its tail, as it is painful for your pet and could cause it to break.
    • Ensuring Your Safety: Make sure your lizard is captive-bred. Wild lizards can become stressed by captivity and are more likely to have diseases. They are also harder to tame, and having an aggressive lizard can be dangerous, especially if you have small children. 

The Best Species for Lizard Pets 

  • Bearded Dragon 
  • Common Leopard Gecko 
  • Crested Gecko 

Bearded Dragon

lizard pets - Bearded Dragon 

Bearded dragons are an excellent pet for beginner lizard owners. They are generally docile and rarely show aggression. They are active during the day and typically tolerate handling well. Many will even enjoy interacting with their owner and hanging out on your shoulder. 

Needs

  • A 55 to 75-gallon tank with a secure screen top, UV light, and sturdy rocks or branches to perch is needed.
  • A temperature gradient is necessary. The gradient should go from 80 to 85 degrees F on the cool side, and a warm side should have a basking temperature of 95 to 105 degrees F. 
  • Bearded dragons generally should be fed once every 24 hours. Their diet can be a wide variety of insects, such as waxworms, silkworms, red worms, earthworms, small to medium-sized crickets, and super worms. They also should be fed leafy green vegetables. 

Common Leopard Gecko 

Common Leopard Gecko 

Often called a spotted gecko, the leopard geckos are gentle and calm. They’re comfortable being handled, even by children. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and are most active during dusk and dawn hours. 

Leopard Gecko Needs

  • A 10-gallon terrarium with a screen top, reptile sand or reptile carpet, rocks, and non-toxic plants and branches is needed. Because they are nocturnal, they do not require a UV light. 
  • The temperature during the day should be between 80 and 82 degrees F with a warm basking area of 85 to 90 degrees F. Nighttime temperatures can be as low as 70 degrees F. 
  • A leopard gecko can be fed every two to three days. They eat crickets, waxworms, and mealworms. To ensure proper nutrition, dust crickets with vitamins and powdered calcium supplements every other time you feed them. 

Crested Gecko 

Crested Gecko 

The crested gecko is a great option for beginner lizard owners due to their ease of care and ability to thrive in captivity. While they eat fruits and insects in the wild, this gecko pet can survive entirely on powdered commercial lizard pet food. They may be skittish and nervous at first, but once they warm up to you, they tolerate being handled well. 

Needs

  • An enclosure with plants (either real or fake) and high ambient humidity (around 60 – 70%) that will need to be misted regularly. 
  • Temperature can be as low as 74 degrees F, and because they are nocturnal crested geckos do not require UV light.  
  • They can be fed small insects or powdered lizard food. 

Takeaway 

Lizards can be a fun and unique pet. While there are various species available, the best lizard pets for beginners don’t require much maintenance and can be handled easily.

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