Top Lizard Pets: Discover the Best Types of Lizards Pets to Take Home with You

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Types of Lizards Pets, Shallow Focus Photography of Brown Gecko // Healthier Pets Today

Discover the 10 Types of Lizards Pets 

Learning which type of lizard to bring home can be highly beneficial, as only some lizards need the same care. Once you choose one of the best lizard pets, you can better understand its specific needs and provide tailored care. 

Sometimes, despite picking a suitable species, many factors still go into owning a lizard, such as some having a biting tendency. However, this shouldn’t stop you from bonding with your pet, as there are effective ways to help manage these common behaviours. 

Do Lizards Make Good Companions?

Green Reptile on Hand // Healthier Pets Today

Lizards and reptiles, in general, make great companions, especially with the suitable species and environment. Contrary to some beliefs, reptiles can bond and form meaningful connections with their owners.

There are several reasons why reptiles make good pets. One that can be essential for many people is that they are allergy-friendly. With no hair or dander, they eliminate potential allergies associated with many other pets.

Reptiles are beginner-friendly and often lower maintenance than dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. They also form special bonds with their carers, and their usually tame demeanour can be helpful for many new owners.

Reptiles are a safer option for children to have as pets. They are calm and love attention. They are also naturally curious, especially when it comes to young children

Owning a reptile as a pet has many benefits, such as less noise, less furniture scratching, fewer severe bites and injuries, less mess, and overall maintenance.

10 Types of Lizards Pets and Their Traits

Grayscale Photo of Monitor Lizard's Arm // Healthier Pets Today

There are different reptiles to keep as pets, but each type has numerous species to choose from. When it comes to the best lizards for pets, it’s good to explore the options:

1. Bearded Dragon

Beardies are friendly and often have calm demeanours. They make great first-overall reptile pets for both beginners and pros. They are omnivores and easy to care for. 

2. Iguana

Switching it up, iguanas are more suited for older teens and adults. Their large claws need to be minded, but besides this and their larger size, they can be wonderful pets if looked after correctly.

3. Leopard Gecko

These geckos are stern and calm, making them exceptional pets. Their cute faces match their charming personalities and are commonly easier to care for.

4. Crested Gecko

These lizards are great for families and older children as they have very docile demeanours and love to explore and show off their curious natures. 

5. Blue Tongue Skink

As juveniles, they can seem withdrawn and anxious, but if given the proper care and time, they will warm up and grow into great pets who love to chill and walk around on their owner’s hands and arms.

6. Chameleon

Chameleons can be good companions for those who prefer not to handle or have limited time to handle their lizard pet. Frequent holding and physical interactions can be stressful for these lizards. 

7. Fat-Tailed Gecko

These lizards are slow-moving, docile, and very friendly. Because they aren’t very speedy and have calm demeanours, they are ideal family pets as they are easy to handle and care for.

8. Morrocan Uromastyx

This is the perfect fit for owners who avoid handling live food. This specific species can grow into a friendly and relaxed pet. If well cared for, they will even eat straight from your hand!

9. Australian Water Dragon

Australian Water Dragons are more easily cared for than the Chinese Water Dragons. They are bigger and have fewer requirements than Chinese Water Dragons. They are not aggressive toward humans, but owners should still be aware of their claws.

10. Tegu

These larger species of lizards are calm and manageable pets, but it is essential to understand that they are a bit harder to handle during mating season when they’re adults. 

For the novice reptile owner:

Monitoring lizard pets can be a big responsibility, no pun intended. These reptiles grow significantly and quickly, meaning you’ll need enough room to accommodate them. Some make docile and good pets if you can keep up with them properly!

How to Properly Prepare for Your New Pet

Red Apple // Healthier Pets Today

Getting any new pet can be exciting; however, there are a couple of considerations to remember regarding pets such as lizards. Preparing for their arrival, getting the correct food, habitat maintenance, stimulation, and all-around care:

1. Bringing Them Home

For starters, similar to fish or pet rodents, their enclosure should be set up and ready for their arrival:

  • Size – Many newbies make the common mistake of purchasing a tank big enough for their juvenile lizards but not for their adult counterparts. Find out how large your chosen lizard will reach and provide a tank big enough to fit them as full-grown adults comfortably.
  • UV Light – Lizards need proper UV lighting to mimic day and night. Consider buying the top-recommended lighting for your lizard, and remember that they need both UVA and UVB lights. 
  • Heating – Depending on your lizard’s needs, make sure it has the most suitable heating system with a daytime and nighttime heat source.
  • Substrate – Covering the enclosure floor with a suitable substrate can help create a cosy and inviting new home. Substrates have many benefits, such as heat control, mimicking natural habitat, and moisture control.
  • Decorations – The fun part! Decorating your lizard’s enclosure can be rewarding and enjoyable. However, remember that they have delicate skin. This means avoiding decorations with sharp edges, such as figurines and lava rocks. Attempt to match their natural habitat by using plants (real or fake), rounded stones, branches, etc.
  • Enrichment – Like other animals, Lizards need stimulation, and some need it more than others. Whether your scaly friend is active or not, providing them with enriching toys or items in their enclosure is always a good idea. Ping-pong balls or balls with bells are excellent choices for smaller lizards. 

2. Food and Nourishment

Depending on your lizard, their diet will vary. It is vital to research and learn about your specific pet’s diet, when they need to be fed, and what foods to avoid. Here is a general list of common lizard foods:

1. Living Food:

  • Crickets
  • Roaches 
  • Calciworms
  • Mealworms
  • Flies
  • Locusts
  • Woodies
  • Waxworms

2. Pellets: 

Pellets are a good source of nutrients for many lizard species; however, they shouldn’t be their only source. Carnivorous lizards prefer live and whole prey for their mealtime, but for omnivorous lizards, a diet of pellets, vegetation, and live food can be beneficial. 

3. Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Bell peppers
  • Squash
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Apples
  • Green beans
  • Strawberries
  • Mustard greens
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Celery 

Make sure to change your lizard’s water daily, as any species, whether desert or tropical, needs fresh water daily. Certain pet lizard types consume their water differently, so ensure you provide water to your lizard correctly. 

3. Hygiene and Care Requirements

1. Everyday Cleaning:

  • Remove droppings
  • Wipe and clean any dirty spots
  • Wipe down enclosures glass if necessary

2. Weekly Cleaning:

  • Rotate/turn the substrate, remove clumps, or, if necessary, change it
  • Clean the decorations
  • Clean glass and tank lid

3. Handling:

  • Support lizards’ body and weight.
  • Slow and gentle movements.
  • Stroke from the head to their tail (to not hurt their scales).
  • If they continue to fuss or try to escape, do not force them to stay in your hand; instead, set them back.
  • Do not appear or exude a threatening demeanor towards your lizard. 
  • Be cautious that their claws do not hook or scratch you (never cut their nails).
  • Do not squeeze or smother them as people commonly do with pets like dogs and cats.
  • Use treats as a reward and a way to gain trust.
  • Have patience, understanding, and respect towards your lizard buddy.

4. Bathing and Cleaning:

You might be surprised that reptiles need almost as many baths as mammalian pets! This isn’t because they’re dirty or smelly but because many lizard species absorb water through their skin. 

Leaving out a shallow and easily accessible water bath for them can sometimes be enough, as they clean themselves when they go for a soak. 

But it doesn’t hurt to give them a gentle assisted bath once a week if they’re looking a little grubby or are shedding their skin. 

5 Products Lizards and Owners Love

  1. Mossy Caves, Artificial Green Moss Caves Hide for Pet Reptile Frogs and Snakes, Terrarium & Vivarium Decor, Crested Gecko Tank Decor (4″ – Woodland Green)
  2. Log Resin Hollow Tree Trunk Ornament, Fish Tank Decoration Wood House Aquarium Hideout Caves Decorations for Betta, Turtles, Small Lizards, Reptiles, Amphibians up to 20 Gallon Tank
  3. 2 Pack Reptile Feeding Dish Corner Bowl, Reptile Water Dish Food Bowl, Reptile Feeding Terrarium Bowls for Bearded Dragon Lizard Frog Gecko Tortoise Hermit Crab
  4. Reptile Heat Lamp, UVA UVB Reptile Light with 360° Rotatable Hose and Timed, Heating Lamp with 2 Bulbs Suitable for Bearded Dragon Reptiles Turtle Lizard Snake (Heat Lamp 25w/50w Bulb)
  5. 6 Pack Bearded Dragon Toys, Accessories, Balls Bell, Fit for Lizard Small Reptile Habitat Terrarium Tank

How to Handle a Biting Pet Lizard

Pet lizards won’t bite for no reason, but it is essential to understand why they bite. They may be startled, so try engaging with them gently and slowly. You may need to catch up on your feeding, so ensure they are fed on time. 

If you feed your lizard often with your hands, it may be used to seeing your fingers and thinking, “Food!” even when nothing is in your hand, so try hand-feeding them a bit less regularly. 

Other reasons include getting used to captivity, breeding season, or they are territorial. The best way to tame your lizard’s biting behavior is to understand where it’s coming from and take it from there. 

Conclusion

Couple of Lizards // Healthier Pets Today

Owning a pet lizard can be a rewarding and fun journey, especially once you pick the suitable species for you and your lifestyle. Proper care of your lizard, combined with the tips and products mentioned, will help you and your pet have a happy and long friendship. These are just 10; there are many more! Monitor lizard pets have also been a favourite amongst reptile owners. Make sure to check it out, too!

And remember, there is always a reason a pet bites, even reptiles. Getting to the bottom of the problem is a sure way of determining the best course of action.