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The basic structure

Like all reptiles, a lizard needs a large enough space so it can have room to move around. You need to make sure there are different temperature levels in its home. A good rule of thumb is to reserve about one-third of the space for moving around, eating, and defecating. Your lizard will likely establish certain spots for each of these needs.

If your lizard is still a baby you want to be sure to plan ahead. Lizards grow quickly. When determining exactly how big your lizard's enclosure needs to be, you first need to measure your adult reptile from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. The length of its enclosure should be at least two to three times this length; the width should be at least equal to one length of the reptile; and the height should be at least twice its' height.

What to include inside the enclosure

The overall goal is to make the living arrangements as close to natural as possible. While the basic needs of all reptiles are quite similar, they do have some basic differences.

The main area should be a basking area. This allows the lizard a place it can lie in a warm temperature to help with digestion and sunning. Your lizard will spend most of its time in this spot.

The spot should be somewhere pleasing. This may be next to a window, so it can look outside. You should set up a human heating pad on the bottom of your lizard's enclosure. Also, outfit the basking area with an incandescent light bulb. You'll want the area to be mostly a solid color to be sure the heat stays in, ensuring that your lizard has a consistently heated place to stay.

Most types of lizards also need places they can climb and explore. You'll want to create such a spot for your pet. Again, each species has a different need. Consider building a contraption out of crates that can lead to a top level across the ceiling of the room. This provides them places they can go that simulate their natural habitats.

What conditions to maintain inside your lizard's home

The most important issue is the temperature of your lizard's enclosure. It should have several different climates in which it can go, depending on its mood and needs. Monitor the temperatures regularly to make sure your lizard has areas that exceed 80 degrees and areas that are less than 70 degrees in which to roam.