Lizards As Pets
What kinds of lizard should you consider getting as pets? What kinds of lizards should you avoid? Which lizards make better pets than others, and why?
What type of home can you provide for a lizard?
If you have lots of room for a lizard, you may be interested in a large lizard such as an iguana, skink, or adult bearded dragon. If not, a smaller lizard like a leopard gecko may be best.
There are three main types of enclosures. You probably want to start out with a 20-gallon aquarium for each. A desert cage requires plenty of incandescent lighting, gravel and rocks. You'll want to also include a log and maintain a constant temperature of 90 to 95 degrees. For a temperate lizard cage, you'll want bark chips or newspaper on the aquarium floor, a log hiding spot, and lighting temperatures in the mid 80's. For a tropical enclosure you want a floor of moss and bark chips to hold water and keep the climate humid, plenty of plants and temperatures at about 85 degrees. Keep in mind that for tropical cages you may have to replace the plants. Lizards sometimes like to eat them.
Once you've decided which type of tank you can maintain, you can then begin the process of deciding which lizard is right for you. Lizards that thrive in desert tanks include leopard geckos, crevice lizards and swifts. Temperate climate lizards are leopard geckos, house geckos, iguanas, anoles, swifts, and tokays. Tropical lizards include day geckos, house geckos and green anoles.
How much care are you able to provide for a lizard?
Consider how much time you have and how many resources you can dedicate to the well being of your lizard. For instance, chameleons need to be checked on a couple times a day, while leopard geckos only need an hour's worth of attention each week. Some lizards need to be hand fed, while others only require you to drop a few insects into their tank once in awhile.
Lizards such as iguanas are herbivorous. They need a variety of foods ranging from bugs to worms and flies, while most eat only insects. They can be the easiest to feed.
Which lizards should the average pet owner avoid?
Lizards aren't generally difficult to maintain. You just need to be prepared and quite dedicated for certain types. For instance, iguanas and large lizards often need space that can take up an entire room in your house. Your lizard may need a pen they can wander in and climb around. Many average pet owners are ready for this type of situation, but you always need to be sure.