Lots of people are understandably fond of furry pets like cats and dogs. They are cute and cuddly, which is one of the reasons why they are the most popular companion animals out there. Some people prefer smaller pets like hamsters, birds, or even fish. But a growing number of animal enthusiasts have now become proud owners of pet lizards.
So, why should you have pet lizards at home? Lizards are not the weirdest pets that people are keeping nowadays, but they are still not as popular as dogs or cats. If you’re interested in unique things and you feel a bit adventurous, we believe here at The Furry Companion that keeping pet lizards is the way to go.
Here are ten reasons why you should keep pet lizards at home.
1. Pet lizards are easy to maintain.
One of the biggest appeals of taking care of pet lizards is its low-maintenance lifestyle. Depending on the breed, caring for cats and dogs can be quite tedious sometimes. They need constant grooming. Most of the time, they also need to be showered with attention as well, especially dogs.
Lizards, on the other hand, are easy to maintain. Lizards are more than capable of doing what passes as grooming for them, and they are never messy. If you keep a lizard as a pet, they will spend most of their time inside their designated tanks. You don’t need to worry about them dirtying your pristine tiles because they will not venture outside of their tank.
2. They do not shed fur.
Another reason why pet owners become interested in lizards is the lack of fur. Furry companions like cats and dogs are cute and cuddly because of their soft fur. But cleaning up shed fur can get tiring and annoying too. Most of the time, when you have a furry pet, the bits of fur in your clothes never really go away even if you use a lint roller.
With lizards as pets, you do not need to worry about vacuuming clumps of fur from the furniture upholstery. If you have family members who are asthmatic but would love to take care of a pet, lizards are the perfect choice. Dr. Laurie Hess, Dipl ABVP, DVM says “If you’re allergic to feathers or fur, or if you are looking for a pet that is fascinating to watch and requires little to no time out of its enclosure, these incredible reptiles and amphibians might make an excellent choice for you.”
3. Pet lizards do not eat a lot.
For some people, buying high-quality commercial food for their pets can get expensive at times. When you have pet lizards, you don’t need to purchase costly sacks of pet food. There are different types of lizards, both wild and domesticated. Because of their variety, their diet also depends on their needs. In the wild, small lizards mostly eat small insects.
There is no need to hunt for insects on your pet’s behalf; food for pet lizards are readily available in pet stores. Some pet experts suggest that it’s not ideal to feed your pet lizard with unknown insects from the garden. These insects could be poisonous or laden with diseases that are detrimental to your pet. Remember that lizards are natural hunters when they are in the wild. They will not be interested in dead insects, so make sure that you feed them live insects. Lianne McLeod, DVM adds that “Your lizard may eat insects and keeping and raising crickets or mealworms at home can cut down on trips to the pet store.”
Be sure that you’re aware of the species of your pet lizard. Some species like bearded dragons are omnivorous. Their diet repertoire includes healthy leafy greens aside from crickets and flies. Iguanas are also known to love fruits and vegetables too.
4. They live long lives.
Lizards are the type of pets for people who want to be in it for the long haul. While they are natural hunters, lizards are also common prey for larger predators. Because of this, pet lizards live longer than their counterparts in the wild. A lot of lizard species promise long companionship, but this still depends on how their owners care for them.
Most lizards in captivity boast up to 20 years of life span. The key to their long life is proper nutrition and a well-maintained environment. In this case, an equipped and regulated terrarium should do the trick. According to David Dilmore, DVM, “Many illnesses in reptiles are related at least in part to improper husbandry-heat, humidity, light, unclean water or a dirty habitat.” Keep in mind that heating, lighting, and humidity must be in perfect condition to maximize your pet lizard’s lifespan.
5. Pet lizards can be left alone at home.
One of the problems that most pet owners encounter is leaving their pets alone at home. Some dogs are okay with being left at home for a while, and cats are solitary creatures in nature. But caring for pets like them requires constant attention and companionship. Dogs are known to get lonely when neglected, and even cats need a healthy amount of attention when they are up for it.
In contrast, lizards are perfectly fine when left alone at home. They will not feel neglected or ignored if you spend an entire day out of the house, away at work or with a friend. Most lizards are perfectly happy to stay in their assigned tanks all day. As long as their tanks are configured to mimic an environment suitable for lizards, they will do well on their own.
6. They do not need to be brought out of the house.
Some pet owners enjoy spending a day out in the park with their dogs. Other people find dog-walking a tedious chore that needs to be done every day to keep their pets healthy. With pet lizards, this is not a concern.
As we’ve mentioned, lizards are happy to stay inside their tanks all day. It’s possible to bring them out of their enclosures from time to time for some bonding. But lizards do not need a walk at the park. Lizards are the perfect pets for people who are not enthusiastic about going out or people who are introverted. If you have a pet lizard, you always have an excellent excuse to sit back and enjoy a lazy day at home.
7. Pet lizards occupy little space.
Depending on the species of your pet lizard, most lizards can survive in a well-maintained tank or terrarium. You can house smaller species like geckos in a tank placed inside your room. Other species like iguanas will surely grab the attention of your guests if you display their enclosure in the living room.
Lizards do not require a big backyard to play in. They also do not need elaborate structures like cat towers. As long as their tanks are big enough for comfort and well-regulated, you will not encounter any housing problems with your pet lizards.
If you’re looking into the best terrarium or tanks for your pet lizards, we recommend this Exo Terra Natural Glass Terrarium from Amazon.
8. Pet lizards are not noisy.
Not all residences are fond of pets, particularly apartment complexes where different types of people reside. Unruly pets are a common cause of neighbor-related conflicts. Some people do not appreciate the barking or yowling. Others are more concerned with the ruckus caused by overexcited pets.
You won’t have this problem with pet lizards. Lizards do not make any noise that might be a cause of concern among neighbors. They are quiet and solitary creatures who prefer to keep to themselves inside their tanks. You will never wake up to an energetic pet sniffing around your bed in the mornings. You won’t have to worry about noises disturbing you in the middle of the night. Lizards are the best kind of roommates; you can keep their tanks inside your room and sleep peacefully like a baby.
9. They always pay attention to you.
A lot of people are not aware of this, but lizards are just as attentive as cats and dogs. They are not cold-blooded except in the literal sense. Experts attest that pet lizards can be quite entertaining when they want to be. Like a lot of the more common pets at home, they are full of personality.
Lizards can recognize their owners by face and voice. When you enter the room, your pet lizard will always perk up at your presence. At times, they might even chase after you in the safe confines of their cages as you move around the room. Cheekier pet lizards might even seek your attention all on their own.
10. Pet lizards will teach you a lot as a pet owner and as a human.
Lizards are a constant source of learning. They are not uncommon pets, but they are also rare enough that a lot of people get curious about them. They have particular needs like a steady and regulated environment that some pets do not need. Their diet and lifestyle are also things of wonder that you, as a pet owner, can learn from.
Preparing to house a pet lizard in your home is a big challenge. But it is an excellent opportunity to learn more about how to care for both lizards in captivity and those in the wild.
You need to remember that lizards are critical members of the ecosystem and caring for them goes beyond the relationship of a pet owner and a pet. Introducing a pet lizard into your life is an excellent way to contribute in a small way to the preservation and conservation of these species.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are lizards good pets?
Yes, lizards are good pets because they are low maintenance and do not require plenty of space. Lizards only require special lighting, good nutrition, and the right care. It is fun and engaging to take care of and is perfect for children because of how it is affectionate to humans.
What kind of lizards makes the best pets?
Lizards are awesome pets to take care of because they are easy to sustain. The best kinds of lizards to consider are Bearded Dragons, Crested Geckos, Anoles, Chinese Water Dragon, African Fat Tail Geckos, Chameleon, Day Geckos, and the Leopard Geckos.
What is a good beginner lizard pet?
If you are looking into getting a lizard as your first pet here are some that you might consider: Blue-Tongued Skink, Leopard Gecko, Uromastyx, Crested Gecko, and Bearded Dragon. These lizards are easy to maintain, friendly, and docile.
How much does it cost to have a pet lizard?
A pet lizard costs around $15 to $150. An exotic breed, on one hand, can cost as much as $600. A lizard will need food, a cage, and veterinary care. Lizard food is around $100 per month, still depends on the type of food and the size of your lizard. A cage may cost around $100 including lighting. Lastly, veterinary visits can cost around at least $35 per visit.
Do lizards like to be held?
Lizards like to be held. They are affectionate animals and they enjoy human interaction as much. There are specific types of lizards, like the Bearded Dragons which can stay on your lap for hours.
What’s the friendliest lizard for a pet?
The friendliest lizard is said to be the Bearded Dragon. This type of lizard enjoys having the attention and interacting with humans.
Can pet lizards show affection?
As much as lizards enjoy human interaction and affection, unlike other pets, they have limited ways of showing affection. Even so, what matters is the bond you have with your pet lizard.
Are pet lizards easy to take care of?
Yes, pet lizards do not require much space and maintenance. Their foods can be easily sourced from pet shops and you don’t need to attend to them all day.
What reptiles like to be handled?
There are several reptiles who like being handled. These reptiles are Leopard Geckos, Snakes, Blue-Tongued Skink, Bearded Dragons, and Green Iguanas.
What are the common health problems of pet lizards?
One of the most common health problems of pet lizards is metabolic bone disorder. Without proper dietary care, lizards can experience calcium deficiency. Bacterial growth can also facilitate fungal infections for lizards resulting in weak and damaged skin. Lizards and other reptiles are also prone to external parasites.
Patricia is a bonafide lover of both cats and dogs. She’s a proud fur mom to three hyperactive but sweet dogs. In addition to her loving dogs, she wants to have a cat (or three) in the near future. She’s a fresh graduate from university and is currently working as a freelance writer. In her spare time, Patricia relaxes by making creative spreads in her art journal or by drinking tea and reading a book.