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Choosing A Pet Lizard
December 1, 2022

Lizards are very beautiful and fascinating animals. While they will probably never be as popular as dogs and cats, they are gaining ground. There is a lot to be said for having a unique pet that’s pretty, quiet, and doesn’t need walks or training. However, there are some things to keep in mind when picking a lizard. A local Winchester, NV vet lists some of them below.


This is definitely something to consider. A baby iguana, for instance, may be small and adorable when you bring him home, but he won’t stay that way. Those guys can grow to be 6 feet long! Not only is size relevant as far as being able to hold and handle your tiny dinosaur, it also determines how much space they’ll need. Bigger lizards, like iguanas and tegus, may require a sizable enclosure or even their own rooms!


Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, so it’s important to know what you’re signing on for. Leopard and Crested geckos can both live up to 20 years, while a Bearded dragon can make it to 15. Many smaller lizards, however, such as green anoles, have shorter lifespans, and may only live a few years.


One thing that often becomes a dealbreaker when it comes to owning reptiles is the fact that many of them eat live bugs. If the thought of regularly buying things like crickets or roaches turns your stomach, a reptile may not be for you.

Environmental Needs

Many reptiles need very specific conditions, particularly for heat, light, and humidity. This will require both special equipment and careful monitoring. Some lizards, such as chameleons and Chinese water dragons, need a practiced eye and/or very customized care, and are best left to those with experience. However, several cute lizards are fine for beginners. These include Bearded dragons, Leopard geckos, and Crested geckos. Ask your vet for more information.


Although reptiles aren’t as charismatic as dogs and cats, some of them do have personalities. Others? Not so much. If you want a friendly, cuddly pet, a Bearded dragon may be a good option. If you’re more interested in a pretty lizard that’s interesting to watch, you may want a Red-eyed crocodile skink, Green basilisk. Gargoyle gecko, or Pygmy chameleon.

Our Advice on Choosing A Pet Lizard in 2024

What are the specific space requirements for different species of pet lizards?

The space requirements for pet lizards vary depending on their size. Larger lizards like iguanas and tegus need sizable enclosures, possibly even their own rooms. Smaller lizards, such as Leopard geckos and Crested geckos, can thrive in smaller setups. It’s crucial to consider the adult size of the lizard when planning their habitat to ensure they have enough room to move and exhibit natural behaviors. Consulting with a veterinarian can provide tailored advice based on the species of lizard you’re considering.

What are the initial and ongoing costs associated with owning different types of pet lizards?

The initial and ongoing costs of owning pet lizards vary based on factors like species, size, and specific needs. Larger lizards may require more expensive enclosures and heating equipment. Additionally, some lizards have dietary requirements that include live insects, which can incur ongoing expenses. Initial costs include purchasing the lizard itself, habitat setup, and necessary accessories. Ongoing costs encompass food, substrate, lighting, heating, veterinary care, and occasional replacements or upgrades of equipment. It’s essential for prospective lizard owners to research the specific needs of their chosen species and budget accordingly. Consulting with a veterinarian can provide personalized guidance on cost considerations.

How often do pet lizards typically require feeding, and what are the nutritional requirements for different species?

The feeding frequency and nutritional requirements of pet lizards vary among species. Generally, most lizards are fed every 1-3 days, with some larger species requiring less frequent but larger meals. Their diets often consist of live insects, vegetables, fruits, and occasionally commercial lizard food. However, specific nutritional needs depend on the lizard’s species, size, age, and health status. It’s crucial for lizard owners to research and provide a balanced diet tailored to their pet’s requirements, seeking guidance from a veterinarian for optimal nutrition.

What are the most common health issues that pet lizards can experience?

Pet lizards can encounter various health issues, including metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal problems, and dermatological issues like shedding difficulties or infections. Additionally, parasites such as mites or worms are common concerns. Proper husbandry, including maintaining appropriate temperature, humidity, and habitat cleanliness, is crucial for preventing these issues. Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect and address health issues early, ensuring the well-being of pet lizards.

How much time and attention do different species of pet lizards require from their owners on a daily or weekly basis?

The time and attention required for different species of pet lizards vary depending on their needs. Some lizards, like Bearded dragons and Leopard geckos, may require daily interaction, including feeding, handling, and monitoring their environment. Others, such as Crested geckos or Green anoles, may be more independent and require less frequent interaction. Regardless of the species, owners should allocate time for daily feeding, habitat maintenance, and periodic health checks. Additionally, handling and socialization can promote bonding and ensure the well-being of pet lizards.

Do you have questions or concerns about reptile care? Contact us, your Winchester, NV animal clinic, today!