A Guide to Owning a Lizard
With so many lizard species to choose from, there is a perfect pet out there for everyone — from those who prefer the sociable, laidback type to those who like a lizard with a little attitude!
Beyond personality, there are other practical issues to consider when choosing a pet lizard. Size is a big consideration, as most lizards require at minimum a 30-gallon tank. Cost is another, as lizard maintenance and dietary needs can add up.
Popular Pet Lizards
Popular types of pet lizards tend to be the smaller, friendlier breeds. Bearded dragons, for example, are known to be gentle and great with children, yet still have an exotic look. Chameleons, on the other hand, are great to look at but are more skittish and don't enjoy being handled.
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Buying Pet Lizards
Lizards are readily available from pet stores and breeders. It's easier than it ever has been to find even the most exotic lizards for sale, but you'll want to make sure you're dealing with a reputable seller. Look into their record with previous sellers, and talk with them about the breed to make sure they are knowledgeable and passionate about lizards in general.
You'll also want to ensure the lizard you're buying is healthy. If you're buying from a pet store or breeder, ask for at minimum a two-week health guarantee. If it's a private sale, inspect the lizard closely for signs of ill health such as skin wounds or discoloration, cloudy eyes and general lethargy.
What You'll Need Before You Buy
First of all, you'll have to look into lizard cages. Most lizards are fine in an aquarium, but others will do better in a wire reptile cage. Heating and cooling mechanisms must also be considered in the cage purchase, as most lizards require a controlled climate. Finally, depending on the type of lizard, you may also need an outdoor cage so your pet can get adequate natural daylight.
Lizard food is another important consideration. Many lizards have complex diets, and neglecting their health needs can lead to sickness and even death. Talk to your local pet store owner or research the diet of your lizard breed online so you can be ready when you get your lizard.
Finally, the most important thing you'll need before you buy a lizard is commitment. A pet lizard can be a lot of work, and with an average lifespan of 10 years or more, your lizard is going to be around for a long time. Be sure you're ready to give it proper care before you buy.