Lizards make entertaining, slightly unusual and low-maintenance pets.
Even though not all the vast range of lizards can be kept as pets, there are still many types to choose from and research is advised before a prospective keeper makes their selection.
A few points to get you started:
- Lizards are best obtained when young. Adult lizards, particularly the larger ones, develop their own characters and can be unsociable. As a large lizard can be six feet long and quite strong, it makes sense to have one that is used to having people around. The easiest way to ensure this is to train one yourself from young and get it used to feeding and cleaning routines, being handled, etc.
- Lizard cages usually need to have some height as most lizards enjoy climbing, and the larger the cage, or terrarium, then the better. A larger space, with different shelters and more than one feeding area also reduces the likelihood of squabbles between individual lizards.
- Most lizards are territorial, even small geckos, and male lizards are usually highly competitive and aggressive with each other about food, shelter and females. A sensible arrangement for housing more than one smaller lizard, relevant to most types, is to start with one male and two females. Aside from the size constraints, most large lizards are solitary animals and are kept as single pets.
- Lizards are generally very clean pets and usually but not always odour-free. Their food is often live insects or baby mice, but there are significant variations and some are plant-eaters.
- Most lizards need to be kept in a warm environment, often akin to a desert climate so heating, usually spotlights plus underlying heater pads, will be required.
Make sure your research includes breeding characteristics, which do vary so that you can decide from the outset how best to keep these fascinating creatures.