Lizards As Pets
By Rajib Singha [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Out of a myriad varieties of lizard species, choosing the perfect one as your pet might become quite a tedious job. One best way to narrow down your search for the perfect lizard as pet, is to learn about the different characteristic features about these reptiles. Here is a quick guide to help in your choice for lizards as pets.
Lizards are found across all continents except Antarctica, and that is the reason why they can adapt to different environment and surroundings. As said earlier, they have numerous types of species ranging from the tiny Dwarf Gecko to the giant Komodo dragon. There are many factors that should be considered while choosing the types of lizards as pets. The size, temperament of the reptile and the amount of care it requires are among the many considerations you should make before making up your mind for keeping lizards as pets. Not all lizards make good pets, however there are some kinds which fit the bill for human interaction. Here are some important description of some of the different types of lizards which can be kept as pets.
Before coming to these types of lizards, let's have a quick look at the different facts about the life of these cold-blooded reptiles. Lizard Habitat
Lizards dwell in various places from deserts, temperate and rain forests, prairies, marshes and streams to subterranean burrows and rocky outcrops. Most lizards species are active during warm, daylight summer hours. When the mercury level is high, these reptiles remain inside burrows or underneath rocks. During winters they go into a hibernating mode and come out occasionally for feeding during warmer days. Lizard Food
Feeding is the most important aspect while raising any kind of pets. The diet of lizards vary with the species. Some love only insects and so are insectivores, while some are herbivores and consume only leaves. Some lizards are omnivores and feed on plants and animals and in case of some large carnivorous lizards, small animals and other lizards can also be included in their daily diet. These reptiles crush the food which they take in with the help of small rows of teeth on their upper and lower jaws, and with some set of teeth in the roof of their mouth. With a little bit of chewing, they can easily swallow their meal. Types of Lizards as Pets
It is always advisable to go for such species of lizards which are easy to handle and care. The following list gives a brief introduction about the common lizards which are perfect to be tamed as pets. Bearded Dragon Lizards as Pets
The bearded dragon has been a favorite choice among most hobbyists. These moderately-sized small lizards have the right temperament which is required in any pet; docile, social and easy to tame and handle. You can get any type of glass or plastic terrarium to accommodate your bearded dragon pet lizard. However, you might come across one challenge while raising these native reptiles of Australia. It is about meeting their nutritional and environment requirements, which are fairly complex in nature. However, if proper care is taken, keeping them as pets becomes an easy task. They are among the omnivorous types of lizards who feed on certain types of vegetables and also like insects in their diet. It is important to note that, the diet for these lizards must consist of 80% meat sources and 20% plants.
Meat food sources for your bearded dragon may include pinky mice (for adults) and insects such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms (in small quantity), king worms, earthworms and cockroaches. In case of plants, greens like escarole, kale, collards, bok choy, swiss chard, parsley, clover, alfalfa pellets, etc. Vegetables include broccoli, okra, peas, green beans, squash, zuccini, etc. You can also feed your pet with fruits like figs, kiwi, papaya, melon, apples, grapes, dates, etc.Horned Lizards as Pets
You can consider horned lizards as pets as they are social reptiles and blend well with other males of their kinds. They thrive well in captivity if they are happy with the space, environment and the food provided to them. Their favorite delicacy are live harvester ants. These ants provide these reptiles with formic acid which is necessary for their nutrition. An average horned lizard is known to feed on about 20 - 100 harvester ants a day. However, not all types of horned lizards may like to feed on these types of ants. Apart from ants, these lizards also feed on many other types of invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, beetles and spiders.Monitor Lizards as Pets
Deciding on monitor lizards as pets demands great commitment and are definitely not for beginners. Among these species, the common lizards as pets for sale are the Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) and the Savannah or Bosc’s Monitor (Varanus exanthematicus). The latter is usually preferred more by many hobbyists as managing the other types of monitors is a challenging task. Garden bugs, pinky mice, adult mice, rats and eggs are the common food sources of these giants. They also require minerals and vitamins supplements, and calcium supplements are a must for the juveniles.Blue Belly Lizards as Pets
If you are looking for lizards which are low-maintenance pets, then blue belly lizards fit the bill. Also known as western fence lizards or swifts, these lizards are active and fun to watch, provided they are given all the basic 'pleasures' they need; food and care. Make light arrangements for your blue belly so that they can enjoy the warmth in 80 - 95 degrees during day time and 75 - 80 at night. You can feed blue belly lizards, ants, spiders, crickets, waxworms and other harmless bugs.Lizards as Pets for Children
When it comes to kids, not all lizards can make good pets. Of all, leopard geckos, water dragons and bearded dragons are considered to be the best for keeping as pets for kids. Proper supervision is required by parents in order to teach their children about the various requirements and needs of these reptiles. Do not commit the mistake of bringing home just any small lizard for your kids without having proper information about its type and requirement. You may never know how large the animal might be, and also require a living area that you may not be able to provide.
Other types of pet lizards include blue tongued skinks, green anole lizards and uromastyx.
By far, small pet lizards are the right choice for any hobbyists, as they are low in maintenance and do not require much space. However, if they are meant for kids then, they may be easily hurt by them, if left unattended. So, as mentioned earlier, proper supervision and care is required for keeping lizards as pets.