Lizards can make good pets for the right owner who is willing to provide the proper care and attention they need. However, it’s important to do your research before getting a lizard as a pet, as different species have different needs and requirements.
Some lizards, such as bearded dragons and leopard geckos, are commonly kept as pets and can be good options for first-time lizard owners. They are relatively easy to care for and can be quite docile with regular handling. Other species, like iguanas or chameleons, may require more specialized care and can be more challenging to keep as pets.
It’s also important to consider the space requirements for the species you are interested in. Some lizards, such as iguanas, can grow quite large and need a lot of space to move around. Additionally, they may require specific types of lighting and heating to thrive.
Overall, if you are willing to put in the effort to learn about your chosen species and provide them with the proper care, lizards can make interesting and rewarding pets. However, they are not necessarily a good fit for everyone and it’s important to carefully consider your own abilities and lifestyle before getting a lizard as a pet.
5 Good Lizard Pets
The Leopard Gecko
Eublepharis macularius, is probably the most popular pet reptile in captivity today. These small lizards are available in a variety of pleasing colors and patterns. Their care requirements are very simple, and they are generally docile and easily tamed. Because they are nocturnal, they have no special lighting requirements. Babies must be fed daily, but adults can be fed every other day and left alone for a few days at a time without issue. These hardy, long-lived little lizards make an ideal first reptilian pet. Lifespan: 15-20+ years. Size: 7-10”
The Red Ackie
Varanus acanthuras, or the “ackie” as it is more commonly called, is also known as the ridge-tailed lizard and spiny-tailed lizard. This small monitor is a true dwarf and is an ideal captive with very straightforward care requirements. Beautifully colored and with the look of little dragons, these active lizards are fun to watch and care for. Ackies can be held daily and usually tame very well. Ackies can be fed every other day and will accept a variety of foods including crickets and pinky mice. Lifespan: 10+ years. Size: 16-26”
“Beardies” as they are affectionately known, are a great first pet lizard. Their docile demeanor, relatively small size, and straightforward care requirements have earned them a high rank on the best pet list. Bearded dragons are active during the day and make great display animals. Their trusting laid back nature allows for easy handling and a great introduction to reptiles even for those who are hesitant or afraid of snakes and lizards. Lifespan: 8-10 years. Size: 14-24”
The Crested Gecko
Rhacodactylus ciliatus, is gaining popularity in the pet trade, for good reason. So called “cresties” have some of the easiest care requirements of any lizard. They need no special heating or lighting; in fact, temperatures above 80 degrees F will stress them. They can be fed simple, packaged, fruit-based powders mixed with water; meaning no insects or difficult diets to worry about. Crested geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns, from stripes to spots to everything in between. They are handleable and can be easily tamed but are small and more delicate than the larger lizards. They are prone to the accidental loss of their tails which will not harm them but will not regrow. Lifespan: 5-15 years. Size: 5-8”
Argentine Black and White Tegu
Tupinambis merianae, is the largest lizard on this list. It is important to note that adult tegus require more space than the average owner is willing to provide, but if that isn’t an issue for you then a tegu might be a great choice as a pet lizard. Tegus are one of the smartest reptiles, able to learn simple tricks and to respond to the sound of their names. Typically calm, tegus properly socialized from a young age can learn to walk on a harness and be handled with great frequency. Lifespan: 15+ years. Size: 3-4.5 feet.
Related Articles & Free Email Newsletter Sign Up
5 Fun Facts About Crested Geckos
6 Fun Facts About Red Eared Slider Turtles
How to Choose Your First Pet Lizard