Most people don’t think of reptiles as ideal pets, but that’s probably because they haven’t met the right reptile yet! In fact, some species are so easy to care for and make such great companions that they can actually be better than dogs or cats when it comes to being your best friend. While you might not want to pick up snakes and iguanas at the local pet store when looking for your new friend, there are plenty of other species of reptiles that make excellent pets! Learn about 10 reptiles that make great pets here.
1) Corn Snake
The corn snake is typically one of the smaller snakes, maxing out at only 4 feet. They tend to be more docile than other types of snakes which makes them a better option for younger kids. Corn snakes have some beautiful patterns and coloration on their skin with no shortage of variety to suit every taste. They are also pretty easy to care for. Check out this video guide on how to take care of your corn snake!
2) Ball Python
The ball python is one of the most popular snakes in the world. They are docile and easy to handle, making them a great snake for beginning snake owners. Ball pythons are active during the day, meaning they need access to a lot of light and constant heat sources. While they can live up to 25 years in captivity, not many people realize that it is illegal to own one as a pet in many states due to their status as an invasive species in Florida.
3) Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons are great for children who enjoy interactive pets. They are considered to be the easiest reptiles to care for. You will need a sturdy vivarium, heat lamp, and UVB lamp with a reflector on the top of the cage. Feed them crickets, mealworms, and various fresh vegetables such as cabbage and carrots. Change the substrate every day for bedding or every other day if using paper towels or reptile carpet which is sold separately at pet stores.
4) Leopard Gecko
Leopard Gecko – The Leopard Gecko can be the right fit for you if you want a pet that’s relatively easy to care for. They are active during the day, are nocturnal and make excellent display animals with their brilliant patterns. They do need a healthy diet of live crickets and mealworms, but they rarely get sick or require any serious veterinary intervention.
5) Water Dragon
If you are looking for a small and easy-to-handle reptile that doesn’t smell, you may want to consider the water dragon. One of the smaller lizards that make for good pets, these amphibians can be quite interactive. Feeding them can give you the opportunity to get some exercise and have a bonding moment with your pet! For example, it’s not too tough to train them to do tricks on cue or hold food in their mouth.
6) Red-Tail Boa Constrictor
The red-tail boa constrictor is a good choice for someone who wants to have a snake as a pet. It’s one of the more docile snakes, but it’s still important to know what you’re getting into. You need to be prepared with feeding and heating requirements, knowledge of shedding cycles, and take care not to handle them too much. Once you get all that under control, though, the red-tail boa constrictor can make for an excellent pet.
7) Sulcata Tortoise
The Sulcata Tortoise is a giant species of tortoise that can weigh up to 100 pounds, and grow up to four feet long. Because of its size, it needs a lot of space, so a pen should be at least 6’x4′. Their diet consists mostly of vegetables like lettuce, carrots, and spinach. This species also lives for an incredibly long time; on average they live over 100 years old!
8) Argentine Black and White Tegu
The Argentine black and white tegu is a large lizard that can grow up to 5 feet long. Tegu are native to the Amazonian rainforest, where they spend their days lazing in the sunshine. They are solitary creatures with excellent climbing skills, which makes them perfect for escaping uninvited guests. The Argentine black and white tegu is also able to vary its color depending on its surroundings, making it a challenging pet for predators to spot when looking up from below!
9) Russian Tortoise
If you’re looking for a species that’s easy to care for, the Russian Tortoise is a great option. They are very cold tolerant and can live outdoors in some climates, so you won’t need to keep them indoors all year long. And because they’re relatively small, they can be transported easily and don’t require an enormous enclosure like many other large pet reptiles. A solid substrate with drainage is key when caring for Russian Tortoises, but they will eat almost anything if kept in captivity long enough. They also get along well with most people and animals as well as other species of tortoise. Their lifespan can range from 50-100 years or more depending on how well cared for they are.
10) Gray’s Monitor Lizard
Gray’s Monitor Lizard: Gray’s Monitor Lizards are large, up to 60 inches in length. They need lots of space and tall enclosures, at least five feet tall. While they are large enough to be intimidating, they are relatively shy by nature. They feed primarily on invertebrates such as roaches, crickets, worms and grubs; but will also take food such as fruits and vegetables.