All Things Pets

The Best Reptiles To Buy As Pets

by Dean Oliver

Reptiles are incredibly interesting. They are cold-blooded, which means they cannot control their own internal temperature, and they are covered in scales, which makes them look pretty cool! Not all reptiles are easy to keep as pets, but the following options tend to work well for first-time owners and those with little experience.

Crested Geckos

If you are interested in owning a lizard, a crested gecko is a very good choice. They are also sometimes sold as eyelash geckos, as they have projections above their eyes that look like eyelashes. The species became popular after their rediscovery in the late 1990s. Crested geckos are about 8 inches long with 4-inch tails. They do not have eyelids, so you will often see them licking their eyeballs with their tongues; this is how they remove debris from their eyes and keep them moist.

Crested geckos are pretty easy to care for as far as lizards go. There are pelleted feeds made specifically for them, and you can supplement their diet with crickets and mealworms. They can live in a small aquarium with a heat lamp on one end, and they can live up to 20 years with good care.

Leopard Geckos

The leopard gecko is another small lizard that makes a good pet. It is named for the pattern of its skin, which resembles the spotted coat of a leopard. These lizards do have eyelids, so you will see them blink from time to time. In the wild, they live in shady areas, so they tend to like cages with some tunnels and hidden spaces where they can stow away, out of the light. They can get up to about 10 inches long and are nocturnal.

Leopard geckos do need somewhat larger habitats since they need a shady area, a well-lit area, and a heating element. They do best when fed live prey, such as crickets and mealworms, since the process of hunting their prey not only keeps them fed, but amused.

Ball Pythons

If you'd rather have a snake than a lizard, then a ball python is a good choice. They are considered to be good beginners' snakes because they are docile and enjoy being handled. These snakes get their name from the fact that they curl up into a ball when they are resting. Ball pythons can grow to about 5 feet long, so they need a large and secure enclosure. They can also live for up to 30 years, so make sure you're prepared for a long-term commitment before you buy one.

Ball pythons can eat live and dead rodents. They only need to be fed every one to two weeks, however. They require a shaded area and a warm area in their abode, and they like the air pretty humid, so you may need to add a humidifier to their tank, too.

Eastern Box Turtles

This is a good turtle for a beginner since it does not need an aquatic environment. Eastern box turtles can live in sealed aquariums with just a small pool of water for swimming and a heat lamp for warmth at one side of the cage. They like to burrow, so adding some sand and logs to their habitat will allow them to engage in this habit.

Eastern box turtles enjoy eating small snails and worms. They also feed on some greens, such as dandelions and carrot tops. There are pelleted turtle foods, but you will still have to supplement with fresh foods if you choose to feed them one of these formulas.

Keeping a reptile as a pet can be very rewarding. With the options above, you will have an easier time raising your pet and keeping it in good health.

To learn more, contact a resource that has reptiles for sale.