No matter if you are a skilled lizard owner or someone who wants to try their hand with these scaly friends, owning lizards can be a blast! With thousands of lizard species, each with their own personality, there is no wrong answer. But let’s take a look at the six best lizard pets to own, especially if you are looking to get your first lizard and need some help deciding.
The Best Lizard Pets
Before we start exploring the six best lizard pets to own, please keep in mind that every lizard is unique and will require different materials. Each lizard will have its own temperament and personality. Some lizards are outgoing and loved to be handled every day. Others are shy and prefer being in their cages.
You should also know that most lizards can live for a decade or two, so make sure your lizard fits your lifestyle and handling abilities. Think about your budget, available time and dedication towards the lizard. Always remember that the lizard depends on you to maintain its special requirements and proper care, including temperature, lighting and diet.
With that being said, here are the six best lizard pets to own, based on their care needs, cost, temperament and more; any of these picks should be amazing. You should be able to find many of these species at any pet store, including Allan’s Pet Center.
6. Fat-Tailed Gecko
The first lizard on our list the African fat-tailed gecko. These geckos are native to West Africa and have a stocky build with thick tails. Their colors range from dark brown to orange to tan.
Like leopard geckos (see below), African fat-tailed geckos are a good pick for beginners. They have easy care requirements and are friendly, gentle pets. These geckos are slow movers, making them ideal for children to handle.
Also like the leopard gecko, the African fat-tailed gecko’s diet consists of mealworms, silkworms or crickets. The food should be dusted with calcium or vitamin powder.
As a nocturnal lizard, African fat-tailed geckos like to hide and burrow in their substrate during the day. They usually require a small aquarium or terrarium to live in. Like most lizards, they need humidity and moisture. However, these lizards do not require a UVB light.
Adults get to about 14 inches, and they can live between 10 to 25 years.
5. Black and White Tegu
Our next lizard of choice is the Argentine black and white tegu. Native to South America, this burrowing species also like to hide to avoid extreme heat. Black and white tegus get their name from the black and white stripes on their bodies.
Tegus can live up to 15 to 20 years. Adult tegus can also get up to four or five feet in length, so make sure you have ample space for these growers.
Even though they do get big, tegus are known for being hardy, docile reptiles. Tegus can become quite attached to their owners. They are smart creatures that are easily handled. Some tegus can even be trained to walk on a harness.
The tegu diet does consist of mice or rats, along with crickets or mealworms, and some fruit, such as berries, mangos and apples. They should also be given calcium or vitamin powder. Their cage requires UVB lighting and substrate for burrowing.
4. Blue-Tongued Skink
Number four on the list is the blue-tongued skink. As you may have guessed, these Australian lizards have bright blue tongues, which help ward off predators. Their colors range from silver-gray to brown.
Like the other lizards on this list, the blue-tongued skin is a docile, quiet lizard that is easily tamed. They are not fast movers and prefer to burrow in substrate rather than climb. They are much like the bearded dragon (see below).
Blue-tongued skinks are omnivores, meaning they eat mostly fruits and vegetables with some meats, such as worms, crickets or mice. For their cage, these lizards bask in the heat. They also love having more than one hiding spot, so having a deep, large cage is best.
Adult blue-tongued skinks can get to about 20 inches in length. They can live up to 20 years.
3. Crested Gecko
The next best lizard pet to own is the crested gecko, or crestie. The crested gecko’s most prominent feature is its spiky eyelashes, which are spines that travel from the head to the tail.
Native to New Caledonia in the South Pacific, they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Crested geckos are shy and docile, but they can be easy to handle. However, they are a bit more delicate to handle than their larger lizard relatives, so keep a close eye on children interacting with these lizards.
Unlike the leopard gecko (see below), this gecko loves to jump and climb using its sticky toe pads, so provide a tall tank with lots of branches and foliage. They are nocturnal, so they don’t need special lighting. They also love warm, humid environments.
These geckos are on the smaller end of the scale; they can get up to about 10 inches in length. The crested gecko lives up to about 15 years.
2. Leopard Gecko
Number two on our list is the leopard gecko. The leopard gecko is a popular choice for most beginner lizard owners due to their slow, docile attitude and simple, low-maintenance care needs.
Leopard geckos come with a coat of dark spots, like a leopard cat. However, their colors range from yellow to white to orange.
Like some other lizards, they are nocturnal and like to burrow, meaning they don’t require special lighting.
These lizards’ diets consist of live insects, including crickets and mealworms, along with calcium or vitamin powder. They don’t eat vegetables or fruit.
Keep in mind that leopard geckos are known for breaking off their tails when threatened.
Adult leopard geckos can get up to a foot in length and can live between 10 to 20 years.
1. Bearded Dragon
Our number one pick for the best lizard pet to own is the bearded dragon, or beardies. These extremely popular, friendly, easy-to-care-for lizards are a great option for anyone.
Native to Australia, these lizards are known for their spiky skin folds found under the chin that creates a “beard.” Most beardies are brown or tan with red or gold highlights.
Bearded dragons are active and social during the day. They are gentle and easy to handle. They love daily interactions with their owners by crawling or sitting on their laps. This makes the bearded dragon an easy pick for children.
Keep in mind that bearded dragons do need UVB lighting and controlled heating. However, feel free to create an interactive cage with bridges, basking rocks, plants and more.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous, so they eat fresh fruits and insects, like crickets and worms, along with calcium or vitamin powder.
Adult bearded dragons can get up to two feet in length and can live up to 15 years.
Allan’s Pet Center
At Allan’s Pet Center, we have all types of lizards, exotic animals and more. We even carry live and frozen food, as well as all the pet care supplies you and your lizard will ever need. Our animal experts can address any questions or concerns you may have about owning a lizard.
Stop by today and get started on owning the best lizard pet there is.