Reptiles are a great pet option for owners looking for a more exotic companion to welcome into their home. However, they require quite a bit more preparation and knowledge than cats and dogs. While exotic pet care is not available at our hospital, our Riverbank veterinarians share the 7 best reptile pets for beginners and everything you should know before adopting them.
Like dogs, reptiles come in a very wide range of shapes and sizes, some breeds and species requiring far more care and attention than others. In this list, our vets at River Oak Veterinary Hospital considered only reptiles that require considerably less maintenance and upkeep. Despite this, it is important to recognize that no reptile is quite as easy to care for as a conventional cat or dog.
This is why it is very important to do your research before adopting a cute little reptile!
1. Leopard Gecko
A leopard gecko is a hardy and peaceful pet that is ideal for beginners. These spotted geckos are quiet and easy to care for, making them ideal household pets. Because they are nocturnal, if your family is active early in the morning or late at night, you will get to witness their peak activity!
2. Bearded Dragon
A Bearded can reach a length of 24 inches and live for more than a decade. They are one of the best reptiles for handling, as beardies enjoy being picked up. They eat a variety of foods such as crickets, worms, and vegetables.
3. Crested Gecko
Crested geckos are calm but interesting animals. The long crests on their bodies and eyes give them the appearance of cartoons. This kind of gecko is arboreal and requires a vertical habitat, making it an ideal pet for someone who may not have enough space for a standard horizontal enclosure.
Turtles can reach 11 inches in length and survive for more than 30 years. Turtles spend most of their life in water, have webbed feet, and are omnivores. A turtle's diet may include crickets, worms, goldfish, vegetables, and pellets.
5. Corn Snakes
Corn snakes spend most of their time hiding and digging, therefore they require a cage that allows them to do so. Because of their curiosity, they are excellent escape artists, so make sure their tank and lid are secure. These multicolored snakes make excellent pets because they are small and docile.
6. Water Dragons
You can spend more time appreciating them than caring for them if they have a proper and regulated habitat. Many people want to acquire iguanas but are put off by their size or violent behavior, so the water dragon is a wonderful compromise. They are significantly smaller and far friendlier, yet retain the same physical characteristics.
Tortoises are land-dwelling reptiles that can grow to be 12 inches long and live for more than 50 years if properly cared for. Tortoises have an ancient pedigree that can be traced back to the days of the dinosaurs, making them appear incredibly prehistoric. Unlike turtles, these guys are herbivores who prefer to live on land rather than in water.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets and River Oak Veterinary Hospital does not provide exotic pet care.