While reptiles are often overlooked as pets, they can still make for wonderful companions given the right home. However, not all pet possibilities are created equal. If you are looking to bring a reptile into your home, we highly recommend doing your research and seeing what best fits into your home based on size, temperament, and care needs. After all, reptilia are an extremely varied group of animals. You certainly wouldn’t apply the same rules that go into caring for a snake to a turtle.
With this guide, we hope to give you an introduction to some commonly kept scaly friends, and the ability to make an informed decision on which one to keep.
These Australian native, desert-dwelling reptiles are known for their spiny, beard-like neck pouches and docile temperament. In fact, many people report that their beardies seem to enjoy being handled, and are occasionally even walked outside of their enclosure on a small harness.
Growing anywhere from 16 inches to over a foot, these reptiles thrive in tanks that are around 40-50 gallons. Unlike some of the other animals on this list, these reptiles are omnivores, and need a varied diet of insects and vegetation. Some can even eat small frozen rodents as a protein source.
Another desert-dwelling reptile from Australia, blue-tongue skinks are known for their contrasting stripes and large, brilliant blue tongue that they use for hunting. These are also among the more intelligent reptiles that you’ll see available as a pet, with many owners reporting that their pets may recognize and hold a preference for them.
These small, colorful, lively reptiles are found on every continent except Antarctica. That means that their climate requirements can vary from needing a mini tropical rainforest to arid desert. Of course, you want to do plenty of research on your gecko’s individual needs before seeking one out. Unlike the bearded dragon or the blue-tongue skink, most pet geckos grow to be around 8 or so inches. While geckos can be docile pets, most prefer minimal handling by their owners, and can be more easily stressed than some animals on this list.
Snakes that make good pets are a varied group of animals with dozens of options for owners of various experience levels. Regardless of your preference for appearance or temperament, there is likely a snake for you. While some snakes do certainly hold certain behavior quirks (such as hognose snakes “playing dead” or ball pythons for sale being picky eaters), most small to midsize constrictors available as pets will be docile, easy to handle animals that thrive under human care.
While all of the animals on this list can make excellent pets in the right hands, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” pet. Whether you are looking for a rare ball python for sale or a small, humble gecko, it is best to do your research on all of the nuances of their care. It is also advised that you set up a vivarium well in advance of receiving an animal to help make the transition to living in your home as seamless as possible.