11 Best Beginner Friendly Pet Reptiles & Basic Profiles

When you have a plethora of options to choose from, it’s always not easy to make a decision without relying on the opinions of friends, family members and experts in the field. Hence, “Best Beginner Friendly Pet Reptiles” is an article designed to help you make a seamless decision on what pet to get.

Reptiles are a unique animal choice that you can keep as a pet as it is fairly easy to care for them and doesn’t need much attention. Furthermore, they are available in different sizes and shapes, making it easy to choose one that suits you and your family’s needs.

Reptiles are also a fantastic pet that beginner hobbyists can keep as a pet. However, you will need to choose a reptile that you understand their characteristics, temperament, and care to make the experience easy and rewarding.

Although reptiles are cold-blooded, they will surely warm your heart with their unique characteristics and fascinating characteristics. In this article, we have helped highlight some of the best reptiles that beginner’s hobbyists can keep as a pet.

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

Things To Consider Before Buying A Reptile

Here are some of the things that beginner hobbyists need to consider before choosing a reptile as a pet.

The Size Of The Reptile

As a beginner hobbyist, you need to know how big a reptile can grow and what you plan to do when they reach adult size. This is because some reptiles can grow very long after maturity. 

For instance, a Burmese python can grow to about 5 feet in 5 months and will reach 18 feet at maturity. It is best for beginner hobbyists to go for a small size reptile because they don’t need a big cage, and it will be easy to handle them.

Whether It Is Legal To Keep A Pet In Where You Live

There are some reptiles that you cannot keep as a pet in a certain area. For instance, some reptiles considered dangerous, like venomous snakes, are illegal, while you can keep some reptiles.

As a beginner, you should first determine whether it is legal to keep a reptile in your area before you even think of getting one.

Who Is Going To Care For Your Reptile?

As a pet owner, you may want to involve your family and friends in caring for your reptile if you’re going to travel. This is because your reptile will do better if you leave it at home to be cared for by your friends when you travel for long.

Health Risk

As a beginner hobbyist, you need to consider the human health risk before housing a reptile. This is because many reptiles usually carry salmonella bacteria that can affect the health of people. You need to follow good hygiene when handling a reptile.

Furthermore, you need to supervise and teach your kids good cleanliness practices around pets because they have a higher risk of infection.

Your Budget

The prices of reptiles usually vary based on the species, age, morphs, and so on. Furthermore, supplies for housing and care are usually more expensive than even the reptile itself. Some reptiles also need special care, which will add to the price of caring for the reptile.

You will also need to prepare for vet care and feed. This is why it is best for beginner hobbyists to go for a reptile that will match their budget.

Housing Needs (Habitat/Husbandry)

Reptiles need an escape-proof cage and should have enough space to move around. As a beginner hobbyist, you need to ensure that you buy an enclosure that is not too small. This is because you will need to consider factors like routine maintenance, cleaning, sanitizing, etc.

Furthermore, a cage may fit the animal when you buy it, but the reptile may grow past the cage during adulthood. Keeping a reptile in a small cage can cause stress to the reptile and lead to illness and behavioral problems.

Amount Of Care

As a beginner hobbyist, you need a reptile that is very easy to care for and does not need special care. 

This is because you will need to commit your time and energy to monitor a reptile that needs special care and be prepared for emergencies such as malnutrition, equipment failure, stress, and other difficulties.

You will also need to find someone knowledgeable about the reptile to help take care of it when you are away.

Handling

Generally, reptiles are not a suitable pet if you want a reptile that you can handle a lot. However, different reptile species can tolerate a different amount of handling. It is best if you opt for a reptile that can tolerate handling as a beginner hobbyist.

Best Beginner Friendly Pet Reptiles

Here are some of the best reptiles that you can keep as a pet as a beginner hobbyist.

Best Beginner Friendly Pet ReptilesSizeCost
Bearded dragon1-2 feet$40-$900
Leopard gecko7-10 inches$30-$75
Water dragon2-3 feet$50
Corn snake5 feet$20-$200
Russian tortoise8-10 inches$200-$400
Iguanas5-7 feet$20-$599
Ball python4-5 feet$40-$80
Kingsnake4-5 feet$50-$200
Merauke blue-tongue skink26-30 inches$150-$279
Crested gecko4-5 inches$50-$100
Eastern box turtles4.5-6 inches $140-$360
Size and price comparison chart of best beginner friendly pet reptiles
best Beginner Friendly Pet Reptiles
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are among the most popular reptiles that you can keep as a pet. They have vibrant personalities, and it is very easy to care for them. Furthermore, they have a docile temperament which makes them a perfect pet for beginner hobbyists.

You will find bearded dragon behavior interesting and entertaining as they can lift their front legs and wave. Beardies can grow to about 1-2 feet in length and live for about 10-15 years under optimal care.

Another thing is that you can easily handle bearded dragons, especially if they are raised in captivity their whole lives.

Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are cute little reptiles popularly known for their smiling faces and bright eyes. They are a suitable reptile for beginners because it is very easy to set up their enclosure and easy to care for them. 

Furthermore, they are not demanding and need a simple heat mat to keep them healthy. They usually grow to around 7-10 inches in length and can stay comfortably in a 20-gallon tank.

Leopard geckos also have a docile temperament which makes them suitable for ages. Furthermore, they love handling sessions, and they rarely bite. Leopard geckos have a long lifespan and can live from 10-20 years under optimal care.

Water Dragon

Water dragons are also called Asian or Green water dragons. They originate from Asia, and you will find them close to creeks, small bodies of freshwater, and ponds

Unlike Iguanas, water dragons are a perfect pet for beginner hobbyists as they are less aggressive and even much smaller in size. Water dragons can grow to about 2-3 feet in length. 

They love lounging in tree branches above water and will dive into the water and stay underneath for some minutes when threatened. Furthermore, they will make a beautiful and docile pet, but you will need time to tame and build up their trust.

Water dragons are considered highly friendly pets, and they need regular handling to help prevent them from getting aggressive. They can also live for about 10-20 years under optimal care.

Corn Snake and Water Dragon

Corn Snake

Corn snakes originate from the United States and are available in a wide range of stunning morphs. They are suitable for beginners and children due to their mild temperament, and it is very easy to care for them. 

You can identify them by their unique patterns and relatively thin body. Although corn snakes can grow to about 5 feet long, you can easily keep them in a 30-gallon tank. However, it is preferred to keep them in a 40-gallon tank. 

Furthermore, it is very easy to set up their tank, and you will need a source of UV light if the snake cannot receive a natural source of daylight.

Corn snakes have a long lifespan and can live for about 15-20 years in captivity. Another thing is that you can feed your adult corn snakes once a week, and they will stay healthy. This means you can easily travel for the weekends without even worrying that you neglect your snake.

Russian Tortoise

The Russian tortoise is a small-sized tortoise that originates from Central Asia. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists due to their low maintenance and long lifespan. You can easily identify them by their four toes.

Although Russian tortoises can be quite feisty, they are more interactive than most tortoise breeds. Furthermore, they are very hardy reptiles and can survive under extreme temperatures. They can grow to about 8-10 inches long and live for around 50 years under optimal care.

Furthermore, Russian tortoises are suitable reptiles that you can keep as pets as they don’t have water requirements like other reptile pets because they get most of their water from their food. 

The best thing is that you can keep them in around 5 square feet enclosure with a mixed substrate without any issue.

Iguanas and Russian tortoise
Iguanas and Russian tortoise

Iguanas

Iguanas are common reptiles that can be kept as a pet and they originate from Central and South America. Although they are lazy reptiles and have a docile temperament, they are known to be quite aggressive.

They are suitable for beginner hobbyists if you are ready to take special care because they need specific housing and food. They can also grow quite large to about 5-7 feet long. Furthermore, you will need to be patient with them because they can be difficult to tame.

However, they need regular handling because they can become aggressive if you don’t handle them. They have a long lifespan and can live for around 10-20 years under optimal care. 

Another thing about Iguanas is that feeding them is fairly simple because they are strictly herbivorous.

Ball Python

Ball pythons are also called Royal Pythons, and they are popularly known because of their ability to curl up into a ball. They are magnificent reptiles and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. 

This is why they are among the most popular pythons that are kept as pets. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists due to their relatively small size and docile temperament. They can grow to around 4-5 feet in length, and it is easy to care for them. 

Furthermore, ball pythons are considered to have a long lifespan and can live for about 30-40 years under optimal care. You will need a fairly large tank to keep your ball python. Furthermore, they love the handling, and adult snakes will eat a small rodent once a week.

King Snake and ball python
King Snake and ball python

King Snake

Kingsnakes are available in a wide range of species and are suitable for beginner snakes. They usually grow to about 4-5 feet long, and you will need a large enclosure to keep them. This is because they are very active reptiles and will use most of the space that you keep them.

You will find them interesting to watch when they are exploring their environment. Furthermore, king snakes are known to be good climbers, and you should ensure you have a snake clamp or put a sturdy weight on your snake’s tank to help prevent them from escaping.

Merauke Blue-Tongue Skink

blue tongue skink basking in the wild
A photo of blue tongue skink basking in the wild

Merauke blue-tongue skinks are also called the giant blue-tongue skink. They are considered the longest species of blue-tongue skink as they can grow to around 26-30 inches long. 

They are a suitable reptile for beginner hobbyists due to their docile temperament and love to be handled. Like conventional pets, you can even scratch them on the head or chin occasionally, and they love it. 

It is easy to care for the Merauke blue-tongue skink, and they have a highly adaptable diet. Furthermore, Merauke blue-tongue skinks are considered terrestrial reptiles, and you need to provide them with more floor space than climbing areas in their enclosure. 

They also have a long lifespan and can live for about 15-20 years under optimal care.

Crested Geckos

Crested geckos are a perfect pet for beginner hobbyists as they usually stay small, and it is very easy to care for them. Furthermore, they have a docile temperament but can be skittish when handled. 

They are also available in different morphs, which means you can choose one that suits your style. Crested geckos are commonly found in trees in their natural environment. This means you need to place branches and leaves in their enclosure. 

Crested geckos can grow to around 4-5 inches in length and live for about 15 years under optimal care.

Eastern Box Turtles and Crested Geckos
Eastern Box Turtles and Crested Geckos

Eastern Box Turtles

The eastern box turtle is a suitable reptile for beginners due to its long lifespan, and they don’t need special care. They can live in a wide range of climates which means they can easily adapt to your environment. 

Furthermore, they are omnivores, and you can easily feed them with leafy greens. Eastern box turtles don’t usually get large like most tortoises, as they only grow to around 4.5–6 inches long.

Another thing is that they require less maintenance and can live for more than 26 years under optimal care.

Wrapping Up

Reptiles are fascinating pets that beginners can keep as a pet. However, it is best to first know the personality and requirements of a reptile before choosing one. You should ensure you research extensively on them because they need proper care and commitment to stay healthy.

You will surely find reptiles a rewarding and unique pet no matter your choice.