When space, size and easy-care are top priorities for a pet lover, reptile lizards are the best bet. Reptiles are not just docile, adorable and easy to keep as pets but they can make great companion pets. Especially, for people that love small pets to interact with. That is why we have come up with the “Top 6 Best pet reptiles to raise” article just for you.
Unlike conventional pets like dogs or cats, reptiles have lower maintenance. This is why reptiles are a perfect pet for enthusiasts that are seeking a pet that is unique and easy to care for. Furthermore, reptiles are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, patterns.
Apart from their stunning appearance, reptiles have other perks which make keeping them fascinating. However, each reptile has different care requirements, and it is best to choose one that suits your lifestyle.
Due to the wide range of reptiles, it may be hard to decide exactly the type of reptile you want. In this post, we will help highlight some of the best reptiles that will make a great pet to help you make your decision.
So, if you are new to reptiles or you love reptile lizards but are confused on which species to get as a pet, this article is for you. Keep in mind that our list of Top 5 pet reptiles is based on these factors – “personality, price, easy to raise and long lifespan”
Let’s get into the article in detail.
- What Are Reptiles?
- Top 6 Best Pet Reptiles To Raise
- Some Unique Traits About Reptiles
- Fun Facts
- Final Thoughts
What Are Reptiles?
Reptiles are classes of animals that comprise snakes, crocodiles, turtles, lizards, and tortoises. Reptiles can be classified into four groups, namely, Squamata (lizards and snakes), crocodilian (crocodile and alligators), Testudines (turtles), and Sphenodontia (tuataras).
Squamata has the largest number of reptiles, with about 9,200 species identified, and Sphenodontia is the lowest with two species. They have an air-breathing vertebrate covered in special skin, which is made of bony plates, scales, or both.
Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures and cannot maintain a constant internal body temperature. Their metabolism usually depends on their environment’s temperature. Furthermore, their body is not covered with furs or feathers for insulation which means they cannot stay warm on a cold day.
They also do not have sweat glands and cannot cool off on a hot day. This is why they move into a shade or the sun as their body needs. Temperature is also important for reptile production.
Furthermore, most reptiles lay their eggs in a simple nest and leave, but boas and pythons give birth to their young ones.
Top 6 Best Pet Reptiles To Raise
There are lots of reptile species that are suitable as pets. However, in this section, we will highlight six reptiles that will make a great pet. They are russian tortoises, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, corn snakes, ball pythons, and blue tongue skinks.
These six species have docile temperaments. You can handle them, and it is quite easy to care for them.
|Russian Tortoises||8-10 inches||Olive and tan shell with dark markings.||Around 50 years||$100-$200|
|Bearded Dragon||12-24 inches||Folds of skin under their chin that puffs out like a beard.||10-15 years||$30-$60|
|Leopard Geckos||12 inches||Patterns of dark brown spots that look like a leopard.||15 years||$20-$40|
|Corn Snake||36-48 inches||Orange or brownish-yellow color with a large red blotches pattern.||6-8 years||$20-$200|
|Ball Python||42-48 inches||Black or dark brown with light brown blotches on their back and sides.||40 years||$40-$549|
|Blue Tongued Skink||20 inches||Silvery grey to brown color with blue tongue.||20 years||$150-$250|
Russian tortoises are among the most popular tortoise species in the United States. They are a hardy tortoise species that originate from the grasslands and desert of Russia, Asia, and the Middle East.
Many hobbyists believe they are a better tortoise choice than red-eared sliders due to their maintenance requirement and their level of interaction with humans. Russian tortoises have a distinct appearance characterized by the olive and tan shell with dark markings.
Russian tortoises are relatively small tortoise species growing to about 8-10 inches long and can live for around 50 years. Unlike other reptile pets, they don’t have water requirements as they get most of their moisture content from their food.
Furthermore, Russian tortoises are suitable for beginner hobbyists as they can adapt to temperature fluctuations. However, it is best to house them outdoors in a warm climate and provide them with a substrate that they can burrow into.
They are herbivorous animals and love eating leafy greens, weeds, and vegetables. You also need to keep in mind that Russian tortoises do not usually enjoy being handled as it stresses them.
However, adult Russian tortoises can get more tolerant to handling but should be kept to a minimum. You can get a common Russian tortoise between $100-$200 but will pay more for unique breeds.
Bearded dragons are popular, active, and easy-to-care-for lizards. Many consider them to be one of the best reptiles that you can keep as a pet. Beardies originate from Australia and are popularly known for their mode of communication with each other.
Bearded dragons have a unique appearance characterized by the folds of skin under their chin which puffs out like a beard. They have a friendly temperament and can grow to about 12-24 inches long. Furthermore, they can live for about 10-15 years in captivity.
Bearded dragons are suitable for beginner owners as they are very sociable, calm, non-aggressive, easy to feed and care for. Furthermore, they are diurnal species, and they enjoy interacting with their owners during the day.
They are also omnivorous creatures, and you can feed them with fruits and insects. Bearded dragons will make a perfect addition to your family. You can get common beardies for about $30-$60 based on their size.
Leopard geckos are among the cutest reptiles out there. They are a popular reptile species and are considered a suitable pet for beginner herpetologists. You will be mesmerized by their chubby bellies, big eyes, and their smiling face.
Leopard geckos are characterized by a pattern of dark brown spots, which makes them look like a leopard. Furthermore, leopard geckos have a docile temperament, don’t bite, and it is easy to care for them. They are vocal creatures and will vocalize when they are hungry.
This means they are not suitable for you if you are looking for a noisy pet. Leopard geckos are insectivorous animals and cannot eat plants or vegetables. Furthermore, you will need to provide them with calcium supplements to stay healthy.
Unlike other gecko species, leopard geckos don’t have sticky toes and do not like climbing. Leos are nocturnal creatures and usually grow to about 12 inches long. They can also live for 15 years under optimal care.
Leopard geckos usually cost around $20-$40, while rarer morphs are quite expensive.
Corn snakes, also called rat snakes, originate from North America. They are popularly kept as pets because of their docile nature, small size, and lovely patterns. Furthermore, corn snakes are active and social snakes when compared to ball pythons.
They are suitable for beginner hobbyists due to their size (36-48 inches), and you will find them in a wide range of morphs. They can also live for 6-8 years on average, but some species can even live up to their 20s. Furthermore, it is easy to care for them, and they can be handled regularly.
Corn snakes are a perfect snake choice if you have kids around, as they rarely bite. Corn snakes love climbing, and you will need to place branches and foliage in their enclosure. Apart from climbing, they also use their time to hide and burrow.
Due to their curiosity, corn snakes are escape artists, and you will need to ensure their tanks are secured. Corn snakes feed on rodents, and you only need to feed them once every 7-10 days. Common corn snakes can cost you around $20-$50, while rare morphs can be around $150-$200.
Ball pythons, also called royal python, are python species that originate from the grasslands, open forests, and shrublands in West and Central Africa. They are called ball pythons due to their tendency to curl into a ball when threatened.
Ball pythons are among the most popular pet pythons in the world due to their stunning appearance, and you will find them in different colors and patterns. Furthermore, they are relatively small in size (about 42-48 inches long) and have docile temperaments.
They are a perfect pet snake for beginner hobbyists as it is quite easy to care for them, and they rarely bite. Many also consider them to be the longest living snakes as they can live for about 40 years in captivity.
Although they are small in size, they are different from other pet snakes as they grow wider and girthy. Unlike corn snakes, ball pythons are shy and prefer hiding under rocks and logs in their enclosure. However, they are happy to be handled, and you should be ready to feed them with a small rodent once a week.
You can buy common ball pythons for about $40-$80. However, rare morphs are quite pricey and can cost about $549 or more.
Blue Tongue Skink
Blue tongued skinks are large lizard species that originate from Australia. Although they are a heavy lizard species, they usually grow to about 20 inches long. As their name implies, you can easily identify blue tongue skinks by their bright blue tongue.
Blue tongued skinks are friendly and docile lizards which makes them suitable for beginner hobbyists. Furthermore, they are quiet lizards, and you can easily tame them. They also love to be handled, and you can even scratch them on the chin or head occasionally.
Blue tongued skinks can bite when they feel threatened. However, they have a strong bite, and you should always supervise your kids when handling them. Blue tongued skinks can live up to 20 years under optimal care.
You can buy this skink for about $150-$250, but you should be ready to pay thousands of dollars for rarer morphs.
Some Unique Traits About Reptiles
Some unique traits about reptiles are listed below.
They Are Ectothermic (Cold-Blooded)
Reptiles are considered cold-blooded animals because they don’t have the means of regulating their body temperatures by themselves. However, they depend on their external environment for lowering or raising their temperature.
During warm periods, reptiles usually look for shade, soak in water, and stay in cooler areas to help lower and regulate their temperature. However, during cold periods, they usually bask in the sun to help raise their body temperature.
Furthermore, the metabolism of a reptile depends on the temperature of the reptile. Reptiles are usually more active, and their metabolism increases when they are warm and vice versa.
Reptiles Have Dry And Scaly Skin
Unlike amphibians, reptiles possess dry and scaly skin. Furthermore, some reptiles, like snakes, usually have pronounced scales, while other reptiles possess flesh covered in small horns or warts. These tough skin helps to protect reptiles from injury and also prevent moisture loss in arid areas.
Reptile’s skin has extra toughness because it is completely covered by keratin. Furthermore, the reptile’s skin does not have hair or oil-producing follicles.
Reptiles Have A Four-Chambered Heart
Unlike amphibians, the reptile’s heart is similar to that of mammals. Their heart is divided into four chambers, and each chamber functions like that of mammals (keeping oxygenated and deoxygenated blood separate).
Most Reptiles Lay Eggs
Most reptiles lay eggs, and once they hatch, they are fully formed and ready to start life on their own. However, some reptiles like crocodiles and some snakes guard their nest but will not care for the young.
Female reptiles just lay their nest and leave. Some reptiles can bear their young ones alive.
Reptiles Don’t Need Much Food Like Mammals.
Since reptiles are cold-blooded animals, they eat around 30 times less than warm-blooded animals and birds. Furthermore, most reptiles are carnivorous animals and feed on small insects and other animals. However, few of them are herbivorous and feed on plants.
- Although lizards cannot feel warmth or cold, their speed and movements are usually affected by the temperature in their environment.
- Reptiles can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
- Reptiles like turtles have lungs attached to the inside of their shell’s top.
- Female green sea turtles don’t breathe while they are walking on land. They only breathe when they rest or wait until they are in the nest.
- Reptiles have watertight skin, which means water does not penetrate their scales, and their skin does not get soggy.
- Most reptiles can see different colors, unlike most mammals.
- Some reptiles living in desert climates have secondary bladders used for storing water for some months.
- Reptiles do not masticate on their prey but swallow them whole
- Crocodiles can go up to half a year without eating whenever necessary.
- Reptiles can live in freshwater, terrestrial, or marine habitats.
What is the most friendly pet reptile?
All the 5 reptile lizards (bearded dragons, geckos, chameleons, blue tongue skinks, and iguanas) discussed in this article appear to be friendly. They are yielding and easy to domesticate. These lizards also do enjoy some bonding time with their owners. Therefore, you can walk down the park with your pet or do some other activities like watch your favorite tv show with your pet.
What is the best reptile pet to start with?
Many keepers would say that the best reptile lizard to start with is a bearded dragon. Their reasons may be because bearded dragons are hardy lizards that hardly get sick. Moreover, while this is true, leopard geckos for the past years have grown to be the best starter reptile lizard. They are easy to maintain, require less supervision, have a long lifespan, are docile and friendly.
What is the easiest reptile to own?
Going by how easy it is to maintain, leopard geckos are the easiest to maintain reptile lizards.
What is the difference between reptiles and amphibians?
The major difference between reptiles and amphibians is that amphibians can breathe using both their lungs and gills but reptiles only breathe through their lungs. Furthermore, amphibians usually exhibit external fertilization, while reptiles exhibit internal fertilization during reproduction.
What is the easiest reptile to keep as a pet?
Although most reptiles require special care, keeping them as a pet is quite easy if you are ready to put in the time. Some of the easiest reptiles that you can keep as a pet are ball Python, bearded dragon, corn snakes, leopard gecko, Russian tortoise, red-eared sliders, and Crested gecko.
Reptiles are fascinating and awesome creatures that you can keep as a pet. However, before choosing a reptile as a pet, it is best to learn about its requirements and personality to help ensure it is a perfect fit for you. No matter what you decide, you will see that reptiles are interesting and rewarding pets.
You can use the comment section below to share any information if you have raised one out of the six reptiles stated in the article. We will also like to know which one you choose if you have not raised a reptile before.