We’re Off To See The Lizards! Discovering The Wonderful World Of Pet Lizards

pet lizardsThey may not be as cute and cuddly as dogs or cats, but pet lizards are growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. These beautiful and intelligent reptiles can make wonderful additions to a family, provided they are cared for properly.

At Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates, we believe that doing your research ahead of time is extremely important when it comes to selecting and caring for a reptile of any kind. Our overview of these amazing creatures is a great way to get started!

The Amazing Lizard

Lizards come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and temperaments. Their size generally correlates to their life spans, with smaller lizards averaging about 3-5 years and larger varieties living up to 20 years in captivity.

Lizard movement is almost as varied as the lizards themselves. Climbing lizards use their muscular, wiry legs to climb and walk across anything and everything (even walls and ceilings) while ground lizards move across the ground with their shorter legs in a “swimming” motion.

A lizard’s tail is extremely important for movement and for orienting them directionally. Many lizards use their tails as a means of defense, while some naturally shed the tail as part of their growth pattern.

Most Popular Pet Lizards

  • Bearded dragon lizard – “Beardies” are medium-sized lizards (13-24 inches in length) that are native to Australia. Bearded dragon lizards are quite popular due to their hardiness, ease of care, and their toleration of daily handling. Some beardies even bond with and can become affectionate toward their owners.
  • Leopard gecko – Leopard geckos are beautifully patterned and small enough to fit in your hand when full grown. These gentle, low-maintenance lizards make excellent pet lizards for beginner or advanced reptile owners.
  • Blue-tongued skinks – These spectacular lizards are characterized by their cobalt blue tongues and can grow up to 24 inches in length.
  • Crested gecko – Crested geckos are docile and easy to care for, making them a good choice for a beginner. They are growing in popularity as a pet but, unlike beardies, should not be handled often due to their somewhat delicate nature.

Home Sweet Home

Proper housing is extremely important for the health and wellness of pet lizards. Each species has their own requirements as to light, temperature, and humidity levels, and enclosure space (depending on how big they will be when fully grown). Before you commit to lizard ownership, make sure you will be able to provide adequate housing for your new pet.

Meaningful Nutrition

Most lizards eat primarily insects, with some species tending toward partial or full vegetarianism. It’s nearly impossible to duplicate a lizard’s natural diet, so we recommend the addition of calcium and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Your veterinarian will work with you to come up with a nutrition plan that’s right for your species of lizard.

Regardless of which type of pet you have, the staff at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions or concerns regarding the health of your pet.