As you consider buying a pet lizard, there are various things you need to know. Buying a reptile that may later be unsuitable for your family can later be overwhelming. Therefore, you need to do thorough research to understand the species you want to care for.
It’s a good idea to take a trip to a bookstore, library, or even the internet to get as much information about the pet as possible. Besides this, the cost of care can get higher than the purchase price of the reptile. So you need to consider making allowances in your budget for heating, feeding, housing, and many others. Be sure to check out resources like The Beta Pet as well. This page explains the key factors to consider before buying pet lizards.
You must provide the right living environment for your pet lizard. Whether it’s a cage or vivarium, it needs to be escape-proof and it should have adequate space for mobility. Also, you need to consider other factors, such as sanitizing, cleaning, and routine maintenance.
Unfortunately, many pet reptile owners buy enclosures that are quite small. While such enclosures can fit the reptile at the time of purchase, remember that reptiles grow and they can reach adult size in a year or two. Therefore, it’s not only cruel but inhumane to keep a reptile an enclosure that small.
This is because the reptile can suffer from severe stress which can lead to ill health and behavioral problems. Worse still, it makes working and taming them that much harder. As a result, your lizard may spend much of its time trying to break out of the cage, often injuring itself severely enough to need veterinary care.
Thankfully, you can find enclosures with the right size for your lizard. You can get commercially made enclosures, so you need to ask the pet seller the right enclosure for the adult lizard. Read this reptile guide to find out about a proper enclosure for your pet reptile.
Feeding and nutritional needs
You can find commercially available diets for your lizards, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Some lizards should be fed food like live worms, crickets, and many others which can be expensive. The best way you can save money is by having your feeder insects, though you will have to pay the costs of dust, supplements, and gut load.
Most lizards that feed on rodents can enjoy killing prey. However, for their safety and humane treatment of the prey, you should feet the lizard killed prey. This means, however, that you may need to humanely kill prey yourself if you can’t find it in the pet stores. Alternatively, you can buy prey from breeders who can send it to you already killed prey. But you can feed lizards live crickets and mealworms
Housing and caring for insects or keeping containers of worms in the refrigerator may not be appealing to some people. then you can opt for commercial foods and dried insects that you can find at pet stores. However, these foods and insects are not proper replacements for the whole, fresh prey, and most situations the reptile may not even eat them.
So if you have an herbivores lizard or an omnivorous lizard, you should be ready to purchase a variety of greens, vegetables, and fruits. Also, you need to prepare them in the best way possible to make sure that your lizard optimizes its intake and digestion.
As you can see, it means that you may need to go to several grocery stores to get the right food for your lizard and then spend a couple of hours a week to prepare the food. With herbivore food products, you will see that these commercial foods are also not the right replacements for a well constructed fresh food diet.
Lizards being cold-blooded animals means that they don’t have the luxury of maintaining their body temperature depending on their needs. So it has to rely on you to offer a perfect environment that allows them to stay healthy. There should be a temperature gradient that allows your lizard to move from one place to another when it needs to cool down or warm-up.
You can also consider investing in proper lighting and a good thermometer. But depending on the species of the reptile, having specialized heating equipment, such as basking lights, nocturnal heat lamps, radiant terrarium heaters, under-tank heaters, and many others can also be useful.
It’s important to remember that there is also a cost of providing lighting and heating to your lizard. This is especially true for reptiles that have origins from the tropics or deserts.
There is some relief for some pet owners during the winter for desert species, but tropical species need to have tropical temperatures throughout the year. Ideally, when it gets colder outside, you may also use more heating equipment just to have the right temperatures for your pet lizard.
It’s also highly recommended that you should have the lizard’s enclosure set up before you bring it home. Aside from this, the set up should start operating 48 hours before you bring the lizard so that you can have the temperature gradients checked and to make sure that all the other equipment is operating as expected.
Light provides your pet lizard with some vitamins required for mineral metabolism. It also created a good environment that is similar to the lizard’s natural habitat. For many lizards, a source of light can be utilized for both heating and lighting. But for lizards that need darkness that has higher temperatures than room temperature, you can separate heating and lighting solutions.
With that said, you should also be aware that lizards like most of the other reptiles are used to areas with fairly stable humidity. So depending on the needs of your pet reptile, you may need to regulate the humidity in your lizard’s enclosure.
In such cases, you should consider installing misting equipment, foggers, or drippers. And, if your reptile is sensitive to humidity, perhaps having a humidity alert device can be an essential requirement.