Reptiles can be excellent pets. However, sometimes inexperienced owners feel overwhelmed when they realize the high cost and difficulty of taking care of some species of reptiles. Unfortunately, many owners leave the pet store with incomplete and even incorrect information about the proper care of the reptiles they choose. This causes huge problems when they discover what is really needed to take care of their new pet.
Unsatisfied expectations and bad advice about the care of reptiles can cause a bad experience for you as an inexperienced owner and, ultimately, can prove to be fatal for your reptile. For this reason, in this article we will talk about which species of reptiles are most advisable to begin with as a pet reptiles, without you taking on unpleasant surprises, both economically and in the complexity of care.
The best reptiles for beginners
Some reptiles are not recommended for beginners due to their diets, environmental needs or their difficulty to handle. However, there are some reptiles readily available and they are good for beginners. These animals have a relatively simple maintenance, compared to other reptiles, but still need a significant investment and the right equipment in advance. It is essential to conduct a thorough investigation before deciding on one of these pets and set up your terrarium before bringing your new pet home.
What can a beginner choose among lizards?
Unfortunately, one of the species of lizards that are most easily found in pet stores, iguanas, are not at all an option to consider for you as a beginner. This is due to its large size in adult (up to 1.8 meters long), the tendency to become aggressive in maturity and the specific dietary and environmental needs of this species.
Many lizards have very specific requirements when it comes to heat, humidity, lighting (especially those that require UVA and UVB light) and diet, and iguanas require all these complex cares. For this, although you may like the animal very much, completely discard this option and start with something much easier to care. Specifically, there are a couple of species of lizards that stand out for their suitability for beginners.
- Leopard Geckos: These geckos are considered by many to be ideal lizards for beginners, as they are relatively small and easy to care for . A terrarium of between 60 and 80 liters should be large enough for an adult leopard gecko and, since they are nocturnal, they do not need specialized lighting (UVA or UVB). On the other hand, they are insectivores and must be fed with a wide variety of insects. They are also quite docile and easy to handle .
- Bearded Dragons: These are probably the most complex beginner reptiles to take care of that you will find in this guide. This is mainly due to the cost of the equipment necessary to maintain them. These reptiles are native to Australia and reach a size of 45 to 60 centimeters, so they need a fairly large terrarium (around 200 liters for an adult). In addition, they are reptiles that inhabit the desert, so they must maintain a relatively high temperature, as well as constant exposure to UVA and UVB light (bulbs are relatively expensive but last a long time). If you expect to have one of these lizards as a pet, you must be aware that you will need to spend a good amount of money in the proper terrarium. Of course, these lizards are very entertaining and easy to tame , so they can be great to start, because you can easily interact with them .On the other hand, they need a diet that is a combination of insects and a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
What snakes are a good choice for a beginner?
The biggest obstacle for many snake owners is their diet. If you are willing to have a snake as a pet, you must feed it with whole prey, such as mice or rats, and preferably live . However, snakes have the advantage that they often only need to feed once a week or less, so they can be left alone for a few days. In addition, they have no requirements on UVA or UVB lights .
- Corn snakes : these beautiful snakes are docile and easy to care for. They reach an adult length of only 90 to 150 centimeters and usually live more than 10 years. Of course, corn snakes are excellent escape artists and need safe and reliable closing! Also, they are not poisonous .
- Python ball: Also known as royal python, this is a small constrictive snake. Ball pythons are usually quite docile and easy to care for . They have a reputation for refusing to eat, so if you plan to take care of one of these snakes, we recommend that you request a demonstration that it eats dead mice. This will serve as a demonstration that has been raised in captivity (as the savages refuse to eat dead mice) and that you will not have problems feeding her. On the other hand, ball pythons can have a very long life (between 20 and 30 years) and is possibly the most common type of snake as a pet.
Turtles are still a very good option for beginners
Fortunately, the idea of commercializing turtles (particularly red-eared turtles) as wonderful pets for children seems to have fallen out of favor. Aquatic turtles become quite large, messy and even boring for children . In addition, it can be very difficult to meet the environmental and “housing” needs of most turtles (both sea turtles and tortoises).
The decision to get a turtle requires a lot of preparation and commitment, but there is one species that is much easier to take care of than the rest, the Florida turtles.
- Florida turtles : these turtles live a long time, something general in all turtles, but they grow to a somewhat considerable size (between 20 and 25 cm long). Because of this, you will need a fairly large terrarium, one that is at least 80 centimeters long. On the other hand, they are semi-aquatic and live in varied climates, so it is very easy to maintain them . Of course, when feeding them, you can not do it solely and exclusively based on gammarids. You will need to provide a balanced diet.
Learn how to properly take care of your pet Reptiles & Amphibians in the articles below, including tips on feeding, health, housing and much more.