Dragon, our pet lizard, has been a lot of fun since he joined our family and my son, especially, had no problem bonding with a reptile.
Many people think of pets as furry and cuddly, at least pets that you can hug, play, and bond with. Although a Bluebelly lizard may not be fuzzy or ideal for cuddling, one can still fully enjoy reptile pets.
Lizards are fascinating to watch in their terrariums
- They do push ups on hot rocks
- They stay very still, except for their eyes and watch you move or watch a bug crawling around.
- When they do move, it’s usually in quick sprints.
- They love to explore new places to climb.
- They provide hours of entertainment for cats.
At first our little western fence lizard would remain extremely still or hidden much of the time. But the more we looked in on him and gently held him, the more comfortable he seemed to be. Now he runs around his terrarium more, especially when there’s something new to climb, and he loves to climb up my son’s arm and perch on his shirt or shoulder at every opportunity.
My son has learned a lot about reptile care, what his lizard eats, how to hold him, and stroke his back gently. They both enjoy each other!
Can you play with a lizard?
The first thing you’ll need to do is let your lizard get used to your voice and hold him gently for short periods of time until he gets to know you. Remember you are huge and his natural instincts tell him you’re a threat.
Once you’ve had time to get used to each other there are many ways you can play with your pet reptile. You won’t be tossing a ball or watching him chase a string, but chances are, if you had your heart set on a reptile for a pet, you knew to expect that much.
Some ways you can enjoy spending time with your lizard:
- take your pet lizard out and let him explore new surroundings. Create a space where he won’t get away and let him run.
- if you’re not squeamish it can be fun to feed your lizard worms and crickets and watch him catch and eat them.
- sit and hold him in our hand and stroke his back gently
- talk to your lizard
- let him crawl up your shirt and perch on you
Here’s a fun video of Dragon playing with his boy:
What do you need to know before becoming a reptile owner?
This post is sponsored by petMD Reptile Center, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but Rascal and Rocco only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD® and PetSmart® are not responsible for the content of this article.
Before bringing a new pet reptile into your life, you really should do at least a little research.
Learn what is needed to care for your reptile and be honest with yourself. Is the necessary care truly something you have the time, space, and resources to manage on a long term basis? PetSmart’s new petMD Reptile Center has tons of articles on all kinds of reptiles, so whether you’re considering a lizard, snake, turtle, or tortoise, you can find the best fit for your lifestyle and your family.
A pet is not an object of entertainment solely for your enjoyment. Any pet is a creature just like you or me that needs the best care. I’m not talking just food and water.
All pets need:
- and a healthy diet
Once you have the perfect pet in mind, make a list of the things you’ll need right away before you even bring your pet reptile home.
PetSmart’s complete reptile section has all the pet supplies you’ll need to make your lizard a cozy home.
We have a pet western fence lizard, commonly known as a Bluebelly Lizard. These are items we needed to have to care for our lizard:
Shopping list before bringing our pet lizard home:
- heat lamp
- shallow water dish that is easy to climb in and out of
- floor covering
- heat rock
- a place for lizard to hide
- sticks for climbing
Food for small lizards:
- Other small bugs (ants spiders, earth worms for larger lizards)
- Some lizards eat vegetables, but western fence lizards typically don’t eat anything that isn’t moving
You’ll need good place to keep your terrarium where it won’t be in direct sunlight, but I also recommend a spot that is not away from the family to be forgotten. Reptiles are pretty quiet and they can not call out for attention or water if their bowl goes empty. Your pet reptile is a family member and should be where he can see and hear his new family and where you can walk by and check on him frequently.