Iguana picture by Lianna
|A lizard can
make a great pet. Before you get a pet lizard you have to
ask yourself a few questions. Where can you buy a lizard?
What kind of lizard should I buy? How do you select a
lizard? How big will it get? What supplies should I
purchase? What kind of habitat does a lizard need? What
does a lizard eat?
You can buy a lizard at many pet stores or from a private breeder. First, you will need to select the kind of lizard you will want. The bearded dragon is very popular in pet stores.
Selecting a lizard is very important. You will need to look him over and make sure that it is healthy. The lizard should be alert with its eyes wide open. His mouth, eyes, and feet should be in good condition. His skin should have no cuts or scars.
Knowing how large your lizard will reach is important. You will need an aquarium that he can grow into. A bearded dragon for example can grow to 24 inches.
There are several supplies you will need to purchase. A tight fitting screen for the top of the aquarium will keep your lizard safe from harm and allow fresh air to circulate. A heating pad, placed under a plastic turf mat, in the bottom of the aquarium will keep him warm. A thermometer should be used to check the temperature of the aquarium. A long fluorescent light bulb will be needed to give off ultraviolet light like the sun. This light makes the lizard hungry and helps in digestion.
Lizards need a humid habitat. Humidity is how much water is in the air. A spray bottle of water is an easy way to mist the tank. With a bearded dragon every couple of days should be enough.
Lizards like to bask. A branch or driftwood will work well. Plastic plants and empty paper towel rolls are fun for him to hide in. Most bearded dragons are gentle. They like to be petted and soak in a little warm water in a sink or tub.
Diets may be vary depending on the kind of lizard you have. A bearded dragon eats crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms and earthworms. They also eat green leafy vegetables but no iceberg lettuce. Small pieces tomatoes, apples, pears, grapes, oranges, cooked potatoes, melon, peas, and strawberries can be added to their diet. Carrots should be grated. You also can add powdered vitamins and minerals to their food. This should only be once or twice a week.
Taking care of a lizard takes less time than a cat, dog ,or even fish.
The aquarium should be cleaned once a week. Remove the lizard before cleaning its tank. Keep a watchful eye on the lizard if he is loose. Some lizards will sit on your shoulder while you clean his tank. A rag and warm soapy water works good for cleaning the tank and turf. Rinse and dry everything before putting your lizard back in the tank.
If your lizards aquarium is set up right, hell probably stay healthy. A bad diet, dirty tank, a temperature that is too cold or too hot, and stress from too much handling can make a lizard very sick.
If you spend a lot of time with your lizard you can usually tell when something is wrong. If you notice anything different about your lizard, you should take him to an exotic veterinarian.
Have fun with your lizard!
Do you have a pet lizard? Send us a photo as a gif or jpg file attached to email, and we will post it here.