Did you know that there are roughly 3,750 different species of lizards? Reptiles are one of the most varied animals in the world, with countless species making excellent pets. If you’re trying to decide on a pet reptile, we’re here to help!
There are many types of pet reptiles, but what’s the perk of a reptile over a more conventional pet like a cat or a dog? Read on to discover five of the greatest upsides to having a reptile for a pet.
1. Save on Training
One of the more daunting things for conventional pets is to have them trained. Many breeds of dogs undergo expensive and thorough behavioral training to stop them from barking, growling, biting, or chasing other dogs. Cats sometimes can’t be trained at all and will cause property damage by clawing the furniture or marking areas of your house.
Reptiles, however, have no such needed training. Generally speaking, reptiles also aren’t receptive to such training – you likely won’t be able to train your bearded dragon to play fetch.
A big part of the lack of need for training is because they have their own living spaces. You won’t need to worry about your snake curling up on the sofa because your snake simply doesn’t want to be on your sofa!
If any training is necessary, it’s likely to train you as a reptile owner. It’s an adjustment to take care of these mostly solitary beasts, so you should expect to spend months learning the ins and outs of your new pet.
2. Safe and Contained
Speaking of their own living spaces, one of the great perks of reptiles is that they almost all stay in cages. These cages are variable, such as turtles needing aquariums that provide dry spots as well. Tortoises, bearded dragons, snakes, and other reptiles will have their own needs their homes need.
If you’ve ever had a friend who’s scared of dogs walk into your home and flinch at your dog barking, you know how good it is to have your animal contained in its own sanctuary. If your friends don’t like reptiles, they can simply avoid the cage and prevent stress to either party!
It’s worth knowing that these “cages” aren’t the same as stuffing a dog in a cage for hours on end. The majority of reptiles live sedentary lives, and their enclosures have everything they need to thrive. Think of it more like fish in an aquarium than mammals in a cage.
3. Almost No Maintenance
Another great perk for reptiles is that there’s a relatively small amount of maintenance that goes into caring for them. Animals like dogs require walking, frequent feeding schedules, brushing, veterinary trips, bathing, and much more.
These activities help you bond, and any good pet owner should take pride and enjoyment in getting to do these things with their beautiful animals. That said, they can also add to the stress and costs of owning a pet. People that don’t have much time may fail to complete some of these, which negatively impacts their pets.
Reptiles, however, are such low maintenance that even the busiest pet owner can keep them. General “maintenance” includes keeping their enclosures clean, cleaning the pets themselves if such a necessity arises, and feeding them. Most reptiles also have a long time between meals, which makes feeding them less expensive or stressful.
Because of this, they’re also great pets if you travel a lot. Many pet snakes can go a week or two without eating, while you’ll only need to complete an axolotl feeding every couple of days. Consult a reptile care guide to see how to care for a pet reptile if you’re unsure of what exactly your pet needs.
4. Long-Lived and Varied
There are hundreds of types of pet reptiles, making sure that you won’t struggle to find a reptile that you can take care of. Lizards, tortoises, turtles, snakes, and more are some of the most common you can expect. If none of these appeal to you, you can undoubtedly find something else that you’ll love.
But one of the best parts isn’t just how many there are, but how long they live. Some prefer pets like hamsters or rabbits that don’t have a long life span. These pets aren’t a long-term commitment because you know they’ll likely only last a few years even if you get them as a newborn.
There are certainly reptiles that are short-lived, but many have lengthy lives. Some may even outlive you, such as tortoises that can live for 50 to even 100 years! Other breeds of tortoises can live around 30 to 60 years, such as the pancake tortoise.
These pets can become family fixtures that go through generations of owners as beloved family members. Whether you want a century-old pet or not is a personal choice, but with reptiles, it’s a choice you can easily make. To ensure a longer life, make sure you know how to care for a pet reptile of your choosing.
5. Gentle Creatures
The final perk of a reptile is that despite pop culture sometimes showing them in a negative light, they’re almost all gentle creatures. Many snakes will enjoy curling up around their owner’s arm, and bearded dragons are known for liking to sit on a chest or shoulder.
Of course, not every reptile can safely be handled or played with. Look into how to raise a reptile at home to make sure that you aren’t bringing a venomous or aggressive animal. Just as with many breeds of dogs or cats, some reptiles are more aggressive than others.
As a whole, reptiles are docile and gentle. While you might get the occasional scratch from a lizard climbing on you, they’ll rarely ever mean to hurt you. Combined with the low maintenance, this helps make them excellent pets for younger pet owners especially.
Caring for a Pet Reptile
A pet reptile is often a long-term commitment, but not one that you should be afraid of. While long-lived, these gentle creatures require little maintenance and often keep to themselves. They’re a great fixture to bring life to your home and give you a small companion.
For more information on how to care for a pet reptile, feel free to browse our website to learn more.