actual cost of caring for lizards and other reptiles


A lot of times persons looking for inexpensive, low-maintenance pets will turn to reptiles as the answer. While to a certain extent they — or at least some of them — could fall into at least one of those categories, the truth is reptiles can be somewhat costly creatures to keep that require a surprising amount of interest and care. In other words, what starts out as a relatively cheap pet to purchase can end up costing you more time and money than you bargained for.

Reptiles in Captivity

First off, if you’re going to get a lizard, get one that’s captive bred. They tend to be less stressed, not as prone to disease and are generally easier to tame. More importantly, captive bred lizards will not miss their freedom like one that is wild caught. Secondly, do your homework and find out how large the creature will get and what requirements need to be met in the form of costly equipment. If it gets too large, you’ll have to upgrade its environment.

Reptile Heaters, Humidifiers & Lighting

Here’s where the cost comes in. So, you paid between $10 and $20 (or even less) for your new pet, but the equipment you’ll need to keep them alive can be a bit expensive and will in all likelihood need replacing or upgrading during the life of the pet. Know this: proper lighting, humidity and heat are absolutely essential to reptile health. Shedding problems, metabolic bone disease and vitamin A deficiencies can all be avoided with the proper equipment.

Regulating Body Temperature

While you’re ponying up for a heating device for your new pet, bear in mind a cheap general heating device is not going to cut it in all cases. You’ll likely need to provide some type of a thermal gradient device that allows for a range of temperatures so that your new lizard can regulate its own body temp. Being cold blooded isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all sort of a thing.

Creating a Proper Living Environment

Your pet lizard will probably spend most of its time in the habitat you create for it. If you’re new to caring for them, really reading up on their needs and creating the right reptile home in advance are two things you should do prior to bringing one into your home. By doing so you can improve the animal’s odds for survival and offer it a better quality of life than you might otherwise provide.