So, in your hunt for a new pet, you’re considering a new scaly friend. Regardless of whether you’re looking for suggestions on the best pet reptiles for beginners or the best reptiles for children, these Top 5 Low Maintenance Reptile Pets should prove to be great additions to your family.
Anole – Low Maintenance Reptiles
The anole is native to the Southeastern United States, where I’m from, and the Caribbean, where I wish I were. These little lizards make a great reptile for first-time reptile keepers. They are relatively small, inexpensive, and easy to care for.
- Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit, for Small Reptiles and Amphibians
- Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage, Large, 18” x 18” x 36”
Anoles are skittish and shy, but with consistent and gentle handling, they will become somewhat tame. Anoles are active little lizards that scamper about quickly, making them hard to catch. They prefer not to be handled too much; avoid it if at all possible, and always handle them gently. If you’d rather a lizard that’s a bit more handleable, keep watching.
These lizards are mainly diurnal (active during the daytime) and while they like to bask in the sun, they prefer to do so among plants. The pads on the bottoms of their feet allow them to climb and cling to most surfaces, including glass, and they will escape enclosures that are not secure. The preferred substrates include soil, peat moss, or orchid bark.
Anoles do best on a variety of insects including mealworms and wax worms. Feed two to three appropriately sized prey items every other day. Be careful in allowing your anole to catch wild insects; there’s no way to know what kinds of pesticides wild-caught insects may be harboring.
Probably one of the more popular of all reptile pets is the Leopard Gecko. It’s earned its spot on this list for many reasons.
Essentially, the Leopard Gecko is affordable, easy to handle, low maintenance, and quite amusing.
Hailing from the desert of the Middle East and Western India, the Leopard Gecko is a unique lizard renowned for its striking features.
Unique from other species of gecko lacks sticky toe pads… meaning they tend to be less jumpy or climby than other species of gecko.
You can expect your Leopard Gecko to grow to be 8 to 12 inches long and live up to 20 years.
Leopard Geckos are also docile and are easy to handle, so long as you keep a hand under them so they don’t fall. This makes them a great choice for those with children.
Just be careful not to grab them by the tail. They can drop it. It’ll grow back, but will take some time and never be quite the same.
Leopard Geckos are affordable in regard to costs associated with their diet, habitat, etc. Setting up a habitat will cost you anywhere from $50 to $100.
Because they don’t need to eat every day and can survive on cheap feeders like crickets, you can expect to spend just a couple of dollars each week, if even that. We spend more money replacing crickets that died prematurely than those the lizards actually eat.
Additionally, because Leopard Geckos eat a diet primarily of live feeders, many people find it highly entertaining to watch them hunt.
So, if you like to take frequent weekend trips or stay the night at a friend’s or partner’s house, you won’t need to come rushing home to feed your gecko.
Corn Snake – Low Maintenance Pets
Also a native species to the Southeastern United States, the Corn Snake makes a wonderful choice for those new to reptiles or children because of their mild temperament and ease of care. It usually takes quite a bit to get this non-venomous snake to bite you.
Relatively thin-bodied, these snakes tend to grow to be around 5 feet long or 1.6 meters long and live on average 15 years or so.
And when it comes to setting up the habitat, the corn snake is just about one of the easiest reptiles to cater to!
If you are looking for a reptile that is easy to care for and can be left to tend to itself for days on end, look no further. Adult Corn Snakes only require feeding about once a week. You won’t have to cancel that week’s vacation because of your pet.
So with all of this being said, if you want a low-maintenance reptile that doesn’t require a ton of daily care, is easy to handle, and will remain around for some time, the Corn Snake is definitely for you!
On the negative side, they do eat small rodents like mice. If that is an issue, then snakes aren’t for you.
Not all tortoises or turtles are low-maintenance reptiles. As a matter of fact, some can get quite large and quite challenging to keep as pets.
However, If you’re looking for a pet that will be in the family for like 50 years but stays relatively small with low maintenance requirements, then the Russian Tortoise may just be the reptile pet for you!
These reptiles are feisty and more interactive than other species of tortoise.
When it comes to diet, you’ll want to opt for a diet rich in fibrous leafy greens such as kale, collards, spinach, etc., and avoid bread and sugary foods like fruit at all costs. No bugs or mice for these guys.
Your tortoise will also enjoy munching on weeds like dandelions as well as flowers such as roses and hibiscus, just make sure they’re pesticide and herbicide-free.
Do your research before getting any pet on how to take care of your soon-to-be buddy and what equipment you’ll want to buy and set up BEFORE you acquire the pet. And always buy a habitat large enough for the mature pet, not the juvenile you’ll get.
Blue Tongue Skink – Low Maintenance Reptiles
Equally easy to handle and take care of, the Blue Tongue Skink makes a great reptile for beginners! Its friendly demeanor and curious nature make it a joy to watch and interact with.
You can expect your skink to be around 24 inches long, give or take. With their large body and stubby legs, these lizards are easy to handle, hardy, and slow-moving.
When it comes to their habitat, for an adult, you’re going to want something at least 75 gallons, but ideally 100… if not larger! Many pet stores will tell you that you need a 40-gallon breeder tank. Don’t fall for it. Those tanks are barely longer than your skink will grow.
Due to their curious nature, you’ll want to include plenty of decor items to provide enrichment for your skink. Especially responsible owners will regularly switch out decor every once in a while as well.
One of the best things about a Skink over the rest of the reptiles on this list is their diet. It’s about as simple as it gets.
Surprisingly, one of the best options for your skink is wet cat or dog food! Opt for premium brands without corn, grain, and fillers.
You can also give them hard-boiled eggs, shredded boiled chicken, cooked ground turkey and beef, and most fruits and veggies with the exception of citrus, avocados, eggplant, and high sodium foods. A shallow water bowl should also be included for clean drinking water.
Feed your adult every 2-3 days and your juvenile every other day.
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