How to Care for your Pet Lizard?
Suppose you are searching for a pet that belongs to a reptilian group. Add a full stop to your exploration and bring your home a fascinating, colorful, and beautiful lizard as your new reptile pet. They don’t demand much from you. Need only a vivarium, sand, wooden logs, water to drink, and food to eat. If you want to learn how to make your new pet happy and keep it healthy, keep reading to unfold the points to properly care for your pet lizard!
Choose from the following lizard to adopt
- Have blue tongues
- Can grow a one and a half feet long
- They are docile, quiet, gentle, and easily tamed, making great beginner pets.
- They have strong jaws and teeth, and a bite from a skink can be pretty painful.
- They are omnivores and can live 15 to 20 years in captivity.
Green and brown Anoles
- Small-sized lizards weigh a few grams and are 4 inches long. Males can grow about 8 inches, though most of that is tail.
- They can change colors like chameleons and are very aggressive.
- They eat insects and spiders.
- They live about six years in captivity.
- If you grab your anole lizard from its tail, it snaps off and keeps wriggling for a few minutes.
- Anoles are hard to catch. They will bite and hold on if you somehow manage to see them.
- These lizards are docile and people-friendly. They grow to about 22 inches long and come in different colors, with gold and red being the most popular.
- They can live in groups.
- They’re omnivorous and enjoy fruits, vegetables, and bugs.
- They live as long as 20 years in captivity.
- They are speedy and great escape artists like other geckos, as they lack toe pads to cling to and climb up walls.
- They are attractive with golden bodies and black spots.
- They can grow up to 11 inches, are carnivores,s and live as long as 20 years.
- They are aggressive and can grow up to six feet in length.
- They are herbivores, eating predominantly vegetables and fruit with occasional treats like insects, snails, or bird’s eggs.
- Pet iguanas can release their tails if caught from their tail and can’t move.
- Live for 20 years in captivity.
After choosing your pet, set up a favorable environment for them.
Care for your pet lizard
Plan an appropriate housing
Lizards are cold-blooded animals, meaning they cannot control their body temperature like humans and acquire the temperature of their surroundings. So being a lizard owner, you must ensure that the enclosure environment is warm, so the pet stays warm. So, the best choice for the lizards is an enclosed environment called a vivarium.
What is a vivarium?
The most important thing to care for your pet lizards is to provide them with a vivarium that is a wooden or plastic tank with a glass front and a sliding door made of glass or another easy-to-clean, transparent material. It also provided grilles for ventilation. Plus, it’s secure, and the lizard cannot escape from it. It’s also available in different tank sizes. Choose a tank size that is bigger than the size of your lizard. For example, for bearded dragons, choose a cage size of at least two feet by four feet wide plus two feet high.
Adjust the temperature within the vivarium to care for your pet lizard
A spotlight can adjust the temperature in a vivarium on the roof of the vivarium. However, most lizards need an area between 90 and 100 degrees plus an excellent location between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So try adjusting the heat source on one end. Be cautious. Cooler temperatures (below 70°) can cause problems for your pet and make them prone to getting ill.
Another critical point you must consider is that lizards require colder night temperatures. So turn off the light at night.
The best option is to purchase a heat & UVB basking fixture to increase the ambient temperature of the vivarium. It ensures your pet reptile receives the correct overnight temperature.
Note: Enclose the light source so it may not burn your climbing lizards. If your lizard still needs warmth, use a ceramic heater instead.
Hang a full spectrum light source on top of the vivarium
Most lizards need UVA/UVB rays from sunlight to help with their metabolism and bone health. UVA light stimulates the feeding, while UVB light ensures the production of vitamin D in the lizard’s body, which further controls the calcium levels. Adjust a light source on top of the vivarium to ensure your pet gets whole-spectrum UVA/UVB light for 10 to 12 hours daily.
Note: Make sure nothing is blocking the light from reaching your pet, plus replace the light source with the new one every six months.
Place substrates inside the vivarium for your pet to hide and climb
Chipped bark plus branches are good for forest-living lizards to climb and hide when they want. Also, add enough rocks and hollow areas to make the solarium entertaining for your pet. Place any wood pieces or stones should firmly so they will not fall on the lizard.
Note: Whatever you choose as substrate, ensure your lizard is not eating it, or your lizard could get an intestinal blockage.
Prepare comfortable Vivarium bedding to care for your pet lizard.
Calcium sand provides the best bedding for desert-living lizards, and it won’t hurt the lizard if ingested by food.
Alternatively, use garden soil and plant some live plants for your pet to hide. It provides a green solution to the pet waste problem, and you don’t have to clean it repeatedly.
Note: Ensure the plants are safe and non-toxic, as lizards habitually munch on them.
Provide your lizard pet with the ambient moisture
Like all other reptiles, lizards, too, shed their skin on and off. Humidity is an essential factor that aids in the shedding process. You can place slabs of peat moss in the vivarium and mist them to control the humidity levels. Alternatively, you can use any spray bottle, and most spray your lizard. It helps create the humidity needed by lizards.
Note: Bearded dragons will not need to be misted, but iguanas will.
Please provide them with a water area to swim.
If you own an iguana as your lizard pet, provide it with a water area to swim.
Please provide them with an adequate amount of water to drink
Some lizards like drip water systems like chameleons, while others like to lick from a small bowl. Serve them water how they want and make sure to change it regularly.
Feed them daily or 2 to 3 days a week
For herbivore lizards
Purchase specially designed food pallets for your pet lizards, moisturize them, and feed them daily or two days a week, depending on their type. Plus, serve them with fruits and vegetables In small bite sizes. Make sure to sprinkle vitamin or mineral supplements on them.
For carnivorous lizards
Crickets, mealworms, and wax moth caterpillars are insects your lizard likes the most. You can also provide your pet with live prey and watch the prey-predator live show sitting in front of the vivarium.
Clean the vivarium
Do this once a week. However, check the vivarium daily for uneaten food, shed skin, and poop. Make sure to wear gloves before cleaning as the lizard poop contains salmonella bacteria that is harmful to you. So be conscious!
Use hot water and soap to clean everything, including the food tray, water bowl, decorations, and vivarium walls. Use disinfectant afterward. Then let everything dry well.
Note: Make sure to place the lizard in a safe and secure place when you are cleaning. Don’t forget to scrub your hands at the end.
Common health problems of lizards
The most common health problems that plague captive lizards and stop them from feeding are as under:
- Internal parasites: Treatment involves giving them deworming treatment.
- Mouth rot: Treatment includes removing the rotted skin and anesthetizing the lizard.
- Molting trouble: Some lizards may face difficulty while shedding their skin. To treat, increase the humidity level in the vivarium.
- Metabolic bone disease is associated with insufficient light and a lack of calcium and vitamin D.
- Pneumonia: Unsanitary conditions cause pneumonia in lizards. So keep the vivarium clean.
Take your pet lizard to the vet:
Like other pets, take your pet lizard to the vet when you first get it. And also, schedule a visit to the vet when you see any health issues like runny feces, weight loss, runny nose, joint swelling, skin discoloration, or your pet seems apathetic.