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Your Pet Lizard - A Detailed Guide


Lizards make amazing pets, but they do need a few special things. A good habitat with heat, shade, and humidity along with a diet rich in minerals, vitamins, and appropriate handling gives your little or big lizard a great start to life. They are wonderful animals as long as you provide quality time and care.



Pet lizard cages


All lizard cages should have:

  • Appropriate bedding like repti-carpet, towels, paper towels or slate

  • Shallow water dish large enough for your lizard to soak in

  • Day and night heat lamps along with UVB lighting

Juvenile or small lizards such as Geckos:

  • Terrarium makes a suitable environment

  • Basking rock or branch

  • Species appropriate diets; gut loaded crickets and mealworms along with fruit and veggies – there are over 3,000 reptile species and each have unique food requirements. Be sure to research correct diet for the species you plan to purchase.

  • Can house more than one of the same species together if the species does well in pairs or groups and your habitat is large enough.

Larger or adult lizards such as tegus and monitors

  • Big enclosure at least six-foot by three-foot by four-foot or a room

  • Appropriate sized gut loaded insects or frozen thawed rodents along with fruits, and veggies. Again each species is different so do your research first

  • Generally one per enclosure is best

Signs your lizard needs a veterinarian

  • Obvious injuries - broken bones or open wounds.

  • Respiratory concerns – labored breathing or gasping for air/open mouth breathing.

  • Changes in behavior – lethargy, decreased climbing, or decreased eating/defecation

  • Eyes/nose/mouth concerns – discharge from area, swelling, skin irritation, or other changes

  • Changes in skin color – abnormal color changes, skin lesions, or lumps

  • – Difficulty gripping when climbing, falling off perches, or difficulty balancing

Beware of lizard bites

  • Using safe handling techniques can help keep you and your reptile safe; questions about appropriate handling can be answered by your exotic veterinarian.

  • Salmonella and E-coli are common bacteria that you can get from handling your lizard and cleaning the cage without following proper hygiene protocols- use gloves, sanitize the cage, and always wash hands before and after playing with your pal.

How our clinic can benefit your pet lizard

A health-check at an exotic vet is a great idea when you get a new pet. You can ask questions, use grooming services for clipping nails, and get exceptional medical care all in one place at Long Island Bird & Exotics Veterinary Clinic.

Please call 516-482-1101 for questions. Make an appointment online. Check us out on Facebook.


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