How to Care for a Lizard (Care Sheet & Guide 2022)

Lizards make great pets. However, they require a lot of unique care. They are not cats and dogs at all. Apart from feeding them and making sure they have enough water, you should also design their aquarium to suit their needs. Many also have special dietary requirements, which may be a bit strange to someone unfamiliar with their needs.

There are many types of lizards, and most of them require special care. Some need to eat some vegetables, while others are completely carnivorous. Chinese Water Dragon need water to thrive, because they live in swampy areas. However, Bearded Dragons live in the desert and require a completely different tank setup.

We will do our best to spot these differences in this article. However, we recommend that you do your own research on your particular lizard breed.

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Lizard Facts

Exist many various types of lizards that can be kept as pets. Bearded dragons are some of the most common. They are docile and friendly, which is why they make good pets. Their tanks are also easy to install, and require no special maintenance.

Geckos are very popular, because they don’t do much. They sleep during the day and are active at night. Their feeding requirements are quite simple, and they can be fond for up to 20 years.

There are some species that are not suitable for beginners. For example, Anoles are beautiful, lizards breed, but they cannot be tamed like others. They will bite and drop their tails – often more so than other breeds. Iguanas are a little temperamental and can be just as tricky to care for. Men can be very aggressive. The Chinese Water Dragon requires certain habitat adjustments, such as very high humidity. For this reason, they are more laborious than other lizards.

bearded dragon in the forest

Are Lizards a Good Pet?

They can be. Many species of lizards are quite docile, which means they will act friendly around humans and can be handled. They are not intimate in the traditional sense. However, they can make good pets in some cases.

You can’t expect them to act the same as cats or dogs, because they have completely different behavior patterns. Some are more loving than others.

Lizards don’t take up much space, so they can be a great option if you don’t have room for a cat or dog. However, they are often very careful, so don’t buy it if you are expecting easy pet. They are not easy pets because of their special needs. Many require regular tank cleaning, a special diet, and careful handling.

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Where Can I Get Lizards?

Lizards are available from all sorts of places. You can get them from chain pet stores. However, this doesn’t necessarily take care of their lizards, and you won’t have the opportunity to discuss the babies with the breeder. Often, stores don’t even have contacts for breeders. They may not even know the exact age of the lizard.

Smaller pet stores often have local suppliers and may be able to provide their contacts. They usually have their own lizards, so they are quite knowledgeable.

You can also find rescuers who specialize in lizards. These are usually adult lizards, and sometimes they have health problems. However, it’s a great choice if you’re just looking for lizards. There are usually several saves in each area, so you should be able to find many near you.

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How Much Does Owning a Lizard Cost?

Usually the real lizard is not too expensive. Lizards are pretty cheap – around $15 to $150. Rarer lizards cost more. The “regular” pet lizard is quite cheap.

However, something You have to buy your lizard can be quite expensive. The habitat itself will usually cost several hundred dollars. Some will be more expensive than others, depending on the needs of the lizard. For example, Chinese Water Dragons will need a larger setup because they need water, climbing structures, and other items.

Bearded Dragons require fewer items. They live in the desert by nature, so they usually only need a sandpaper floor (which is made for them), a few bowls for food and water, and a hiding place. You can add additional climbing structures and as they get older.

white-necked monitor lizard in the wild_Dirk M. de Boer_Shutterstock

What Kind of Home Does My Lizard Need?

The needs of lizards vary depending on their needs. The Chinese Water Dragon requires a fairly tall tank – preferably not made of glass. This can be quite expensive. They need an area to swim in, and the air must be kept at a fairly high humidity. However, Bearded Dragons need short but long containers as they don’t climb much.

The heat each lizard needs will depend. Since they are cold blooded, most will need some kind of heating lamp. This can be expensive, as heating lamps are a bit pricey. You will need to change the bulb frequently. Most will require a UVB bulb as well as a heating bulb. Usually lizards can’t see red, so most heating lights are red to prevent lizard sleep disturbances.

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Some lizards require climbing structures, although others climb almost not at all. It just depends on the special needs of the lizard.

What Should I Feed My Lizard?

Lizard usually very specifically about what they eat. For example, some can only eat certain insects. It must be the right size to prevent choking.

Many are also omnivores. They need a decent amount of plant material, but only certain types. Each type of lizard is different in its diet. Some need more meat. Others need less. It depends on the species.

Lizards are a bit tricky when it comes to their diet. Most require fresh food, which means you’ll be feeding them food like crickets and caterpillars. Many require very specific diets that can change with age. We recommend doing many research on what your particular lizard needs to thrive.

lizard eat insects

How Do I Take Care of My Lizard?

Most lizards need to be fed daily, although some lizards may survive longer when they reach adulthood. This is because adults grow less than babies and therefore require fewer calories. You should handle your lizards often, but don’t stress them out.

Shedding is common for many lizards. However, most can do it without any help. Usually, the owner doesn’t need to interfere. In some cases, the humidity must be high enough, or the lizards will not come out well. If not spilled properly, their toes may fall off.

Their habitat often needs cleaning, but most lizards don’t actually need to bathe themselves.

How Do I Know If My Lizard Is Sick?

Lizards can be affected by all kinds of different diseases. Disorders of bone metabolism are quite common in lizards and are caused by calcium deficiency. In captivity, this must be equipped. This is a disease that is completely preventable with proper supplements and diet. Unfortunately, many owners do not take good care of their lizards, making this disease one of the most common diseases affecting most species of lizards.

Mouth rot is common in some lizards. It is characterized by sores around the mouth that appear to be completely rotting away. This can be very serious and cause some lizards to use their jaws a bit. Usually, this is caused by an infected mouth injury. Chinese Water Dragons are especially prone to this problem if they are kept in glass tanks, as they tend to run into them.

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There are several viruses that lizards can develop. However, since lizards are usually kept on their own, this is not a problem as is the case with other animals. Newly purchased lizards should be kept alone to ensure that they don’t get sick before being introduced to another lizard (if they are introduced at all). Cleanliness is important. Don’t pick up a newly adopted lizard, and then go hug your other lizard.

Viruses are mostly a problem for monitor lizards kept by breeders because they usually have many married couple at a time. Lizards in pet stores can also be affected, as they are usually kept together.

Fungal infections are not completely unheard of, although they are more common in lizards that require moist conditions. Their skin usually becomes moist and damaged for no reason. Fortunately, this condition is generally fairly easy to treat with antifungal sprays.

External parasites can also occur. Usually, these are mites that live on your lizard’s skin. It is similar to fleas on dogs or fleas on humans. They usually appear as red or black dots. They are usually harmless, but they can be very annoying to lizards.

new bearded dragon divider


Lizards come in all shapes and sizes. The way you care for them is not the same across all species. Some require a complete meat diet and high humidity conditions. Others eat mostly vegetables and prefer a drier environment. Some need many tank and space arrangement. Some prefer very little and prefer to bask on the ground rather than play with toys.

Featured Image Credit: Inspired Image, Pixabay