Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles belonging to the Squamata order. They have four legs, visible ear opening and maneuverable eyelids. Their size can vary from few centimeters to as long as three meters. They are also very-good inexpensive pets. But if the owner wants to get the right type of equipments, the whole affair can become quite expensive. The cost can be cut down a bit by not relying on the pet store completely and doing some self-research.
Before thinking of buying a lizard, the most important factor to be considered is the full-grown size of the lizard as some of the species can grow up to six feet long also. They need extra care and lots of space. Naive pet owners should certainly opt for the ones, which are easier to handle, and certainly not for the ones which grow very big. The favorite is the leopard geckos. They are small in size, require less maintenance and do not demand special conditions such as big terrariums with special UV lightning. Following closely are bearded dragons. They sure are easy to handle but they require a big terrarium with special UV lightning. The investment is quite big. Anoles are another good option. Like bearded dragons they too are easily manageable but need a big terrarium with special UV lightning. Following next are blue-tongued skinks, green anoles, fat tailed gecko, Madagascar ground, Tokay gecko and day geckos.
The bigger the lizard the more challenging it becomes to have them as pets. They need a bigger environment; there can be handling issues and many other factors. For example, iguanas sure are very good pets, but they need lots of space along with lots of care. Other animals that pose challenge as pets are chameleons, savannah monitors, iguanas, white tegu, geckos, and Argentinean black.
Lighting and temperature are very important factor. Most of the lizards are very specific about the temperature. The temperature of their terrariums should be exactly matching to that of the natural habitat from where they come. Although lizards are cold-blooded, they require warmth for healthy growth. In the wild, the reptiles move to areas where they find desirable temperature. They stay out in the sun and even live in shade depending on the condition. So a temperature gradient is a must so that the appropriate temperature can be provided to the pet. Lizards are omnivorous. They eat fruits, leaves, insects, and smaller mammals.
Potential owners must carefully observe the lizard before buying it. Usually most of them get stressed out with all the travelling and changing environments. There are signs that give indication about whether the pet is healthy or not. Firstly, the body should be fleshy and not flaky. The skin should be shinny and should not have wrinkles or any scratches. They should be very healthy and not bony. If the tail and hipbones are visibly, they are definitely sick. Swelling on the abdomen or on any other part of the body should also be checked out.
The eyes should be clean and should not have any discharge. If the reptile has any respiratory disease, its eyes will be swollen and there will be mucus formation around the nose. The overall sanitary conditions should also be checked. The more unclean the surrounding is the more the chances of reptile having a disease. Also, ask for handling the pet. This should be done to test the strength of the lizard. The limbs should be firm and strong.