Reptiles And Amphibians

The Easiest Reptiles to keep as Pets



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Depending on which country you're located and the species of reptiles in your area, will determine which reptiles are the easiest to keep as pets. Some are hardier than others that allow for easy maintenance and handling. Others can become easily stressed if their environment is not conducive to their needs.

Owning a reptile as a pet is a decision that will require a lot of thought. Reptiles can live for many years, sometimes even outliving their owners. Choosing the best reptile to own as a pet is a personal decision depending on your personal requirements. I cannot list different species as it does depend where you live and which species of reptiles are in your area.

Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing the best reptile for your needs.

WHAT TYPE OF REPTILE?

There are four different types of reptiles. Species that are classified as being reptiles are snakes and lizards, amphibians, crocodiles and alligators, turtles and tuataras. Some species live on land whereas depend on water for their survival.

WHAT IS NEEDED TO OWN A REPTILE AS A PET?

You will need to research your local laws through your Department of Natural Conservation and Resources to determine which reptiles are allowed to be kept as pets. You may require obtaining a license to keep a reptile, which this department will notify you about.

RESEARCH

Before you purchase a reptile as a pet, you'll need to do a lot of research in regards to the various species, their requirements and their suitability as to being held captive as a pet.

Here are some guidelines you will need to look for when determining which reptile is suitable to own as a pet.

~Temperament

You will need to research the temperament of your potential pet reptile. If it's a species that does not like human contact, then you will rarely be able to handle it. If it's a species that is flighty, trying to capture it can be frustrating. If it one prone to stress, you may have a reptile who is rarely happy and may bite in defense, no matter what your intentions.

It's important to purchase a reptile that has a nice temperament that likes to be handled by humans. Reptiles do respond to humans and some love their human owners and human contact.
Young snakes that have not been handled very much can sometimes bite. You need to ensure this snake will become used to human contact and will respond to eventually become tame.

~Size

Most snakes and lizards are sold as young babies. In only a short period of time, this reptile can grow to a very large size that may take up too much room, require a new enclosure for its size and be too large to handle unless you have another person to help.

~Feeding Habits

Reptiles require some revolting food for their diet. Some turtles and lizards can survive on vegetation, but most snakes will require rodents for their meal. Some may need live rodents for their meal, whereas others will readily accept frozen and thawed mice and rats.

Lizards will require crickets or grasshoppers for their meals. These are usually live so you'll need to be happy at handling such creatures.

You will need to ensure you can obtain food for your reptile too. If it's difficult to obtain the right type of food for your pet, then you will have difficulty maintaining its optimum health requirements.

~Captivity Hardiness

This is one of the most important aspects to look at when choosing a pet reptile as pet. It will need to be hardy and happy to live in captivity. If your pet is not happy and cannot adapt to a life in an enclosure with artificial lighting and heating, it will not survive. Even if it does survive, it will be rarely happy.

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS

Although the initial expenditure of purchasing your pet and its enclosure, your will also need to meet its habitat needs. Rocks, logs and enclosure fittings can be very expensive to purchase. You will need to ensure your enclosure tries to emulate the reptile's natural habitat as much as possible.

The ongoing costs involved in keeping reptiles as pets are the expenditure involved in heating and lighting the enclosure. These need to function all the time and can become quite expensive.

RECOMMENDED FIRST REPTILE PETS

Although this list is far from exhaustive, it will give you an idea of the types of reptiles that make great pets according to the above requirements. You will need to research each species and ensure you find out what license may be required, its food needs, its care requirements and habitat needs. You will need to research which species of reptile exist in your area; here are some of the worlds best.

~Children's Python

This is a small python that responds well to human contact and has a lovely personality. For young children or people who are a bit wary of snakes, a children's python has a lovely temperament that will delight any reptile lover.

~Carpet Python/Diamond Python

This is one of the larger sized snakes that can grow very long. They tend to have a skittish temperament when young but with plenty of attention, grown to be one of the most lovely of pets you'll own.

~The Corn Snake

The Corn Snake is usually found at the top of people's "highly recommended first reptile" lists. It's hardy and easily adapts to captivity, but also has varying colors that make it a beautiful snake to own and admire.

~The Bearded Dragon

This lizard is one that thrives in captivity and is also a delight to watch. They respond well to human contact and are easy to care for and maintain.

~The Blue-Tongued Lizard

Much like the Bearded Dragon, the Blue Tongued Lizard is also hardy and thrives in captivity.

~Dwarf Frogs

As their name suggests, a dwarf frog is a smaller variety of this species. They are hardy in captivity and easy to maintain.

~Brown/Green Tree Frog

Displaying colors that allow them to blend into their surrounds, brown and green tree frogs make hardy first frogs to keep once everything is set up correctly.

~Box Turtle

The Box Turtle is one of the more popular species of turtle to keep as a pet. You will need to obtain a good book and research a lot of information regarding a turtles care and maintenance.

Eastern Long-Neck Freshwater Turtle

Found in Queensland Australia, the Eastern Long Neck is one of the most popular turtles to keep as a pet. This is due to its hardiness in captivity, ease of feeding and does not usually have many health problems.

If you'd like the opportunity to own a Jurassic animal that is different, exotic and can become your best friend, always ensure you do your research into the many varied species of reptiles. Owning a reptile as a pet is not a decision that should be undertaken lightly. You will need to plan your enclosures, research the options and be able to maintain this exotic pet for many years.

More about this author: R.L Hanlon

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