How to Choose the Right Reptile for You

Growing up, all I wanted was a cute baby snake for Christmas, my birthday… basically, any holiday where a gift may be given. My mom was petrified of snakes though, so I never got one. I had several different types of fish ranging from your carnival goldfish to Siamese fighting fish, and we usually had at least two cats and a dog in the house. A snake, on the other hand, was out the question.

It turns out her aversion to reptiles is not uncommon in America. Sadly reptiles have been found to be the least popular group of pets. Personally, I think they’re super rad, but I understand that there are a few things holding people back. Feeding another animal to an animal can seem scary, there’s the fear of animals often portrayed as dangerous, or the simple lack of cuddle factor reptiles generally generate.

That doesn’t have to stop you from getting a reptile though! They are intelligent, majestic creatures that deserve our love as much as any other pet. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea, check out our guide to finding the right reptile for you.

Consider What You’re Looking For In a Pet

We’re all looking for different things when we set out to find a new member to our household. Sometimes we’re looking for a cuddle buddy, sometimes we’re looking for someone to talk to on occasion, other times we’re just looking for an animal to play with. The great news is there’s a reptile pet for each of these situations.

How to Choose the Right Reptile for You1. Safe and Low Maintenance

If you find yourself busy a lot but looking for a pet to keep you company that doesn’t take a lot of maintenance, check out tortoises. They do require more regular feeding than other reptiles, but they’re generally happy if they have enough space to roam around. The best part is they are great with humans so you can hang out with them without any worries for your safety.

2. A Cuddle Buddy for a Home with Space

If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, there are a few large lizards that are known for their cuddly nature. The red tegu is the most notorious. These lizards are often compared to dogs because they’re so sweet and loving. They may not jump on you every time you walk through the door, but they will sit by your feet and maybe climb up your leg for a nice little cuddle.

3. Playful with Social Personalities

If cuddles aren’t essential but you want an animal that will interact with you and play a little, a snake is a great option. In particular corn snakes and ball pythons are very sociable snakes who are okay with being handled. This means you can take your snake out and let it slither from hand to hand, up your arm, and back down again.

Consider What You Can’t Handle In a Pet

No matter what type of pet you’re getting it’s always important to spend some time thinking about what you can’t do to care for your pet. You’ll want to consider things such as expense and their dietary habits.

How to Choose the Right Reptile for You1. Feeding Concerns

If one of the things holding you back from getting a reptile as a pet is the idea of feeding a snake a mouse or a lizard a fly, that’s alright. There are vegetarian reptiles! This means all you have to do is make your new pet a fresh salad for their grub. While my favorite vegetarian reptile is the tortoise, iguanas and the blue tongue stink are sweet and social vegetarian reptiles.

2. Habitat Expenses

If you’re thinking to yourself you couldn’t possibly afford the terrarium, heating lamp and plethora of other things that a reptile needs, don’t worry. Some reptiles aren’t that expensive to house! While the cute little tegu may grow far too large to cheaply house, there are much smaller lizards and low maintenance snakes you could get. The water dragon, for instance, does not grow very large so it doesn’t need an extremely expensive cage to be kept in.

Do you have a reptile as a pet? Would you consider having one? Leave a comment and let us know!

One comment

  • Amy Winters

    Thanks for mentioning that corn snakes and ball pythons are a good option if you want a reptile who you can handle and play with. My son is interested in getting a reptile as a pet. I know he wants to be able to take it out of the tank, so I’m glad you shared the snake species that will work for that!

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