Reptiles For Beginners

Reptiles definitely are not for everyone. Some people get freaked out by slithery snakes and leathery-skinned lizards. Others think they make even better pets than your average cat or dog. It’s all about what you’re looking for in a pet. If you think a reptile might be right for you, here’s a list of some of the easiest ones to start with.

Leopard gecko

The leopard gecko wins the prize for easiest reptile because it doesn’t require as much equipment as some of its other forked-tongued friends. Leopard geckos do not need a special UVB light lamp as long as their food contains enough calcium, which you can make sure of by dusting a calcium supplement on their daily meals. While these little lizards do need to eat live insects, they only need about a dozen crickets every other day. Like all cold-blooded creatures, they require a heater to keep them nice and toasty.

Credit: Pinterest

Crested gecko

If live insects aren’t your thing, then maybe a Crested gecko might be the right choice for you. These interesting-looking animals don’t require live food and can live off prepackaged gecko food that you can buy from a pet store. Much like Leopards, these geckos can survive without UVB light with the proper diet. Just be careful not to handle them too roughly, or their tail will fall off due to stress (eek!).

Credit: Pangea Reptile

Green anole

These little guys are great to own, but not to touch. Green anoles don’t tolerate handling very well, as it stresses them out. But if you’re happy with just watching these guys hang out in their cage, their care is pretty simple. They do need UVB light and live insects, but they don’t need much space or an intense heater. For a fun little friend you can admire from afar, consider these green gems.

Credit: Reptiles Magazine

Bearded dragon

If you need a pet with personality, Bearded dragons are the way to go. They are pretty tame, which allows them to be handled more easily than most reptiles. The downside, however, is that they do need a bit more care. They need a large tank with heavy heating, UVB light, and a steady source of insects and plants to eat daily. But if you’re up for a little more of a companion, the Bearded dragon might be worth the challenge.

Credit: Dragon Rancher

Corn snake

If you’re not comfortable feeding small mammals to a pet, then a snake is definitely not for you. But if you can stomach a few frozen mice, then a Corn snake is your best bet for a simple snake. These snakes stay relatively small and they don’t require any special lighting. They’re also relatively calm, so they’re less likely to bite than other slithery friends.


As with all pets, reptiles deserve the right level of care. If you’re not ready to commit to the time and effort needed to keep these pets happy for their entire lifespan, they might not be right for you. But if you think you’re ready to try keeping a cold-blooded cutie, these are some of your best bets.

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Sarah Cookson

Writer/Dog Enthusiast living in New York City. Only goes to parties in hopes there will be a dog there to hang out with. Her resolutions for 2017 were to eat healthier and pet more pups. Bet you can guess which one she stuck with.

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