It’s no secret that, here in America, we love our four-legged friends.

A record number of households in America now have at least one pet, with pet ownership jumping sharply since 2020. While dogs and cats are the most popular option, other categories are gaining ground.

One of these concerns reptiles, such as lizards, iguanas, and snakes. There are many reasons why reptiles as pets are a popular option. They are lower maintenance than many mammal pets, cheaper to look after, and offer something different and adventurous.

If you’re wondering whether reptiles make good pets, here are the essential facts to know before you adopt one of your own.

1. Reptiles Are a Long-Term Commitment

Choosing the best reptile pet requires you to consider a few things. One of these is longevity. There is no way around it—reptiles live a long time. For example, turtles, lizards, and snakes will live for at least 15 years and can easily live 30 or 40 years.

If you’re looking for reptile pets for beginners that might offer a more casual commitment, you can opt for a chameleon or a long-tailed lizard, which will typically live from 1 to 5 years.

While it is common to choose reptiles as pets for beginners due to their low upkeep needs, remember that they will generally be in your life for the long haul.

2. Reptiles as Pets Can Be Distant

We often choose a pet for companionship and love. We want a four-legged friend who bonds with us emotionally and cuddles up to us at the end of a long day. If this is your priority, then a reptile might not suit you.

Reptiles do not elicit emotional bonding with humans like other animals do. They can be quite distant, but they are rarely aggressive. A reptile is a good option if you want a pet that you can observe and admire from a distance.

The best reptile to keep as a pet for people that want to bond emotionally is probably a bearded dragon since these are known for connections with their human handlers.

3. They Have Specific Dietary Needs

Feeding a reptile for the first time can be an exciting experience. They are not like cats and dogs, meaning you can’t just pick up some kibble and dump it in a bowl.

Reptiles come from far-flung corners of the world, forming an essential part of local ecosystems. As such, reptiles will usually eat certain insects and worms. The exact type will be particular to the species that you adopt.

Many reptiles also need to be fed live insects, or they will be unable to eat them. You can discover more here about the dietary needs of reptiles and how to get the food they need.

Give Your Pet the Care They Deserve

Reptiles as pets might seem unconventional, but it works for some. If you admire the stunning beauty of reptiles and their individual way of living, you can adopt a companion for life. Of course, extraordinary creatures require special care.

If you need some tips on giving your four-legged friend the care they deserve, check out our other pet care articles for actionable guidance you can trust.

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