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Best Pet Reptiles for Beginners

best reptiles for beginners
Written by Arlene S. Lane

Whenever someone talks about pets then we mostly think about cats and dogs or maybe birds. They are one of the most papular pets in the USA. However, these days, reptiles are increasingly becoming papular as pets. People are curious about them and want to own them at least once as pets. There are several best reptiles for beginners that can be adapted as pets but reptiles as pets require extensive care.

When people want to adopt reptiles as pets, they just want them because they look cool and edgy. While this is true that they look cool but having poor knowledge about reptile care as a pet can make things complex for beginners. They may get overwhelmed to know how costly the process can be, even with the reptile pet for beginners. 

What Is The Best Reptile Pet For A Beginner?

When it comes to reptiles for beginners then there will be pet reptiles for beginners that do not require much maintenance, care, and space. There are several other factors such as dirty requirements, vet visits, and things that make a reptile good for a beginner. A new pet owner will easily get overwhelmed if he or she didn’t have enough information about the best reptile pets for beginners, and caring guide for reptiles, and a budget.

They may end up either returning the pet to the shelter or perhaps losing the pet. Though not every species will be good enough as a “beginner reptile pet” there will be several. 

Best Reptile Pets For Beginners

Following is the list of the best reptile pets for beginners that will surely be helpful for you to select the best larger or small reptile pets for beginners.

1- Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon | thepetsrise.comThey are considered to be the best reptiles for beginners for several reasons. They are mostly native to Australia and they have a prominent spikey beard around the neck. It can be inflated if they ever feel threatened. However, they don’t show their aggressive side to the owner. They can be handled without any problem making them the best pet reptiles for beginners, especially childrens. They will feel calm when they are sitting on the shoulders of their owner. Their diet is a combination of fruits, veggies, and insects.

They can be the best reptile pet for beginners because of their low-cost diet and low maintenance. You can feed them 3 times a day when they are young but adults will only require once a day. Though they will only require 30 to 40% humidity they still require at least 12 hours of exposure to the sun and heat set at 90° F. If your children want to handle them then supervise them accordingly. The ideal size of the tank or enclosure for the bearded dragon is 55 gallons. Add shaved rocks, branches, and substrate to keep it happy and healthy. 

2- Leopard Gecko

Leopard Gecko | thepetsrise.comIf you are looking for the best reptile pets for beginners then Leopard Gecko is the tamest lizard you can own. They are highly adaptive to new environments. They do not require a deliberate tank or enclosure but a small tank or enclosure with enough substrate would be good enough for them. You can make the substrate with recycled paper and reptile carpet. Sand can cause digestive issues and wood substrate can be too sharp for their soft feet. 30 to 40% humidity level is ideal for them and to maintain humidity in the tank you can leave shallow water in the tank.

They will need 88° F during the day. However, using a heater or UVB light can be a good idea for heat. Their diet consists of wax worms and mealworms, and when they are young you can give them worms tossed in protein powder. They will wag their tail and chirp when they are in Hungary. They are the most vocal lizard than any other lizard type. Though they are the best reptiles for beginners keeping them more than once at the start is not a good idea. Males put together will attack each other.

3- Gargoyle Gecko

Gargoyle Gecko | thepetsrise.comIf you are wondering what is the best reptile pet for a beginner that is also the least expansive then Gargoyle Gecko is the best option for you. They will cost around $50. The average life span is upto 20 years. They have the habit of climbing. You will need to put them in a closure with live plants on, a soft, absorbent substrate, along with the areas to hide. They will not mind handling by the owner and if you see their tails are released. However, their tail will be rowed back eventually after a few months.

They just require a single source of heat and light set at 85° F. This  Gecko is quite picky about its food. They mostly like mealworms, cockroaches, and crickets. To keep the feeling of the natural environment of this lizard you will need to use a hygrometer to keep humidity levels at 70% in its enclosure. They are usually calm by nature and they love to climb. If you don’t want them to escape then don’t take them out of the tank unsupervised.

4- Corn Snakes

Corn Snakes | thepetsrise.comIf snakes fascinate you then corn snakes are the best reptile pets for beginners. If you never owned a pet reptile then make a start with it. They are easier to feed and handle than lizards. Also, they have the slowest metabolisms than other reptiles. They have every good thing that any good reptile should have. You don’t even have to look for any specific reptile food guide for thorn snakes. They are affordable and adaptable to any environment and their feeding habits are not picky at all.

However, they aren’t nocturnal animals. Their habits will largely depend on the climate they are living in, food availability, and other environmental factors. They don’t require a dedicated fancy light source. He can just live on the ambient room lime where it is kept. They are docile by nature and they can live on the diet of rodents for their entire life. Their overall body size is also ideal for beginners. However, some of them may touch the mark of 5 feet.

5- Rosy Boa

Rosy Boa | thepetsrise.comIf you want to own a reptile pet as a beginner then a rosy boa is all you need. They are the reptile pet for beginners who don’t like fast-moving lizards and snakes. The females are slightly larger than the males and most adults are 3 feet long. They can be held easily but can bite if they felt scared. Also, they move slowly and will stay calm if they lived in the right living conditions.

They can live with humidity of 50% and their enclosure should have a basking area set to 95° F. A simple halogen light can mimic daylight and low voltage will act as a night light. You will need to make an enclosure with the rocky substrate, rocks desert grass, and branches. Adults over 3 weeks will only require feeding every two weeks. They aren’t picky about diet which makes them great pet reptiles for beginners. Their average life span is 30 years.

6- Russian Tortoise

Russian Tortoise | thepetsrise.com

Tortoises are small reptile pets for beginners. They don’t need an introduction when it comes to the best pet reptile for beginners. The Russian Tortoise can be kept temporarily outside and if you want to own it then you will need to have at least 40 years of commitment. They are rare and the duration of their lifespan is what makes them not the top preference of many reptile owners. However, the care isn’t hard and you can handle them without a problem. However, just like any other reptile, they don’t like to cuddle as well.

They are mostly herbivores and they can eat grass, weeds, and flowers. They can grow up to 8 inches and requires a large enclosure with a substrate for burrowing. The ideal humidity for them is 60% and a basking area set at 90° F. What makes them the best reptiles for beginners is that they can live outside on warm days as long as they have soil to burrow into to escape from the heat. You will need a fenced backyard and the fence should be sunk deeper so they cannot escape.

7- Musk Turtles

Musk Turtles | thepetsrise.com

If you love aquatic reptiles and want to know what is the best reptile pet for a beginner then mind that this is the most complicated task for a beginner. Not only you will need to learn about reptile care tips but you will also need to learn about aquarium maintenance as well. However, if you have enough resources and dedication for beginners then go for musk turtles. They are quite good as a beginner pet reptile but because of their distinctive look, users may look elsewhere.

They are small in size which is about 4-5 inches with a straight line shall which is one of the most durable shells. You don’t have to worry about their diet because they can eat anything. You can feed them a wide range of diets from bugs, and fish veggies to comprised of pellets. They are also nocturnal so they don’t require any kind of special fancy lighting source. They are small reptile pets for beginners that aren’t too friendly but aggressive either. You can handle them without any issues because of the body shape they have.

Bottom Line

There you have it, the best reptiles for beginners list. Though we all know what is the most common and favorite pet type in America. However, reptiles are also gaining popularity among pet owners. You can search for the best pet shelters and shops that have to offer reptile pets on demand from the best breeders. Learn about different reptiles and then decide what is the best small reptile pet for beginners. For further information, tricks, and reptile care tips, you can follow our blog. 

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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