When you hear the word ‘pet,’ the first pictures that likely pop into your mind are of cats and dogs. After all, the internet is filled with adorable puppies and grumpy kittens – but what about irresistibly cute chameleons and other reptile pets? They deserve your love, too! In this article, we’ll break down all the reasons that you should consider a reptile as the newest edition to your pet family.
Reptiles make great pets because they are relatively low maintenance. Due to the nature of how reptiles are kept as pets, there are no concerns regarding bad odors, chewed/scratched furniture, or too much noise. Reptiles are also known for their long lifespans, so they make great lifelong companions.
There are plenty of reasons to consider getting a reptile pet, even for those people who have not considered it before. Keeping a reptile as a pet is becoming increasingly popular in our fast-paced society for a very good reason – or ten. In this article, we will break down the top ten reasons that reptiles make for good pets!
Can You Keep Reptiles as Pets?
While it is possible to keep reptiles as pets, it is far less common to see and might surprise a few people! When you go to someone’s house, their pets usually announce themselves; a cat’s tail brushing against your leg or a dog begging to be petted. However, most people would be a little nervous if their friend’s pet snake slithered onto their lap to say hello.
That’s because reptiles are not traditional pets. Typically, reptiles live in specially designed cages that can vary greatly in size, depending on the type of reptile it will be housing. This means that unless the reptile’s cage is in a common area of living space, you might not be aware someone is keeping a reptile as a pet!
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Whether you’re looking for a turtle that will outlive you or a bearded dragon to keep you company, there are many options to choose from when finding a reptile pet. Some reptiles may be better for first-time reptile pet owners; some may require a license to keep at your home!
While there are many benefits to keeping a reptile as a pet, which will be discussed shortly, you need to do your research into which reptile will make the best pet for you. There are a few important factors you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding which type of reptile will be compatible with you and your lifestyle.
But if you’re still in decision mode and want some convincing, here are 10 good reasons why you should consider a reptile as a pet!
Check out my article here naming 18 of the best reptiles you can keep as pets!
10 Reasons Why Reptiles are Good Pets
#1: There’s No Training Involved…
…unless you mean your training. While there is a learning curve that comes with keeping a reptile as a pet, you won’t have to worry about training your cold-blooded friend. If you want a pet that’s immediately ready to live in your home, a reptile is a good choice!
With dogs and cats, you inevitably need to house train them in order to keep the peace at home. The last thing you want is your dog doing his business in your living room! Reptiles, on the other hand, don’t need to be house trained. This is largely because they have their own little homes they live in. While you will need to clean their cage from time to time, you won’t be cleaning up after them!
#2: You Won’t Come Home to Destruction
If you’ve ever owned a dog, the chances are that you’ve come home to find out exactly how much they missed you while you were gone. From a mutilated roll of toilet paper to your favorite couch being chewed up, dogs are known to sink their teeth into your property. While this is more common in puppies, it’s out of the realm of possibility with a reptile pet.
As long as your pet reptile’s cage is secure, you won’t need to worry about them wreaking havoc while you’re not home. From sliding locks to combination code locks, there are many different types of locks available at pet stores to secure your pet’s cage.
#3: Reptiles Shed Differently
With dogs and cats, hair getting all over the place is an inevitability. Unless you plan on tailing your pet with a broom or vacuum, you might find yourself sneezing due to the shed hair that’s coating your home. Reptiles, however, shed a little differently, and their shedding doesn’t induce allergies. No more inviting a friend over for dinner and profusely apologizing because your pet’s hair is inducing their allergies.
Reptiles are known to shed their skin as they grow, and some even eat it afterward. Whether your reptile eats their shed skin or not, you won’t constantly be cleaning up after them. Chances are they will shed their skin in the privacy of their cage or tank, or you might need to help them shed it fully through a soak, but you can rest assured it will never be all over your floors like dog or cat hair.
#4: There’s a Wide Selection of Reptiles to Choose From
If you’re not the biggest fan of snakes, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a reptile as a pet. Unlike dogs or cats, which may differ from breed to breed but are all essentially the same, reptiles are a diverse group of creatures. Whether you get a gecko, a chameleon, a corn snake, or a turtle, chances are you will find the right reptile for you.
In fact, there are currently more than 8000 recognized species of reptiles in existence. Depending on how much time and space you have on your hands, you’re guaranteed to find the right reptile pet to suit your needs. Whether you go to straight the pet store or consult a reptile breeder, they will be able to give you specific advice on the right reptile for your pet needs.
#5: No Funky Smells
Whether your pet had an accident indoors you’re trying to locate, or you simply left the litterbox for a little too long, your pet may leave your house smelling funky from time to time. Reptiles, however, have their own ‘rooms’ in their cages or tanks where their smell is confined to.
The beauty of a reptile pet is that you can’t smell the inside of their cage or tank. As long as you keep your reptile pet’s cage or tank clean, it won’t even smell bad when you do open it up. The air you breathe in your home will always be fresh when you have a reptile as a pet! No more apologizing to guests for that funky smell.
#6: Your Neighbors Won’t Be Complaining
Pets can get us in trouble sometimes. Whether your cat is wandering into the neighbor’s home or your dog’s barking wakes them up in the middle of the night, you might receive a noise complaint every once in a while. Dogs, cats, and even birds can be rather vocal and can get into all sorts of trouble. Your reptile pet won’t.
Many types of reptiles, such as lizards, are mute and, those that can make sounds are usually clicking, hissing, or squeaking sounds. Some of these sounds are not even audible to the human ear, and your pet reptile’s cage or tank will also add some soundproofing. One thing is for sure; your pet reptile will never disturb your neighbors; your neighbors probably wouldn’t even know you have a pet reptile… unless your reptile finds a way out of their cage and goes all the way over there themselves.
#7: Reptiles are Low Maintenance
Compared to other common household pets, reptiles are incredibly low maintenance. That’s why many people in this day and age prefer them, as they can fit easily into almost anybody’s lifestyle. Your life, and the way you prefer to lead it, is an important consideration to take into account when deciding to get a pet.
While you will still have to take your reptile to the vet for scheduled checkups as you would any other pet, they are very low maintenance in other regards. Unlike dogs, you won’t need to take your reptiles for walks. You might not even have to feed them every day! Reptiles have rather slow metabolisms, which has an impact on their feeding schedule. Some reptiles may need to be fed daily, while some may only need to be fed a handful of times throughout the month.
This can work out cheaper in the long haul when compared to the costs of keeping other types of pets. While some reptile owners prefer to buy live food, there are many reptile species that will be perfectly happy with a herbivore diet or commercially made reptile pet food. This is a factor you should consider when deciding which reptile will make the perfect pet for you.
#8: They Live Long Lives
Depending on which species of reptile you settle on, you could have a lifelong companion. Some people prefer household pets with shorter lifespans, such as fish or hamsters. While there are some reptiles that fit this description, such as chameleons who live up to three years in captivity, many live far longer.
If you’re looking to make a commitment to a pet, a reptile might be the way to go. Due to the long lifespan of many reptile species, such as tortoises, you may even be able to adopt a reptile pet! Adopt don’t shop doesn’t just apply to furry friends!
#9: You Can Go Away Without Worrying
One of the hardest parts of having pets is being able to go away unexpectedly for the weekend. Finding someone to pet sit or a kennel to take in your dogs can often be a hassle. You might feel like the stress of finding someone to look after your pet is not worth it and just decide to stay home. With a reptile, you have more freedom.
Depending on how long you go away and your reptile pet’s schedule, you may only need a friend to come check-in for one day while you’re gone. This is possible because reptiles are generally low maintenance pets and don’t need to be walked or fed very often. While you’re away, you can rest assured your pet reptile won’t be chewing your favorite pair of shoes or keeping the neighbor up all night.
#10: They Are Simply Fascinating!
While dogs may be man’s best friend, there’s not much we don’t already know about them. Reptiles, on the other hand, are highly fascinating creatures. In fact, a vast majority of people probably don’t have much experience with reptiles at all. Your reptile will always be teaching you and your friends.
The list of facts that will make you say, “did you know…” is endless. There is always more research being collected on the thousands of reptile species in existence, and you and your reptile pet can follow along with it. While a corn snake or tortoise – or any one of the many other possible reptile pets you could get – might not be able to play fetch, they will stimulate your mind as you get to know more about them.
So, You’ve Decided You Want a Reptile, What Next?
Well, if you read this article, you’re on the right track. The next step is, you guessed it, more research! There are thousands of reptile species in existence and, though not all of them will make the perfect pets, it will take you some time to settle on which reptile is the one for you!
You can browse different types of reptile pets online or even visit pet stores that are licensed by the relevant bodies. When doing your research, you should look into the care that different reptiles require. Even though there are many reasons reptiles make for good pets, you want to make sure your lifestyle is compatible with the type of reptile you choose.
As is the case with many types of pets, you should be cautious of unethical breeders. You should look for licensed breeders or pet shops. When looking for a reptile pet, you should always look for ones that have been bred in captivity. Reptiles who are illegally captured in the wild to be sold can have behavioral problems that could disrupt the harmony in your house!
You want to be prepared for when your reptile friend comes home! You’ll need to think about their cage or tank, their diet, and more. If you don’t plan ahead, you may be setting yourself up for failure. You wouldn’t want to end up rehoming your pet reptile because you didn’t do your research, would you?
Reptiles are highly fascinating creatures. If you own a reptile as a pet, you’re guaranteed to never stop learning from your pet. After all, there is constantly more information about reptiles being published. That’s just the first benefit of keeping these marvelous creatures as pets.
Reptiles are notoriously low maintenance and won’t be begging you for cuddles! This means that reptiles can easily find a place in your busy modern life because let’s face it, pets can be a huge responsibility! You can’t just leave your dog alone at home for a day, but you might be able to with a reptile!
Your neighbors likely won’t even know you have a pet reptile because they don’t make much noise. You can also rest assured that your reptile pet will not be biting holes in your shoes when you’re not around. Due to the nature of how reptile pets are kept, you eliminate the threat of damage to your property or funny smells – risks that are common with other types of pets.
There are plenty of benefits that come with getting a reptile pet. Start doing your research into your reptile pet today, and those benefits could start revealing themselves tomorrow!