Do reptiles make good pets?

Do reptiles make good pets?

While lizards, snakes and geckos may not initially occur to you as the perfect companion, there is something inherently fascinating about embracing the reptilian hobby. In the US the reptile industry is valued at about $1.5 billion and growing, with over nine million reptiles being loved and cared for across the country.  

In the UK there are more than 200,000 reptiles and 200,000 snakes kept as pets. Looking after a reptile is completely different to looking after a cat or dog – you can’t just pick up its food with your weekly supermarket shop. If you are interested in having a reptile as a pet we suggest you visit your local reptile store and seek out their knowledge, expertise and advice.

Meanwhile, we may be biased but not only do we believe reptiles make good pets – they make GREAT pets! Here’s why…

Their behaviour is a marvel to wonder at

Reptilian behaviour is wide and varied, and completely unique to the species. The way in which they walk, slither, blink and eat can keep you entertained for hours. If you have a fascination for the natural world, you can be your very own David Attenborough, tracking your pet’s movements, understanding its daily rhythm, noting its favourite foods, and becoming attuned to its mood changes.

This fascination is ultimately relaxing and de-stressing, a form of mindfulness that can absorb your attention wholly and distract you from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

No pet hairs to hoover up!

Reptiles are much cleaner and more hygienic than the average cat or dog, so they are brilliant if you, or others in your family, are allergic to pet hair and dust mites. They don’t scratch the furniture, throw up on the carpet, slobber over the freshly cleaned kitchen floor, or whine to come in as soon as you have let them out.


Generally reptiles are silent creatures. They don’t bark all night, wail at the door or screech at you as soon as you walk into the room like parrots. They don’t run around in circles driving everyone mad. Nor do they need to be taken out for a walk. Your neighbours probably won’t even realise that you have them (unless they are reptile lovers themselves, in which case you are very fortunate. As a result, you don’t need to worry about them being disturbed by barking dogs, or cats turning up at their doorstep or going to the toilet in their garden!

They have a longer life span

When cared for properly, your reptile pet can live for decades. You need to take this into account when deciding which type of reptile to care for. If you are buying one for a child, don’t forget that child will be growing up and leaving home in a few years’ time.

Commitment to a reptile pet needs to be a family affair. And that reptile will cement its place in your home as a fixed point around which family life will circle and evolve. Your pet will recognize you and recognize the comings and goings of the family. They will notice when you walk into a room, and understand that your presence means food.

You don’t need ‘pet sitters’ for short trips away

Dogs can be particularly restrictive when you are looking to go away for a weekend, and dog sitters or kennels can be expensive. Your reptile will be quite happy to be left alone for a few days as long as you leave adequate food and water.

Taking on a reptile is a commitment that requires serious thought, and we urge you to do your homework and research before making that commitment. Once the decision is made though, we know you will have hours of pleasure bonding with your reptile.

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