"Eww! Why would anyone want THAT for a pet? It's not cuddly at all. It looks slimy. Ewwwwwwwww!"
Dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits even ferrets and rats are perfectly acceptable standard pets. But a reptile too can make a great low-maintenance addition to your family. It's natural to have an aversion to animals that don't fit the standard ideal of household pets. But here are some reasons why you might want to consider picking a pet covered in scales rather than hair.
Many people have allergies to the fur or dander produced by various fuzzy pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc). So the first benefit of reptile ownership is fewer allergens!
The wide variety of reptiles available mean you can be sure to find one that appeals to you. Some enjoy the simple beauty of a reptile that is meant to remain in its enclosure rather than be handled. A properly decorated enclosure is like a nature scene in the home. Day geckos and tokay geckos are both beautiful reptiles that are not meant to be handled. They are what are known as an “ornamental” pet. You might enjoy watching their activities, like hunting, climbing, jumping, etc. Anoles are a wonderful, small, active and require a tropical enclosure so the set up can be made with live plants and made into a beautiful piece of living furniture much like how some people view an aquarium.
For those that want a more interactive pet, bearded dragons and leopard geckos are at the top of the list. Both are knows to be docile and friendly and enjoy interaction with their owners. If these two reptiles are handled regularly they will even walk up to the glass and try to climb up to you, wanting to be taken out and played with.
Most reptiles eat insects but there are a few that are strict herbivores (eating plant material only, such as fruits and vegetables). Some people, although they enjoy the thought of a reptile as a pet, do not want to have to deal with insects. For this reason a Uromastyx is a great choice. They are small to medium sized, high desert reptiles that only eat fruits, vegetables, legumes and some seeds.
One of the biggest benefits to having a reptile (lizard or snake) as a pet is the fact that they do not need the same intensive care that mammals need. Snakes and most lizards do not need to be fed on a daily basis, reptiles are usually fed daily as a baby but as an adult they are often fed every other day and some only once or twice a week! Snakes can go even longer between meals, as babies usually once or twice a week and as adults some can go MONTHS without wanting food! This is a great benefit to someone who is always on the go or travels often.
Many Pet Life stores offer a “Reptile Day” as a meet and greet to educate the public on housing, nutrition, and benefits of some of the more common reptiles that we carry. This is a great way to learn about, interact with and help you to get over any misconceptions you may have about reptiles as pets. Before you know it, you will want a hairless pet of your own!