Why Do Reptiles Make Such Good Pets?

milk snake as pet

If you’re looking to bring a pet into your home this new year, you may be interested in options such as dogs, cats, or fish. However, one of the underrated options that you’ll also want to consider is a reptile. Even though they don’t have the notoriety of goldfish or yellow labs, reptiles tend to make excellent pets. Below, you’ll find a list of the primary reasons why reptiles make excellent pets and why you should consider bringing one into your home.

Allergy Concerns

Pets such as dogs, cats, gerbils, and hamsters tend to cause problems for those with allergies. Dander, fur, and other allergens can wreak havoc. Unfortunately, most owners don’t realize that they are allergic to their new pet until they bring it into the home. At this point, they either need to spend dozens of hours each week maintaining a clean living space or give the pet to another owner.

However, this is not the case when it comes to reptiles. Reptiles do not create allergens, making them an excellent option for those with sensitive sinuses. The only concern that owners may have is the type of bedding they choose for their reptile, as some bedding is prone to creating dust mites. Look for bedding that is allergen-free to avoid this problem.

Less Clean Up

bearded dragon

Another problem with common household pets is that they can create messes around the home. Consider cats, for example, which roam the house freely and use a litter box to go to the bathroom indoors. Dogs, especially puppies, are known to be curious. Constant monitoring is involved with a common household pet.

Of course, this is not the case when it comes to reptiles. Reptiles are contained to one glass tank and don’t require much exercise. Owners can take their reptiles out of the tank at their convenience, and then place them back in the tank when they need to leave home. Owners won’t have to worry about coming home to a surprising mess when they own a reptile.

Costs Are Lower

Although this may depend on the type of reptile that you bring home, the general rule of thumb is that it’s much cheaper to own a reptile than it is to own other common pets. First and foremost, you don’t need to feed a reptile every day. Compare this to the cost of feeding a dog, which you must daily. Part of this is because reptiles are more sedentary and have slower metabolisms.

You can also factor in costs such as toys and medical bills. For instance, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the first-year cost of owning a dog can range from $1,300 to $1,850 which includes first-year costs as:

Green chameleon sitting on a tree branch in the zoo

• Training

• Shots

• Spaying or Neutering

Costs after the first year can push $900. Rover.com is a bit more bearish on the cost of owning a dog, indicating that the average price per year is nearly $2,900 when factoring things such as pet sitting and emergency medical visits.

The cost of owning a cat is not much better. For instance, the website Money Under 30 says that first-year prices for a cat are more than $350 and that annual costs exceed $700. Compare this to the costs of owning a reptile, and it’s easy to see a stark difference. The cost of owning a snake is roughly $450 per year while lizards and iguana can cost less than $350.

Longer Life Spans

Snake protecting his eggs in sand

If you care for them correctly and provide them with suitable living conditions, reptiles could live for decades. If you’re tired of having to bring a new fish into your home every few months or a new hamster into your home every year, you may want to consider a reptile instead. Reptiles have the longest lifespan of any domesticated house pet.

Reptiles Are Just As Friendly As Other Common House Pets

When thinking about their new pet, many people envision a dog running through their backyard or a cat nuzzling up against them on the couch. There is a stigma surrounding reptiles, with many people believing that they are not nearly as lovable as other common house pets. However, this is not the case. Reptiles will grow to recognize you and your family and can provide hours of joy.

Backed By Experts

Veterinarians and other scientific experts endorse the idea of bringing a reptile into the home. For instance, Dr. Tracey Ritzman, a veterinarian with Cascade Hospitals for Animals, said, “We have many owners of reptiles in this area, and they are well-liked by the families that have them.” She continued, “Reptile owners say their pets have unique and wonderful characteristics…they enjoy interaction with their owner.” 

What About Live Food?

tokay gecko

One of the most significant concerns we hear from those interested in bringing a reptile into their home is that they’ll need to feed the animal live food. However, this is not the case. It is undoubtedly true that some reptiles, such as snakes, require live feedings. However, this is not the case with all reptiles. Many reptiles, such as turtles, are herbivores. They are satisfied with plant-based diets, such as lettuce. 

If you wish to own a reptile that would require a live feeding, you may be able to look into food that commercially-prepared. Some reptiles will find this type of food suitable, which would eliminate the need for live feedings. Furthermore, remember that live feedings will not need to occur daily. Depending on the size of your pet, you may only need to feed the animal once per week.

What Types Of Reptiles Should You Consider?

If you’re interested in the perks of owning a reptile, you should do more focalized research on the animal in which you’re interested. We recommend talking with experts or your local veterinarian to learn more about how a reptile could exist in your home. There is also an abundance of information available online as well. Reptiles are known to make excellent house pets include:

• Geckos

• Lizards

• Iguanas

• Turtles

• Tortoises

• Snakes

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