An Overview of Pet Reptiles for Beginners

There are so many things to love about reptiles that it’s hard to find a place to start. These cold-blooded creatures may seem exotic and strange, but they make surprisingly wonderful companions that are easy to figure out once you get the hang of them. If you’re a pet reptile beginner or considering getting one, here’s an overview of what it’s like and what you can come to expect:

Reptiles Are Pretty Low Maintenance

Aside from keeping them warm, their homes clean, and their bellies full, reptiles are amazingly low-maintenance pets. They’re highly independent and don’t require social interaction from humans or other reptiles, in order to thrive. This means they’re a great pet for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands or is away for extended periods of time. With the exception of tortoises who do best in a yard of some type, reptiles can be perfectly fine securely housed in their cozy enclosures the majority of their life. Just be sure to do your research and outfit their living spaces with appropriate decor.

The Biggest Costs Come From Getting Set Up

A common selling point for pet reptiles is how affordable they are. Bear in mind that while ongoing costs tend to be quite low, getting their enclosure set up (not to mention buying the reptile itself) tends to be a front-heavy expense. Here’s what you’ll need to buy:

First and foremost, a terrarium. Sized in gallons (i.e. 20-gallon tank), smaller ones can start in the $50 range and go up to the hundreds. Next is all the gear for keeping your reptile comfortable and healthy. It’s vital that a reptile’s enclosure has the proper heating. This can mean heating pads, special bulbs, and timers. Depending on the species, humidity tools and special ultraviolet lighting might be required as well. Food and bedding (the material used to line the bottom of their enclosure) are ongoing costs but are quite low.

Reptiles Aren’t The Most Social Creatures

These cold-blooded creatures can sometimes get a bad (and undeserved) rep. One of them that’s kind of true is their reputation for being a bit frosty. Unlike humans and dogs and cats who have highly developed brains equipped for socialization and emotions, reptiles notably do not. They are solitary creatures whose emotions are limited to ones dealing with survival (i.e being afraid, behaving defensively). That’s not to say that owning reptiles can’t be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, but if you go into the relationship expecting the same level of affection you would receive from a dog, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Earning their trust is a slow and steady process that can take weeks and months. Fortunately, certain reptile breeds are naturally more social than others and can allow you the physical interaction you desire in a pet. Ball pythons, bearded dragons, and corn snakes are just a few of some naturally friendly reptiles you can choose from.

Buying A Pet Reptile Is Easy

Reptiles have spiked in popularity over the past decade which has made finding reptiles for sale easier than ever. Specialty online stores like can offer an incredible selection of reptiles and morphs, and great deals on the items necessary to care for them. They are also a great resource for pet reptile beginners and can offer a treasure trove of advice on how to properly care and bond with each, particularly reptile species. If you’re looking for a reptile expert, specialty reptile shops are the best place to look.