What you need to know before getting a lizard

Want to get a lizard?

Lizards are often very popular with people looking to get into the reptile hoppy.

And for good reason, rather docile, easily tamed, lizards are fascinating creatures to observe and handle.

But then, which species to choose?

What does a lizard eat?

How to set up your terrarium?

We tell you all about lizards and their needs.

If you are looking for a small lizard, the Leopard Gecko is a great place to start

If you are new to terrarium keeping, it is recommended to start with a lizard known for its rather docile character and which will be easier to tame.

Measuring only twenty centimetres, he is sociable, docile and easily tamed.

The main difficulty lies in the permanent control of the temperature of its terrarium.

Nocturnal lizard, needs a dry and rocky environment, including a hot zone between 30 and 32 ° C and a cold zone at 28 ° C.

At night, the temperature should drop to 20 – 22 ° C.

He will also need hiding places, branches and rocks so that he can hide and not get bored.

  • The Australian Bearded Dragon, also called Pogona, is also a good option.

This diurnal species of about forty centimetres is easily handled and is particularly curious.

Its terrarium will have to reproduce a desert biotope with a hot zone at 40 ° C.

  • Finally, the Water Dragon will suit lovers of large lizards since it can measure from 60 to 90 centimetres.

Very calm and sociable, he too is easily handled.

This arboreal species will require a large terrarium with many plants and branches, as well as an aquatic area.

In any case, take care to gradually accustom your lizard to your smell by handling it only a few minutes a day at the start.

Little by little you will be able to increase this duration, but without ever making it too hard in order to limit your animal’s stress.

Animals from captive breeding are generally more docile, as they have been accustomed to humans from their earliest days.

What food should you give your lizard?

Depending on its species, the lizard can have a herbivorous, omnivorous, or carnivorous diet.

The protein, carbohydrate and fat needs will be different, the intake will not be via the same foods and the number of meals also varies according to the species and age of your lizard:

  • The lizard’s herbivores such as iguanas feed exclusively on plants (fruits, vegetables, greens) at one meal a day for young lizards and one meal every two days for adults lizards;
  • The omnivorous lizards such as a bearded dragon) will need animal protein in addition to their contributions in plants (40% meat products to 60% of plants). Most species require about 2 meals per week;
  • The carnivorous lizards include actually under 2 diets: the insect and strict carnivores.
  • Insectivorous lizards consume only insects (butterflies, locusts, crickets, etc.) at the rate of one meal per day, while strict carnivorous lizards eat only small mammals and small vertebrates.
  • Young lizards need one meal per day, while adults will be content with two meals per week.

Whatever their diet, lizards will need calcium supplements and vitamins, their food is minimally equipped.

Calcium and most vitamins can be supplied through the supply of special granules, while vitamin D must be supplied via a special terrarium lamp.

Finally, even if it is a cold-blooded animal, the lizard needs to have permanent access to a little water in order to hydrate, sometimes to bathe, and quite simply to keep a good humidity.

Which terrarium to choose for your lizard and how to arrange it well?

The choice of your terrarium will depend above all on the species of lizard you have chosen and its size once an adult.

Your vivarium should not be too large in order to remain adapted to the behaviour of your lizard, but not too small either because it will most certainly have to accommodate two temperature zones (one hot and one cold) and sometimes even an aquatic space.

Ideally, try to choose a terrarium that is about 3 times longer than your lizard, and 1.5 times higher and deep than it.

If your lizard is a climber, the above measurements should be height x length x depth.

Do not hesitate to turn to our fully equipped terrarium kits in order to have all the necessary equipment to create an environment adapted to your lizard.

Indeed, the vivarium of your lizard will have to reproduce its living conditions in nature (desert, semi-desert or tropical) with the establishment of a substrate on the ground, decorative elements (branches, rocks, roots, plants, etc.), and hiding places and shelters to rest or climb on.

As always, try to find the right balance to achieve a vivarium that is neither too crowded nor too empty.

Do not forget to place a bowl of water and remember to change it every day.

In addition to the decoration, the management of temperature and humidity will be two particularly important parameters when creating your vivarium.

Heating cable, hotplate or even ceramic lamp, many terrarium heating options exist!

You will also need to install UV lamps so that your lizard can synthesize vitamin D and calcium, which are essential for its survival.

Finally, be sure to place your terrarium in a quiet place, halfway up and without too much traffic in order to limit the stress on your reptile.

The terrarium furniture is particularly suitable because it is perfectly suited to different models of terrariums, they can support the weight without danger and ensure stability for your terrarium.

As a bonus, they usually include drawers or shelves to store your reptile’s accessories and food.