Lizards as Pets: Friendly, Costly

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

So now you want a pet lizard? Not so fast. Reptiles are costly and require expensive equipment. Their food isn't cheap, either.

Take a bearded dragon, for example. They are docile and friendly. They don't require another dragon for company, and they get used to humans fairly easily. They make great pets for children, says Michael Ralbovsky, who should know.

Bearded dragons cost from $80 to $100. Figure on another $150 to $200 for equipment, including:

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heat lights

heat pad

heat rock (optional)

UVB lighting

aquarium

wire lid

cage furniture (wood, food bowls)

spray bottle (for baths)

Now, you have to keep it fed for the next 15 years or so. It eats crickets (you can buy them from a pet store), and fruits and vegetables (things like romaine lettuce, escarole, and collard greens).

For pets, Mr. Ralbovsky also recommends corn snakes, king snakes, leopard geckos, and fat-tail geckos.

He does not recommend pythons, boa constrictors, or iguanas.

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