Care for Lizards

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Caring for lizards is not difficult but does require a commitment to twice daily attention. Most lizards can be held and interact with their owners just as other pets do. Most lizards can run fast and like to hide in tight dark areas whenever possible. However, you can purchase special lizard leashes and harnesses to place on your lizards whenever they are out of the cage to keep them safe.

Things You'll Need

  • Cage
  • Fresh vegetables and greens
  • Heat lamps
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Sand or Aspen bedding
  • Hiding stone
  • Turn on your heat lamp and ultraviolet lights on your lizard cage each morning as soon as you wake up or plug them into an automatic timer. Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles and need the warmth of the heat lamp to begin moving around in the morning.

  • Serve your lizards fresh greens, vegetables and fruits each day. Lizards love fresh vegetables and a variety will provide the nutrients they need. Fresh romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, carrots, peas, green beans and collard greens are great choices, to name a few. Sprinkle a little vitamin powder on top of the salad and serve fresh. Occasionally, they enjoy fresh watermelon, chopped apples, grapes and other fruits. Some lizards also enjoy silk worms, meal worms, crickets or even pinky mice occasionally.

  • Handle your lizards occasionally to keep them friendly and used to people. Lizards enjoy getting out of the cage just as most pets do. Some become aggressive if they are not handled periodically.

  • Scoop the poop and uneaten food out of your cage each day. Leaving old food and feces will attract bugs and cause your cage to smell, which will smell up your room. If you keep it scooped out each day then you will only need to change all of the bedding in your cage every couple of months. When you change all of the bedding, be sure to wipe everything down with mild bleach water.

  • Soak your lizards in warm water every month. Lizards absorb water from the food they eat and through their skin. In the desert, they are used to period rains that soak them. Some lizards enjoy soaking. They will drink and swim about. Others do not really like it. You may want to soak your lizards while you are cleaning their cage out. Cut their toenails while you are at it to avoid scratches while holding them.

  • Turn off your heat lamps and ultraviolet lights when you go to bed at night.

Tips & Warnings

  • Frozen bite size vegetables work well for some lizards.
  • Pick fresh dandelions and dandelion greens in the summer for your lizards, as they are high in nutrients.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling lizards or their dishes as you can get salmonella from them.
  • Photo Credit Julia Fuller
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