5 Pet Lizards for Beginners

by Luke Tansley on in Bearded Dragons Chameleons Geckos Lizards

Lizards can make brilliant pets and they are probably the most popular group of pets we sell. That’s probably, at least in part, to some people being a little nervous around snakes, spiders and frogs when they enter the hobby but we’re sure it’s mostly how awesome the lizards we sell are! We have lizards that burrow, lizards that skitter around an enclosure and lizards that climb. We have some that come out in the day, some that come out at night and many that come out when they feel like it. There are species that love water and humidity and others that require neither. Lizards are a massive and extremely diverse group of pets. To narrow them down for you, here are five of our all-time favourites.

Bearded Dragon

An oldy but goldy in the lizard keeping world, the bearded dragon. To many more experienced reptile keepers, these can seem very common but there is a reason that they are the number one most popular pet lizard in the UK. They remain a very modest size at around 2 foot in total length (around half of this being tail). They have a brilliant personality when treated well and with care and very rarely exhibit any aggression or fear of handling. Younger dragons can be a bit quick but they usually grow out of this by 18-24 months old. If you aren’t sure which of these would be best for you the bearded dragon is a very solid choice.

Crested Gecko

Crested geckos are the other end of the spectrum in terms of the enclosure. Whereas the beardie above will love a large, dry and hot enclosure, these little geckos much prefer a warm humid and tall enclosure. Crested geckos are our most popular climbing species because they are really easy to keep, pretty easy to handle once you get used to them and they take to naturally planted enclosures really well. A crested gecko in a 45x45x60 glass enclosure with live jungle plants make for a spectacular pet in a spectacular display enclosure.

Leopard Gecko

If you are after a ground-dwelling gecko but you don’t think you could keep up with constantly making salad for your bearded dragon to ignore then a leopard gecko might be perfect. These smooth little lizards love to rest under bark decorations or resin ornaments throughout the day. While they are most active between dusk and dawn they are known to become more active in the day time with regular interactions. They just eat crickets and treats so their care is much easier than a dragon and they don’t need as much space to thrive.

Panther Chameleons

There are a number of chameleons that could have been included in this list but we love the panther chameleons. They aren’t quite as large as the more common Yemen chameleon but we find that they are more likely to have a better personality and take to handling and frequent interaction. Their enclosure isn’t as warm as Yemen chameleons either so we find them a little easier to keep at the correct temperature. They are a little more sensitive to humidity, lighting and husbandry so you should be well prepared and make sure you have the perfect enclosure up and running from day one. As long as the care is good this chameleon is a great choice.


If the idea of live insects in your house is just a bit too much then you might be after a Uromastyx. These lizards, also known as Dabb lizards or frog faced lizards are the perfect polite little vegetarians. Unlike most other lizards Uromastyx can normally thrive on a diet of seeds and salad. They are very intelligent and take to handling very well even if they are a little quick when they are young. The exact care and size will vary from species to species with the Egyptian Uromastyx getting to 3ft and the Ornate Uromastyx remaining 10-12 inches. We normally recommend Morrocan Uromastyx as they are the best behaved and easiest to keep but if you can get your hands on an Omani or ornate Uromastyx they also make spectacular pets.

If you were wondering my personal favourite lizard would be the Uromastyx or perhaps something a little more involved like a giant day gecko, spiny tail monitor or water dragon. Aside from the Uromastyx, they are all a bit more difficult to set up and keep well but make for very rewarding pets. If you would like to enquire see the reptiles available in store please visit the Northampton animal list or Towcester animal list. If you have any questions about the article or if there is anything else we can help with please call us on 01604753823 or email us at sales@reptilecentre.com

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About Luke Tansley

Luke works within the customer service department at reptilecentre.com. At home he keeps hognose snakes, bearded dragons and kingsnakes.