Tip the Scales: Reasons Reptiles Make Amazing Pets
Pets: they’re our first taste of responsibility, our best friends when all our human ones are getting into drama, and the stars of our Instagram stories. But as cute as dogs and cats are, they aren’t for everyone. Fortunately, they aren’t our only option, either. If you’re looking for a new way to experience all the joys of pet parenthood, here are four reasons why reptiles make amazing pets.
If there’s one thing that keeps countless people from owning a pet, it’s fur allergies. Even if you’re not allergic to pets, those snuggly fur coats come with their own set of baggage. Fur makes it harder to keep animals clean and gets into the carpet. You don’t have that problem with the scaley hide of a chameleon or the smooth skin of a gecko.
Anyone who’s ever had a dog or cat knows that it’s a lot of responsibility. Along with food and water, you have to let them out, walk them, play with them, groom them, and train them. Reptiles are pretty self-sufficient. With food and water and a cleaned tank, they’re usually able to thrive. And since they tend to stay stationary, they’re often less likely to get hurt and need veterinarian care.
Tank pets often have a reputation for not lasting very long. Hamsters only live two or three years. Goldish can live much longer, but conditions usually cut their lives short. But when you treat them right, reptiles can often live as long or longer than cats or dogs. Here are the lifespans for a few common household reptiles:
- Veiled chameleon: 6-8 years
- Bearded dragons: 10-15 years
- Iguanas: 12-15 years
- Leopard geckos: 15 years
- Red-eared sliders: 25 years
- Ball pythons: 30 years
And if you’re not interested in making that kind of time commitment to a pet, that’s OK too. There are reptile varieties with shorter lifespans as well. For example, panther chameleons only live two to three years,
If we haven’t sold you yet, here is the number one reason reptiles make amazing pets. They’re cool. Seriously. Don’t pretend that you didn’t watch Jurassic Park or The Hobbit when you were a kid and think to yourself, “Man, I wish I had my own velociraptor,” or, “I want a pet dragon.” If you paint their enclosure to look like a jungle or fantastical world, you’ll have basically achieved that dream.
Pets are awesome, and you have far more options than just dogs and cats when it comes to finding a pet that’s best for you. Reptiles may not be fuzzy, but they have plenty to offer you as a pet owner.