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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Pet Lizard

Pet Lizard Cost


How Much Does a Pet Lizard Cost?

 
low costGreen Iguana: $15-$35 average costGecko: $6-$250high costSpecialty Breeds: $250-$650+
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A lizard is a scaly reptile, native to arid regions on every continent. Pet lizards come in all different shapes and sizes, and range from the common gecko and iguana to the Komodo dragon. These exotic pets are sought after for their fascinating abilities and lifestyles.

Typical costs:

  • The gecko, which is a small reptile that can usually fit in the palm of the hand and has a friendly temperament, costs anywhere from $6 to $250. The Global Gecko Association provides care sheets on the common Day Gecko[1] and Leopard Gecko[2] .
  • The Green Iguana, a common pet iguana that reaches six feet in length, can be purchased online or at pet stores for between $15 and $35.
  • Specialty breeds cost more. Cyclura Iguanas, for example, range from $250 to $600. The Satanic Leaftail Gecko sells for $250 a pair. Other exotic lizards, like Bearded Dragons and Chameleons, can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
  • Prices vary depending on the season (each species hatches at the same time of year), rarity, temperament, and patterns. Uniquely patterned lizards sell for more, as do "hand tamed" ones.
Related articles: Turtle, Fish, Pet Bird, Hedgehog, Ferret

What should be included:
  • Try to buy a lizard that has been captive bred, not caught in the wild. Wild lizards tend to have more health problems, such as parasites, are stressed from the experience of being caught and moved, and aren't assimilated to living outside their habitat or with humans.
  • The Reptile Channel provides an extensive list of lizard types[3] .
Additional costs:
  • Cage or aquarium. Depending on the lizard's space needs and how large they will get at full size, living spaces could cost anywhere from $40 to thousands of dollars. Smaller lizards like geckos can do well in a plastic box or 10-gallon aquarium, but larger lizards like the iguana need a bigger space made of sturdier materials. Custom-made cages for larger reptiles can exceed $1,000. Make sure the lizard can grow into the home. Some species grow to be six feet long.
  • Habitat. Unlike cats and dogs, which adapt to human environments easily, lizards can only thrive when living in an environment that replicates their natural one. This could be as simple as providing a $20 heated rock to as complicated as a lighting, heating and humidity system involving UVA and UVB lights for as much as $200. And don't forget the corresponding spike in the electric bill: calculate[4] these costs when considering a pet reptile. The cage should be outfitted with wood pieces, planks, a hiding box, and foliage to keep the lizard entertained and comfortable. These items range in price from $8 to $40.
  • Food. There are thousands of species of lizards, and thousands of diets for them, too. Some, like geckos, eat crickets and mealworms. A $16 batch of 1,000 mealworms or a $25 batch of 1,000 crickets should last three months. Others, like iguanas, have specific dietary requirements[5] and eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. These items cost about $3 a day, or $90 a month. Lizards often need their diet supplemented with calcium or other nutrients.
  • Lizards may carry salmonella, so it's important to keep their living area clean and to always sanitize after handling them.
  • Veterinary care. Typically, a vet visit for a reptile costs about as much or a little more than one for cats or dogs, or about $40 to $80 depending on the area. As for most other pets, treating illnesses or injuries can skyrocket into thousands of dollars.
Discounts:
  • Buy in the summertime, as the supply is high after the lizards are first hatched. Then prices go up in the fall since there are fewer available and those that are available are bigger.
  • Building a cage can be much cheaper and more customized than a pre-made one, with costs ranging from $100 to $300. Sites like BaskingLizards.com[6] provide cage plans for between $5 and $20.
Shopping for a pet lizard:
  • PetEducation.com[7] provides a list of considerations before buying a lizard.
  • Lizard enthusiasts caution against buying a lizard from a pet store, saying that pet store workers aren't as familiar with the exotic pet's health history, sex, origin or health and habitat requirements.
  • Check PetFinder.com[8] to find a lizard in need of adoption by entering "lizard" and a zip code in the search field on the left.
  • Consider, through research, the suitability of a lizard's temperament, size and longevity.
  • Before purchasing a lizard, be sure to have a reptile veterinarian chosen. Find one nearby at HerpVetConnection.com[9]
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External Resources:
  1.  www.gekkota.com/html/_phelsuma_sp_.html
  2.  www.gekkota.com/html/eublepharis_macularius.html
  3.  www.reptilechannel.com/reptile-species/lizards_all_landing.aspx
  4.  www.anapsid.org/electricitycost.html
  5.  www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=17+1796&aid=649
  6.  baskinglizards.com/index.php?cPath=27_42
  7.  www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=17+1796&aid=1609
  8.  www.petfinder.com
  9.  www.herpvetconnection.com/
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