These days, the "family pet" is no longer limited to your choice between a cat or a dog. Truth is, there is a whole world of friendly, adorable reptiles that make awesome household pets! Unfortunately, there is a social stigma that reptiles are aggressive, intimidating animals only suitable to be kept by professionals. This may be true for some of the more uncommon or advanced species around, but we are going to shed some light right now on some of the charming reptiles that make awesome additions tot he family!

Crested Gecko

The Crested gecko is a medium-small gecko from New Caledonia. They have large heads relative to their body size, and small eyelash looking crests running down from the eyes to the back.  In the wild these geckos spend their lives among the treetops and will do well in a tall arboreal 20 gallon glass terrarium set up. These lizards are very friendly and can tolerate moderate handling as an adult. You want to avoid handling them unless necessary as a juvenile, if they feel spooked, stressed or in danger, they will drop their tail off and it will not grow back. NEVER pick up your crested gecko by the tail. These little guys are so beloved in the pet trade because unlike most reptiles, they do not need live food to thrive! Crested geckos live happily off fruits, insects and nectar in the wild and can be fed a powdered fruit/protein mixture in captivity. Pisces recommends: Repashy Crested Gecko Mango Superblend. The crested gecko is nocturnal and you will be able to view their activity in the evenings and night time. For more information on the crested gecko, please view our crested gecko care sheet!

Bearded Dragon

Chances are you know someone who has or has had a bearded dragon. They are a very common desert terrestrial lizard native to Australia, widely captive bred in North America. So why is the bearded dragon the #1 most popular kept pet reptile? The answer is simple, they are very friendly in easy to care for! In my personal experience with reptiles, the bearded dragon is undoubtedly the most docile species of lizard i have ever had the pleasure of handling. As adults, they can be handled frequently with no trouble. Personally, i would watch TV with my bearded dragon on the couch, casually feeding mealworms during commercial breaks like popcorn! An adult bearded dragon can live comfortably in a long 40 gallon glass terrarium with UVB lighting. As omnivores, they live a happy and healthy life on crickets, worms, leafy greens and vegetables. Pisces recommends: Komodo Bearded Dragon Mix. Most of the day, you will find them basking under their heat lamp with their mouths open, they do this when basking after they hit their ideal basking temperature and do not want to get any hotter! For more information on the bearded dragon, please view our bearded dragon care sheet!

Ball Python

The Ball python is the top choice for the first time snake keeper. Besides being available in an array of beautiful color morphs, they are also friendly and readily available at most pet stores. Although a shy snake, the ball python can (and will) be one of your closest companions after earning their trust. When handling, pick them up slowly but confidently, with no hesitation. The ball python is very docile but can act aggressively if they feel threatened.  Ball pythons like to hide and burrow, and will live comfortably in a large, low tank. These snakes hail from the rainforests of Africa, so you want to keep high humidity in your enclosure with a warm basking spot. Another reason why these guys make excellent pets is the feeding frequency. The ball python only needs to be fed one rodent per week! They prefer live food, just make sure the rodent is not larger than the maximum girth of your snake. For more information on the ball python, please view our ball python care sheet!

Leopard Gecko

Like the ball python & crested gecko, the leopard gecko has been captive bred to produce tons of beautiful color morphs and variations. These happy little fellows are known for the funny, human-like expressions they make, mainly due to their eyelids. Besides being funny to look at, they also make a great family pet! As adults they can tolerate gentle handling and are known for being friendly and calm. Like the crested gecko, the leopard gecko is also capable of dropping its tail. But don't worry, this gecko has the ability to re-generate its own tail! However, re-growing a tail uses lots of energy and causes stress on the lizard, and never grows back as nice as the original, so try your best to avoid a dropped tail! The leopard gecko is a nocturnal insectivore and will only eat live insects. In the evenings, it is quite the spectacle to drop your crickets into the tank and watch the leopard gecko hunt down its prey! For more information on the leopard gecko, please view our leopard gecko care sheet!

Hermann's Tortoise 

We new you were looking for an excuse to get yourself a tortoise, and here it is! The Hermann's tortoise is a friendly, fun-sized tortoise for the whole family to enjoy. These guys rarely grow larger than 8" and only require a 4' x 2' enclosure! The Hermann's tortoise thrives on fibrous vegetables, and can be offered insects now and again as treats. Like the bearded dragon, this reptile is a diurnal desert dweller and requires full spectrum UVB lighting and calcium supplement (Pisces recommends: Exo Terra Calcium + D3 Powder) to be healthy. These tortoises tolerate handling and can often be removed from the enclosure for walks around the house and yard in the summertime. They are more fragile than they appear, so be very gentle when handling and never hold a tortoise vertically, always keep level. It may not surprise you to learn that the Hermann's tortoise can live up to and over 50 years! As awesome as these creatures are, really do your research and make sure that this reptile is the right pet for you! For more information on the Hermann's tortoise, please view our desert tortoise care sheet!