Monitor lizards, also known as “monitors” or “goannas,” are some of the world’s most unique and exciting animals. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them an attractive pet option for those looking for something more exotic than a dog or cat. But before you get your heart set on bringing home one of these reptiles, there are some essential things to consider.
Are monitor lizards good pets?
Monitor lizards make exciting and intelligent pets. However, they require an experienced keeper since they can become aggressive if not appropriately handled.
Although the more common smaller species, such as the Savannah monitor, can reach around 3 feet in full maturity, larger species, such as the Komodo Dragon, may grow even bigger.
Therefore, pet owners should consider whether their home suits a large lizard.
Monitor lizards also need a large terrarium with an artificial lighting system to recreate day and night cycles and provide a range of temperatures.
A strict diet of insects, worms, and mouse pups should be provided regularly, along with clean water and hiding places.
But, owning a monitor lizard is not for beginners; those with previous experience keeping reptiles or similarly sized animals might find themselves well-equipped enough to care for these intelligent predators.
Requirements and Considerations
First and foremost, monitor lizards require a large enclosure.
Depending on the species you choose, they can reach lengths up to three feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds! That’s why providing them plenty of space to roam around and explore is essential.
It would be best if you also remembered that monitor lizards need access to water and sun – UVB light is essential for their health. Additionally, because these reptiles like to dig in their environment, the substrate should be provided along with rocks and logs for hiding spots.
It is also important to note that monitors are carnivorous lizards that must be fed live prey such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, pinky mice, or other small rodents.
This can be difficult for many potential pet owners, so it is crucial to consider what kind of diet the lizard will need before getting one as a pet.
In addition to this being time-consuming and potentially expensive if you choose not to breed your food sources, it can also be challenging if you have any moral objections about feeding live prey.
Pros of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet
1. Low Maintenance
One of the biggest pros of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet is that they are low maintenance. Unlike other pets, such as dogs and cats, monitor lizards do not need to be taken for walks or given baths. Additionally, they do not require a lot of space, as they can be kept in a small enclosure.
2. Fascinating to Watch
Another pro of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet is that they are fascinating to watch. Monitor lizards are very active and have a wide range of behaviors that can be interesting to observe. They are also intelligent creatures that can learn tricks and solve puzzles.
3. Easy to Care For
Another big pro of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet is that they are easy to care for. Monitor lizards only need to be fed once or twice a week and only require simple enclosures. Additionally, they do not require special lighting or heating, making them easy to care for, even those with busy schedules.
4. Can Live Up to 20 Years
Another great pro of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet is that it can live up to 20 years. You will have many years to enjoy your pet and develop a bond with them. Additionally, it also means that you will not have to go through the process of finding a new pet every few years.
5. Can Be Friendly Pets
Contrary to popular belief, monitor lizards can make great pets. They can be friendly and affectionate towards their owners if they are properly socialized and cared for. If you are looking for a unique pet that can provide you with years of companionship, then a monitor lizard may be a perfect choice.
Cons of keeping a monitor lizard as a pet
1. They Can Be Dangerous
Monitor lizards can be dangerous animals and have been known to attack and bite humans. In some parts of the world, such as Australia, monitor lizards are considered a pest species due to the damage they can cause to crops and property.
2. They Require a Lot of Care
Monitor lizards also require great care and are unsuitable for most people. They need a large enclosure that is warm and humid and must be fed a diet of live insects or other small animals. Additionally, monitor lizards can live for up to 20 years, so owners must be prepared to care for them for the long term.
3. They May Carry Disease
Monitor lizards may also carry disease, which can be passed on to humans. For example, salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning and is commonly found in reptiles. Reptiles can also carry other diseases, such as chlamydia and hepatitis C.
4. They Can Be Loud
Monitor lizards can also be quite loud and may disturb your neighbors with their vocalizations. Additionally, their enclosure will need to be located in an area where it will not bother others, as the smell of their enclosure can also be quite strong.
5. They Are Illegal in Some Areas
Finally, it is essential to note that monitor lizards are illegal to keep as pets in some areas, so potential owners should check their local laws before obtaining one.
When it comes down to it, there is no definitive answer on whether or not monitor lizards make good pets; it depends on the individual’s preferences and lifestyle. For example, monitor lizards require adequate enclosure space that allows them access to both sun and water along with proper substrate materials such as rocks and logs; they also need a specific diet consisting primarily of live prey, which can be difficult for many potential pet owners who have moral objections against feeding live food sources.
Ultimately it is up to each individual whether or not these considerations outweigh the benefits of owning a monitor lizard as a pet; however, if done correctly, these amazing creatures can bring joy into anyone’s life.