Do Lizards Enjoy Being Pets? Can Pet Lizards Feel Love?

Unlike other animals, reptiles are not a popular type of pet. A study into their social life shows that out of the whole species of reptiles, lizards have higher chances of being a pet. So what if you want a lizard as a pet?

Well, that decision shouldn’t be made hastily as there are various factors to consider. One such factor is the social life of lizards. Most lizards can live up to ten years, but still, find it hard to understand and process emotions just like social critters do.

So the big question is, do lizards like being pets? Let’s find out!

Do Lizards Like Being Pets?

No, lizards don’t like being a pet. Generally, lizards are a set of solitary animals that don’t like to be petted. Instead, they prefer to stay alone and enjoy quiet moments. So, there is a high tendency that you will find a lizard on its own most of the time.

In other words, they are quite unaffectionate and are very slow in displaying affection towards humans. This is partly due to nature and personality.

However, vets and reptile keepers have reported that lizards have varying personalities. Although they would rather not be petted, there are rare cases where a few are receptive to some form of care and affection.

Now, you might see a lizard sticking to you more than normal. This exception is due to two reasons; it’s either your presence is associated with some treats or food or it could be due to a learned behavior.

Notwithstanding, there is a rare chance of you finding a lizard being affectionate to humans as they fail at forming bonds with their owners.

Do Lizards Make Good Pets?

Yes, a lizard can make a good pet but only if they are shown proper care. This includes an extension of care, affection, and devotion to them at all times.

However, asides from their solitary nature lizards may not be the best choices for pets for some reasons:

Lizards Are High-maintenance Species

As regards maintenance, lizards are high-maintenance species that need a proper investment of money and time. This way, the lizards get to stay as comfortable as possible and affectionate enough to make it stay.

Therefore, if you intend to get a lizard as a pet, ensure you are ready to invest enough time and money.

Lizards Require A Special Form of Housing

A lizard pet requires a special form of dietary plan and housing to ensure all-around comfort. Healthy eating habits are important as they help the lizard stay healthy. More importantly, their housing plays a major role in getting them acquainted with their environments.

Therefore, once you are ready to get a pet lizard, consult your vet doctor first and ensure the requirements have been met.

Can lizards Get Attached to Their Owners?

It is quite rare to find a lizard that is attached to its owner. This is because most times, lizards love to stay enclosed in their housing, have some time alone, and go about their business most naturally.

Naturally, you should not expect your lizard to get attached or form a bond with you. Since lizards are solitary animals, before purchasing a pet lizard you are expected to be prepared for the worst.

In other words, lizards don’t get attached to humans; neither do they form bonds with their owners.

However, a few exceptions are worth noting. There have been instances where a pet lizard displays a form of affection when played with, stroked, or patted on the head.

They may also showcase pleasurable attitudes when they get treats or food from you.

This might get you wondering, do lizards enjoy being handled? Let’s find out!

Do Lizards Enjoy Being Handled?

Yes, some reptiles enjoy being handled. They are considered the friendliest to humans, and this may result from a learned behavior. If your pet lizard gets used to being handled from the onset, it will get used to it sooner or later.

However, there could be other motives behind a lizard’s decision to either close its eyes or put its head down when being handled.

Firstly, lizards love being handled specially when food is offered. If your presence and subsequent handling of a lizard is accompanied by food, then the lizard is likely going to enjoy your touch. A good example of such lizards is the Iguana.

Most Iguanas’ has varying personalities; they could be friendly at times, aggressive, and domineering at other times.

The aggressive types are usually difficult to care for. However, the friendly species of Iguana are calm and friendly towards their owners. They also enjoy being handled either during play or while feeding.

How To Pet A Lizard

Petting a lizard isn’t as tough as it looks especially if your pet lizard is the friendly type. It’s always easier to pet your lizard if they are used to your presence. This way, they are more relaxed and don’t wriggle out of your hands in seconds.

Here are a few ways to pet your lizard:

  • Bring down your head to the lizard
  • Ensure its aware of your presence
  • Always start from head to toe
  • Stroke them with either 1 or 2 of your fingers but not all.
  • Ensure to stroke the face and head properly as it keeps it more relaxed.
  • If relaxed, you can decide to place it on your body.

What Species of Lizards Like to be Handled?

Due to the solitary nature of lizards, handling can be quite stressful for them. But as a pet owner, you would surely want to play and interact with your pet lizard.

In case you are wondering about the type of lizards that are handled, below is a list of lizard species that enjoy handling.

what are some lizards that like to be handled?

1. Green Iguana

The Iguana species grows up to a height of six feet which is huge considering the small size of the other species. Notwithstanding their huge size, green Iguanas love being handled a lot especially if they learned to be social from an early stage.

2. Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are the most friendly and docile of the lizard species. In other words, handling them is so easy because they are playful.

Perhaps you would love to get a pet lizard for your children at home; a bearded dragon is the best way to start. One upside of this species is that they are not necessarily huge and intimidating as they are just about 18-24 inches. This makes it easier to be touched, held, or lifted up.

3. Chinese Water Dragon

With its colorful skin, the Chinese water dragon could easily pass for a pet. That’s not all, as they are both colorful and friendly. They are slightly smaller than the green Iguana which makes them lighter and easier to be handled. Also, they could be a better option if you have limited space for pets.

4. Blue Tongue Skink

Unlike the bearded dragons, the Blue tongue skink are larger and this makes them heavier to carry. However, they are quite friendly, love being handled, and can make good pets.

5. Leopard Gecko

Here comes the lizard with most of the whole attributes of a pet; cute, friendly, and easy to handle. The leopard geckos are quite small in size, and love being handled. As a pet, they can easily walk on your arms without much pressure.    

Why Do Lizards Close Their Eyes When Petted?

When a lizard closes its eye when being handled, it is a good defense mechanism. Here, the lizard is well aware that it’s helpless and weak in the hands of humans. Therefore, they close their eyes and bow their heads as a form of surrender.

Here are a few reasons lizards close their eyes when petted!

It is a form of surrender

Here, they feel helpless and the only way to express that is by closing their eyes. Since they do not trust humans, they are not sure of their next action, so they surrender instead.

They think of what next to do

Have you ever petted your pet lizard and all of a sudden, it gets out of your grip and escaped? When they close their eyes, they are probably thinking of what next to do. Either they jump out of fright, or they stay put.

If you are dealing with any of these friendly lizards like the Iguana, it might stay for a longer time. But this is only if it is used by you.

But if it’s not then it’s likely to disappear at the most possible chance it gets.

They enjoy petting

Some species of lizards like the Leopard gecko, Blue tongue skink, and the Iguana love being handled. Therefore, they are likely to stay put, close their eyes, and enjoy the moment when you pet them.


Generally, lizards don’t like being pets nor are they friendly to humans. They are solitary animals who prefer to stay on their own and mind their business.

However, the exception to this is the green Iguana, leopard gecko, and Chinese water dragon. These species of lizards are amongst the friendliest and can easily pass as pets.

Also, they are not so big and can be easily handled or picked up during play. This occurs when they are being handled by their owners. Most times, they stay calm when touched either because they are used to your presence from an early stage or you are associated with food.

So when next you decide to get a pet lizard, ensure you go for the friendly species as they possess the best qualities needed in a pet.

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