How Much Does a Lizard Cost?

Whether you are a reptile enthusiast or a novice, you have over 6,000 selections of lizards that will satisfy your preference. There are plenty of types for beginners and expert reptile handlers. 

Whichever you desire, it is essential to have sufficient knowledge on how to pet a lizard – all the cost, maintenance, and other information you need to know.

How much is a pet lizard? You have a wide range of lizard types and prices when it comes to buying a lizard. You can choose between inexpensive and a high-end one. Nevertheless, whichever you prefer the proper care for your lizard should always be optimum.

Lizard

Lizards Cost and One Time Expenses

How much is a pet lizard? You have a wide range of lizard types and prices when it comes to buying a lizard. You can choose between inexpensive and a high-end one. Nevertheless, whichever you prefer the proper care for your lizard should always be optimum.

The price range of lizard is a bit surprising. For $3 to more than a thousand dollar you can have a pet of your choice. However, aside from the price, you must be cognizant of the types of lizard. As some lizards are suitable for beginners while other kinds of lizards are a bit challenging, this requires an expert handling.

Below are just a few examples of morphs, the list separates into two: for beginners and pros.

For Beginners:

  • Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Macularius) – $25 to $750.
  • Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua Scincoides Intermedia) – $200 to $400.
  • Bearded Dragon (Pogona) – $50 to $400
  • Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus Ciliatus) – $50 to $425
  • Argentine Black and White Tegu (Tupinambis Merianae) – $180 to $250

For Experts:

  • Iguana (Iguana Iguana) – $10 to $1,000
  • Savannah Monitor (Varanus Exanthematicus) – $25 to $80.
  • Green Anole (Anolis Carolinensis) – $3 to $10.
  • Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae) – $15 to $700.
  • Tokay Gecko (Gekko Gecko) $10

Apart from the cost of the pet itself, these items are to be paid or bought upfront before bringing the pet at home:

  • Aquarium / Tank

Setting up a comfortable shelter for your chosen lizard is the most important thing you need to have before buying a pet. It is also a must to know how big your lizard can grow. While for some a 10-gallon tank is fine, others may need 55-gallon tank or can be more.

Ensure that the shelter of your lizard has enough size so that they can move freely. Aquarium price starts from $50 or more than a thousand dollars for customizing tanks. Ensure that the container cover tailor-fit the tank to make sure that your lizard will not escape. If none, you can buy one from $9 for the smallest.

  • Cover / Lid

Since your pet is inside an enclosure, you need to make sure that the temperature inside suits the need of your pet. Although there are lizards that don’t need a certain temperature, there are also some lizards that rely on an ideal temperature to keep them healthy.

Once you have chosen the type of lizard you will get, research on what is the ideal temperature of your pet inside the cage. In case it needs a specific climate, you can buy a ceramic heater. You can purchase one for as low as $7.

You can also place a heating pad for only $10; the price depends on the size and make. A basking light may also help which can cost $10 or higher depending on the availability of the product. Even a household light bulb can also be a source of temperature. Price starts at $6.

  • Climate

For an accurate environment, you can buy a thermometer to make sure that the temperature within your lizard tank is supreme. For a container that is larger, you will need a thermometer for the hot and cold sides. However, a smaller tank is okay with only one thermostat.

Aside from that, you will also need a humidity gauge to control the mist inside the tank.  You can have a two in one humidity gauge and thermometer for only $11.

  • Beddings

For the beddings, it can be almost any type of substrate except cedar chips/shavings and sand. Cedars have an odor that is dangerous to your pet and sand can cause intestinal impaction. You can use newspaper, paper towels or butcher paper. However, it is most preferred to use a reptile carpet. It costs $9.

  • Hiding Place and Decors

After you have all the necessities, you can now add some décor so your lizard can still have fun inside the tank. You might need a hiding place so that your pet can get away from captivity to avoid being stressed out. You can purchase the cheapest at $5.

You can also try to be creative and customize a hiding area using anything you can find in the backyards such as stone, branch, or wood.

You can also add other décors such as reptile hammocks for only $8 or an artificial and natural accessory that your pet can enjoy.

  • Customized Cage

Alternatively, if you wanted to save time shopping for your pet’s shelter and you can spend a lot for your future pet, you can buy a complete set cage. You can check online or pet shops if they can help you build your pet’s home.

However, customization rate is undoubtedly expensive but worth your money. It can range from $6,000 and more.  You can get a basic package which includes: Solid Oak Frame Stained to Your Choice of Stain Color, Oak Back panel Stained to Your Choice of Stain Color, Black Granite Laminate Top and Bottom Panels, Acrylic Front and Sides, All Aluminum Interior, Secure Door Lock.

What are Included When You Purchase a Lizard?

Indeed, when you purchase a lizard, it will be placed in a box where it can only fit for a day or two. A lizard cannot survive more days in a small container because it needs a particular climate and a tank where it can move freely and comfortably. A styrofoam-lined cardboard box is explicitly used for reptiles.

For lizards purchased online, free heat pack is included for a sustainable temperature while transported to their new owner. In addition to that, a mandatory health certificate which cost $15 issued for shipping live animals. It is a mandated law in specific States such as Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Several pet shops also bundle lizard and feeders, like live crickets. However, some will offer the bundle while sometimes you have to ask if it is available.

lizard on rocks

Recurring Costs of Owning a Lizard

  • Lizard’s Diet and Feeding

Lizards’ diet varies on its type and morphs. Smaller lizards are insectivore. They eat insect and spider. Some are herbivores while spiny lizards are omnivorous which eats both plants and small animals. Other more abundant species are carnivores which can eat other lizards too.

For insectivores lizards, you can feed them crickets. You can buy freeze-dried crickets for $7. You can also buy 500 worms for $25 or 1000 crickets for $36.

However, some reptiles have particular bottled foods in the market.  Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powder for $9, For Iguana you can buy Iguana bites for $7 and Bearded Dragon bites for $3.

If your lizard is herbivorous, you can give them veggies and fruits.

  • Cage Maintenance

Reptiles are vulnerable to bacterial infections of the skin and digestive tract that is why their cage should be cleaned scrupulously including all the items inside the cage.

The regularity of the cleaning routine depends on the size of the cage; either daily or weekly.

On a daily basis, you can clean the cage by removing uneaten foods, feces, urate, and other unnecessary stuff. You also need to wash the food and water dishes daily. Make sure to use antibacterial soap which only costs $3. You can also use a disinfectant for $22. It is advisable to have two food and water dishes so that you can interchange it while you are cleaning the other.

All artificial or plastic items should be thoroughly clean. Wash all these items using hot water, a brush, and soap then rinse them thoroughly. Sanitize these items using a disinfectant which costs $13.

After cleaning the accessories clean all cage surfaces using soap and hot water. You can also use a commercial $5 herp-safe cleaner for loosening hardened material. Air dry all items entirely before putting everything back together.

You have to be careful in cleaning the cage, as some bacteria such as salmonella is transferrable and harmful to humans. This bacterium is from the fecal material of your reptile. It is best to wash your hands meticulously and use a sanitizer to avoid the bacteria to transmit to you or any of your family members.

  • Health

Just like all the pets, lizards are also prone to illness especially if not appropriately taken care of. They need to be checked by vets at least once a year or every six months.

Typically during the annual check up, they will undergo physical exam, fecal analysis, and complete blood count. If your lizard is a bit old, it requires Geriatric Exam which includes CBC/Chemistries, Radiographs, and Ultrasound.

The charge for vets can cost $54 only for the physical exam. For fecal, it can cost $20-$40.

However, if your lizard is unresponsive, has heavy breathing, convulsing, no appetite, vomiting or bleeding, it is important to keep your reptile warm. For 15-20 minutes soak your lizard in lukewarm water. If nothing has changed on its condition, bring your lizard to the nearest vet.

For emergency beyond the office hours, the usual charge is $160 while if it is during the office hours, it can cost $110.

  • Grooming

Some lizard has fast-growing nails, thus clipping their nails is necessary. You can use a standard fingernail clipper, but if you can have a larger toenail clipper, it would be better. You can purchase one for $11. Always make sure to sterilize clippers before and after you use it.

Factors Affecting the Price

Morph –All species of lizards have genetic morphs. It comes in a wide diversity of color patterns due to selective breeding. Morphs are captive-bred and prized by collectors. The rarer the morph is, the higher the price of the lizard will be. For example, around 2003-2004 an expensive Leucistic Nile Monitor is priced $1million.

Types – There are around 90 types of lizard. Their kind has a significant impact on their price. Some people are looking for the rarest kind while others want the most favorite species such as Leopard Gecko, Bearded Dragon, Iguana, and Chameleon. Lizard’s types have a massive contribution to their characteristics, size, lifespan, care requirements and the level of experience of their future owner. Some lizards are not suitable for beginners.

Species – The types of lizards have different species which plays a significant role in their price.  For example, Chameleon has 11 classes; Bearded dragon has  23 and Iguana has 35 species. These species have different colors and patterns. The same as the morphs, the rarer the species is, the higher the price

Age – Juveniles are cheaper than the adult lizard. More massive lizard is more expensive than smaller one. Although it varies as some juvenile cost cheap once purchased then as they grow, they become larger. An example of this is Savannah Monitor. It can grow up to 5 feet but you can have them for as low as $25.

Some Tips and Advice

If this is your first time to pet a reptile, you must do more research on what type of lizard you are capable of caring and maintaining. Some lizards have demanding care requirements and others might not be handled effortlessly because of its aggressive nature.

Remember that in choosing a lizard, it is not just providing an excellent shelter for your pet.  You must know that it is going to be a long commitment.

In addition to that, do not buy lizard because the price is low. Most of the time, an inexpensive lizard is also the largest and it can have high expenses. You might need to upgrade the cage to a bigger one which might cost you a lot more than the price of your pet.

There are also some instances that an owner abandoned their pet lizard because they did not foresee that it will grow that much or the expenditures are getting higher.

So, ponder carefully and make sure you have enough time, money, and patience before you buy a pet lizard. You might have a hard time at first, but it is always worth it.

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