Tips For Keeping Your Lizard Healthy

World Lizard Day is August 14th. There are more than 6000 kinds of these fascinating creatures, and they vary widely in terms of size, temperament, environment, habitat, and diet. Here, a Lexington, KY vet goes over some key elements of good lizard care.


Getting a proper habitat set up is half the battle. As with other reptiles, lizards require specific environmental conditions. The exact parameters vary from species to species. For instance, geckos need a fair amount of humidity in the air—up to 80 percent, to be exact—while bearded dragons only need about 35 to 40 percent.

Monitor Conditions

Lizard habitats are definitely not a set-it-and-forget-it purchase. You’ll need to keep a close eye on the light, heat, and, in some cases, humidity levels, as the equipment can malfunction. You may also need to make some adjustments according to external temperatures. For instance, in summer you may be able to click the heater down a few notches.

Change Bulbs

This is an easy one to overlook. The special heat and light bulbs used in many reptile enclosures can weaken and become ineffective long before the bulbs actually burn out. You may not notice that there’s an issue, as this isn’t necessarily something the naked eye will pick up on. Get into the habit of changing bulbs about every six months or so. 

Monitor Sheds

Many types of lizards require secondary hide boxes that have high humidity and contain substrates that help with shedding, such as moss or vermiculite. While healthy lizards usually shed their skin smoothly, you’ll need to keep an eye on things. Improper sheds can cause all sorts of issues, from circulatory problems to obstructed vision.

Reduce Risk Of Infection

Just like other animals, reptiles are susceptible to illness and injury. Taking some simple precautions can go a long way towards reducing the risk of illness and disease. One aspect of this would be quarantining newly-adopted pets for a certain time. Keeping your pet’s habitat clean is also important.

Good Food

Lizards have fairly specialized diets. Many eat live bugs, but some, such as iguanas, are vegetarians. Your reptilian buddy’s dietary needs will also change over time. Make sure you’re providing the right type and amount of food for your lizard. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Do you have questions about lizard care? Contact us, your Lexington, KY animal clinic!

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