care · diet · enclosures

Everything You Need To Have A Lizard

 

So you want a lizard … but is keeping one healthy & happy too complicated?

The answer to this is a matter of opinion. As with getting any animal companion, there is a learning curve. However, once you surpass that little hill, We believe lizard companionship is worth the time and investment.

When we research appropriate lighting, heat, humidity, & diet for any reptile, it can be overwhelming and seem like rocket science! Getting conflicting answers to our queries online & in reference books doesn’t help matters any.

A tip we can offer is this:  Never take any one answer or suggestion for lizard care as the definite answer. Take notes of information from multiple sources and notice how many claim something is true, from what your lizard should never eat to how warm the basking area should be.

Rely on what seems to be the best guidelines based on your findings, then just be aware of changes in your lizards behavior, appetite & pooing frequency. If all seems well after a few weeks, chances are, you’ve done an excellent job of supplying needs to your new friend!
* Hassle-free shopping below:

WE HAVE YOUR EASY ONE-STOP SHOPPING RIGHT HERE – all the hardware you need for your lizard, from the enclosure, to the light fixtures and bulbs, and even a hammock for a happy lounging lizard!!

Ideal for many lizards, including the Bearded Dragons (adult size is up to 24 in./60+ cm.) and other species of near similar size and requirements, such as Leopard Geckos (adult size is up to 10 in./25+cm.)  and some species of Uromastyx (often  up to 18 in./45+cm. – know which species you’re getting, the U. aegyptia reaches 91 cm. which = 36 inches).

We’ve done the research friends! Some of these products we use currently,  others we don’t,  simply because of what we already have.  We’ve done the work so you don’t have to!

A portion of the percentage we obtain from selling price of the purchases you make by clicking on the items below – and making the purchases within 24 hours will be utilized to help keep Lizardplanet.com operational as well as be donated to aid facilities that save and support abused, neglected, & tortured reptiles! For more information, stay tuned in by ‘following‘ us with Lil’ Murph at Lizardplanet.com. You will receive occasional emails to let you know when we’ve posted something informative or fun. We will periodically share info regarding the facility(s) or ‘No-Kill’ shelter(s) we’ve helped together!

Let’s begin the shopping process, shall we? Here’s what you need and why:

*****Clicking on the images will take you right where you need to go!! There are payment options too!*****

For your enclosure, select the one you feel fits your style and needs. For a baby Bearded Dragon, for example, you could start with, a small, cheaper, 20 gallon capacity tank, which = dimensions of roughly 24” wide x 12” deep x 16” tall, but realize they grow up quickly.

Bigger is better here because you’re going to save money in the long run if you buy the enclosure that suits your lizard for all the years of his/her life. She or he will spend many hours caged in, so it’s vital to not be cruel and give them space!

Step 1: Choose your lizard. Before you purchase, rescue, or adopt one (internet search engines will help you do this, as will we, if needed, via the ‘contact page), don’t forget to investigate how large they will get & how many years you might enjoy your beautiful new friend. It’s important you are certain you want this commitment & will be a loyal friend for all his or her days.

Step 2: You chose your lizard! It’s time to choose the enclosure while considering where in your home it will look fantastic! Lizards often enjoy looking out a window, but that doesn’t always work out. It’s okay.

Now that you’ve selected the species and the enclosure. You need an item to elevate the enclosure…

Step 3: You can choose below how to do this based on the enclosure you really like. If you have a sturdy piece of furniture already or would like to build your own stand, that’s great!! Keep in mind the weight capacity for such an item!

This sturdy item will accommodate the largest enclosure option with a little extra room on the sides. It will house cords, extra bulbs, and other items for your new pet. :

This item is suited for the smaller enclosure, looks great, and also will house all those little extras! :

Step 4: You will need special fixtures for the vital bulbs your lizard needs. You will place the UVA/full-spectum (your lizard MUST have this exposure) bulb in one socket, in the other, can be the infrared bulb to add more heat to get the basking area to the temperature it needs to be (research what that temp. is for your lizard). If your home is cold at night, you may place a warming nightlight in one of the sockets (all bulbs are offered below). :

UVB is a necessity! Without it, many lizards will, without a doubt, get Metabolic Bone Disease. It is good, but not necessary to have UVB shining down the entire length of the enclosure, but definitely at the basking area where your lizard will spend most of his or her time. *It’s my understanding heat rocks have caused burns. I believe if you design the basking area well, there is no need for another heat source such as this.

Bearded Dragons need to be roughly 6 -8 inches from the UVB source of the 10.0 bulb when basking (research this in regards to your lizard species). I do not recommend anything less. However, it isn’t uncommon to buy a UVB fixture with possibly a 5.0 bulb included. If you must use a lesser UVB output than 10.0, raise the basking area so your lizard is closer to heat & vital output, and get a stronger bulb as soon as possible. Here are options of 18 (45.72cm.) and 24 (60.92cm.) inches UVB fixtures:

Step 5: Buy the bulbs. In so doing, always verify that your fixtures safely accommodate the wattage and voltage of the bulbs you intend to use & the bulbs fit the fixture size.

The option below is simply a nightlight. It isn’t necessary unless you need to keep it warmer inside the enclosure overnight.

Step 6: We have to plug these fixtures into a reliable electrical source. You may also set the lights to a timer. This turns the lights on or off at the times you program the timer to do so. Here are plug options. :

Consider how many plugs you have for your setup, how you’ll arrange it, & which power source works for you.

Step 7: Pick the substrate – right here I want to state I have not yet used the Excavator. It looks fun to do (I read to use as many pounds of it as is equal to the # of gallons your tank will hold, you’ll be adding water & sculpting it). If you choose, you probably don’t need to do the entire enclosure floor.

Maybe you can do half Excavator, and half sand. That being stated, if you observe your lizard ingesting a concerning amount of substrate, such as sand, and is not pooing frequently enough, change to something else. Impaction is a deadly concern here.

If all else fails, supply newspaper for the poo, or a collection of old sheets which to use as bedding (substrate). Don’t wash these with clothing and linens, your lizard can actually have it’s own laundry hamper or box. Lizards actually appreciate something soft too curl up to anyway.

Now it’s time to perfect that basking area and status of the enclosure overall in regards to heat/humidity

Step 8: Check the temperature for their health!

I highly suggest you get a second opinion, digitally. Once in a while, check the accuracy of your thermostat with this (you can check the surface temperature of other things too – out of curiosity. :

Step 9: It’s time to accessorize! It’s the funnest step after choosing your lizard companion. I will inform you the background option below changes prices with the size you select… and yes, I know there’s a fogless shower mirror down there, but lizards usually look at how lovely there are! A safety tip: make sure everything is secure, that nothing will fall or flop over. HAVE FUN!

I recommend using a harness when venturing outdoors with your vulnerable lizard who needs protected from people, cars, snakes, etc.

Finally, the diet is what needs thought of. Calcium powder is important. You may also need a multi-vitamin. These and dishes for your pal are found below. It is best to research the diet requirements for you lizard.

A variety is a must. A lizard being fed only a couple things will become malnourished, just as we would.

Watch the oxalates & find out what is toxic to your new friend. Advise caretakers of this as well. Organic & chemical free everything is best, otherwise rinse all produce very well. Many lizards don’t seem to focus on water that is still & in a dish, you can wet a finger tip often, then place it on his or her lips, to help teach that it is there.

Clean that dish and change water every day if needed or every other day at least. Many lizards (predominantly the desert species) do not need to drink water IF they are getting plenty of veggies & fruits with their natural water content, but always have it available.

For crickets and worms, the item below is great! It gives them a better life with more space until, well, the end. Don’t forget to feed the crickets & worms fresh food, and maybe even give them a little place to hide. Don’t forget, what they eat, you’re lizard ultimately eats. In many cases, lizards eat less live food as they age, preferring a more vegetarian diet.

We hope this genuinely helped in the decision-making process for you. We are here to help with any questions or concerns via that ‘Contact‘ page! We hope you tap that “follow” button and become our new friends!

We urge you to please click our link: https://lizardplanet.com/2019/12/13/choosing-a-charity/ to watch the videos so you may see for yourself what is really going on behind the scenes to our little lizard friends! You won’t believe what they’re doing at the mills that supply reptiles to pet stores (their suffering may weigh heavily on your heart)!

Lizards may win your heart, and the mistreatment of them will surely crush it. They need us. They need love! They need help to get away from the people that have no heart for their right to life, any type of liberty, or even a chance to be happy.

Many will agree all lizards offer joy to their humans, they’re funny, loving, & many of them love to cuddle when they are sleepy! They can be highly intelligent & full of personality!

Our lizards have without a doubt, shown love in return for our own! We hope you & any beautiful lizard you choose will have many happy years together!

As an Amazon Associate, We at Lizardplanet.com earn from the specific qualifying products above, and benefit if you purchase any of these items within 24 hours of clicking on these products solely through this website. We hope that as you look these items over, that if you need time to consider which enclosure and items you’d love to have in your home, that you will come back to see us and purchase them through this site. We are grateful for the financial support as well as the opportunity, with the help of you, to be able to support the places that help lizards escape suffering. Every bit helps keep these places, as well as us, operational. Don’t forget to ‘Follow’ us for fun & updates! 

Thank you,

 

 

 

 “Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee

enclosures

Choosing A Home Within Your Home For Your Scaly Companion

 

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“I want out….I’m not playing!”

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“Sigh….I can’t believe she’s not going to let me out!”

As you see, Mr. Pitiful here is in a 55 gallon aquarium. It was given to me with my lizard because a family member wanted me to give this baby a better life. I had to buy nothing but more bulbs and of course, locate new blankies. This aquarium previously contained fish (sanitized pre-lizard, of course). For the lizard, the previous owner secured with screws 2 little framed screens (found at a hardware store) that fit the opening  at the top. He screwed into these 2 knobs for handles to lift up and open the new doors (likened to the reverse of how a butterfly spreads it’s wings). This was done to ensure the lizard would stay contained and their cats would stay out. Like cabinet knobs next to one another, you can open both sides at once with both hands. Unfortunately I’ve not a picture, but you can visualize with the description. It is troublesome to hold them open with your shoulders as you clean, set food, etc. But, it’s one solution if you’re on a tight budget. I secured the knobs together with a rubber band so there was no chance a door would slip down and bump baby and they couldn’t be lifted from within. A dual light bulb lamp (heat & full-spectrum) was rigged high with twine and duct tape by the original owner.

Now, here is my truly rigged and totally ingenious (I must say) enclosure:

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Okay, this rarely happens. It’s nearly perfect!

As you see, this is a cage for a furry friend not for the scaly sort. But if you’ve weened or simply denied your lizard of live crickets that jump around, this sort of non-glass enclosure will do well with an amount of painstaking labor. Worth it if you can’t afford a large aquarium and love your lizard(s) and choose an enclosure such as this.

**Warning: You may bleed in the construction

I say this because I did! Obviously. I’m a girl. ….but a determined one!! Hours were spent, blood was shed, frustration and adrenaline flowed as I fought this labor of love!!! It was the darn rolls (2) of thin wire I bought and the reel of super thin wire that scraped me up and poked wee holes in my fingertips! I wanted to drop-kick all of it but that would have led to further injury!!

I purchased this cage from a pet store for my previous beloved friend and kept it. It’s approx. 20″ w, 21″ h, 30″l. On the exterior is draped across the roof and flowing down the left & right sides a thick cloth shower curtain to aid in heat and moisture containment (this is important for their skin and health). The front door is uncovered by cloth most of the time. The back wall is uncovered because I keep the back pressed against a window so my sweetie  can look outside. When the weather is nice I open the window. I got lucky in that I have a sturdy desk to hold the weight of the cage that is exactly as tall as my window sills are high. 20171014_16363820171014_163844THIS UVB BULB HAS OLDEN-DAY STYLE  METAL DRAPE HOOKS CRAMMED INTO THE HOLES ON THE BACK USED FOR MOUNTING. THEY ARE BENT TO PERFECTION AND WRAPPED AROUND THE BARS ON THE TOP OF THE CAGE. IT IS SECURED AGAIN WITH A WIRE AROUND THE CENTER OF THE WHOLE THING AND SECURED TO CAGE. WE DON’T WANT THIS TO FALL!! THE CORDS OF MY LIGHTING ARE ALSO WIRED TO AND FED OUT OF THE CAGE THROUGH SNIPPED OPENINGS LARGE ONLY ENOUGH TO GET THE PLUGS OUT AND INTO A POWER STRIP (NOT A CHEAP EXTENSION CORD).

If you want to try this for your lizard(s) you will need:

  1. Cage: (of a humane size) they need space to climb a little, be able to get away from their poo, have  sections for food, water, basking and sleeping
  2. rolls of  thin wire: (similar to chicken wire) measure the cage to determine the amount of wire roll(s) you will need to purchase. The purpose of this to keep all body parts from getting stuck (if your lizard is small, to prevent escape, amazing the small spaces they can wiggle through) between the metal bars of the cage.
  3. reel of much thinner easily bendable wire:  1 reel should work but be certain. This is similar-slightly thicker in width to the wire within a twisty tie for bread loaves. The purpose of this is to secure the thin wire to the exterior of the wire cage.
  4. very sticky clear tape: You will have to cut and piece in small sections of wire roll to conceal gaps. Placing tape inside (sticky side facing the outside) at all places where cut wire may come into contact with your lizards feet for example if they climb the walls will protect them from injury.
  5. wire snips: to cut the wire rolls. However, your thinner wire should be thin enough that scissors could cut it
  6. stage / gaf tape or equivalent: this is a stretchy and strong tape. This is ideal for wrapping inside or out around the gap that will remain around the perimeter of the cage by the bottom tray after you’ve secured you wire roll to the exterior. If you wrap the inside it will be sticky side facing out and for the outside, sticky side facing in, obviously
  7. PATIENCE and time: As stated, this is a labor of love

     These cages have a removable plastic tray on the bottom. Remove it before and replace it after the project is completed. Have plenty of work space for the cage and to unroll the dastardly wire rolls. To cover the majority of the cage you wont have to do any snipping for a while. You will need to lay the cage on it’s side to begin at at a corner. Secure with thin wire as you work so you can be sure it lies flat and tight against the cage structure. You don’t want a lizard stuck between the cage and wire! A securing wire every 6-10 inches should work. Jump around with placements of these using your best judgement as to where 1 should be. You may need 4 hands but I did it with 2. Sometimes you may have to squeeze into the cage for certain things!

Pre-cutting a bunch of reeled wire into the same size ahead of time is very handy. Lay them near you upon something light in color so they’re ready and visible. Shape them into a U-shape but longer on the side you’re holding to feed it through, being certain it is tightening the bond of the exterior wire to a bar of the cage.20171024_090257 Remember to have all ends of all cut wire facing out/away from the interior of the cage. These ends may snag flesh and draperies but it’s a petty price to pay to ensure your loved one’s safety.

*note: My beardie is about the equivalent of a human pre-teen, as such still likes food that moves. Do to enclosure selection and the guilt I experience when watching innocent little critters be devoured, my lizards live nearly vegetarian life styles. I have had healthy lizards by providing them a good variety of fruits (never citrus) and veggies, some contain protein to replace meat. I also crush unsalted nuts with the butt end of a steak knife for protein. I do have freeze dried crickets given as a snack. These can easily be found online and are cheap.

An excellent source of knowledge about bearded dragons can be found at: www.beardeddragon.org

More on diet at it’s home page  >at left tap #2) what to buy  >scroll to and tap food items and supplements.    I do give my lizard in small portions, frozen (but mostly fresh and rinsed veggies) rather than canned (and often high in sodium) veggies. I pour a small amount in a covered dish to thaw in the refrigerator and for the outside animals, toss out any remainder after a few days. I’m not sure what eats the food I throw out but I enjoy thinking I fed a family of raccoons or something for the night.

In conclusion, this is a long post fellow lizard-loving friends. The cage is laborious in materialization and description. I hope it helps at least one person and lizard. Thank you for being here! If you have any questions or comments please contact me via the options above. 

“Give me lizardry or give me death!”   –Dawn Renee