Pets are a wonderful way to teach children early on about responsibility, compassion, and even coping with loss. Parents seeking a low maintenance animal companion that can fulfill this role will find that reptiles make for a wonderful option. Even with their exotic reputation, many types of reptiles are docile and down-right friendly with humans. Here are a few species that make a good reptile pet for a small child.
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1. Bearded Dragons
These medium-sized lizards may be prickly, but their personality is anything but. Bearded dragons are intelligent and considered to be one of the most affectionate of all reptiles. Unlike other lizards that are jumpy and spend the majority of their time hiding, bearded lizards can usually be found basking under their heat lamp or watching their owner’s movement with adorable curiosity. Although there are several different types of bearded dragons, there’s only one that’s prominent in the pet trade (the Inland bearded dragon).
Of the shelled types of reptiles, tortoises are our pick as the better suited for children. Although they can grow to be quite large, tortoises are considerably lower maintenance than their aquatic turtle cousins. Also, they’re sweet and intelligent and have been known to follow their owners around in the yard or to affectionately bump into them with their heads.
The most common tortoise in the pet trade, these guys are fairly easy to come by. Many reptile owners are initially drawn to these creatures since they are on the smaller side. This species is feisty and full of personality and tend to be more active than other tortoises, making them fun to watch.
Baby Indian Tortoise
Another tortoise that’s relatively small in stature, the Indian star tortoise is prized for its beautiful geometric shell pattern. They aren’t as active as Russian tortoises, but are much more docile and calm, making them suitable to interact with both children and other pets you may keep.
Despite their sometimes sinister reputation, most snakes are calm and docile creatures that just want a nice patch of sun to bask in. Three species, in particular, are regarded as being extremely well-tempered in addition to being fun to keep around.
One of the smaller species of pythons, these guys love to gently wrap around their owners when being picked up. They have a wonderful non-aggressive temperament making them safe for children to handle.
These snakes are quite compact; they’re slender and average around 3-4 feet long, making them easy for children to handle. These snakes are considered to be quite social and enjoy interacting with their keepers.
Despite their intimidating name, these small constrictors are social and friendly. They are one of the more colorful varieties of Colubrid snakes and therefore there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Find Reptiles for Sale
There are many wonderful and child-friendly reptile species to choose from. They’re affordable and can thrive in small spaces. Plus, they don’t require much by means of exercise or entertainment so you don’t have to worry about walks or hiring a sitter when you’re away. To ensure you have a healthy pet companion, look for reptiles for sale by specialty stores, which have intimate knowledge of the quirks and habits of your potential new pal.