What's new
TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Reptile/Amphibian easy care pets?

My oldest boy is almost 9 and wants either a lizard or a frog. Originally a snake was in his plans but I am not ok with snakes or spiders; not afraid of them, but I don't want them living in my house and am not really happy with feeding baby mice to anything. No problem with crickets or bugs though, they are fair game.

Obviously, I will have to supervise his care of any animal at his age, but what is a good and easy first time pet - other than fish. ;) I can't cart an aquarium across the country as I realized with my fresh water setup when I moved from AZ. Luckily, my mom took it.

Something that won't get huge like an Iguana, but doesn't need high maintenance and can be moved around fairly easily if need be. Since the military is picky on shipping, my plants and dogs come with me in the truck or car (tow the mustang with the truck) so I have space for a terrarium anyway (plants are on the no-ship list, haha, wouldn't think if shipping anything alive with my furniture, just to clear that up).

I have never had a reptile or amphibian as a pet so I have no idea. Some research guides and suggestions would be great. We are in no hurry to get any kind of new pet, I want to know how to take care of something well first.
I would look into leopard geckos. They are large enough to comfortably handle but not so large that housing them becomes a problem. They are usually very even tempered (as adults, babies take a while to settle down), and do well in a simple setup without the need for expensive lighting like many other lizards. Geckoforums.net is a great resource.

I would skip frogs for now, a boy his age is going to want something he can handle and interact with and frogs do not deal well with that sort of disturbance.
I was thinking something that doesn't get handled. He has younger siblings (6, 4, and 1) and I don't want an animal to get injured...or escape in my house. Can you get adult geckos (rescue maybe?) or? Do they "mill" them like puppies? I'll check out the forum you mentioned. :)
I have something that is some sort of temperate tree frog (because I don't heat the tank and she just lives at house temps) that requires a couple crickets every few days (coated in vitamin powder), a water dish, and that's it. Here she is --


Somewhere between 1" and 2" I think. If you can find one for sale at a specialty pet shop, they make great pets :) She's a she so she doesn't spend the night screaming and ribbeting either :awesome:
green or cuban tree frogs or packman frog. you can find some species of snakes that eat crickets or some that eat goldfish
5 lined skink is a nice lizard and quite hardy, not to expensive and not overly demanding when it comes to temps, food etc. Further, mine skinks were always fairly active so I got to see them quite a bit.
5 lined skink is a nice lizard and quite hardy, not to expensive and not overly demanding when it comes to temps, food etc. Further, mine skinks were always fairly active so I got to see them quite a bit.

I have multiple colonies of native five lined skinks here. They are very active during the day and even the wild ones quickly adjust to having humans around and don't run off to hide as we walk by.

When my children were little we stuck to box turtles. Active enough to be interesting and didn't require live food. And best of all, since we also had cats, they weren't so active that the cats tried to get at them.
Turtles are cool, I didn't think of them. My dogs might not appreciate them though, they kind of freak out if they find one in the yard.
  • #10
I agree, a gecko, small lizard or frog. Don't let anyone talk you into a beardie. They get big, and are somewhat demanding with food and special lighting. Ask me how I know. :-)) (Teddy is still glaring at me, I still haven't guessed what the only veggie he will eat is.)
  • #11
green or cuban tree frogs or packman frog. you can find some species of snakes that eat crickets or some that eat goldfish

I'm ok with feeding bugs to pets, but not so much fish or mice. I'm not adverse to someone else feeding their pets that kind of thing, but I like little fuzzies and fish. My 7th grade science class had a 6 ft Boa named Lucy that ate large rats, and I remember seeing my science teacher kill the rats for her. That kind of stuck with me, it was a bit disturbing.
My problem would be, if I got feeder critters, I'd end up keeping them as pets.

Crickets, worms, mealworms - I can handle that.
  • #12
all of my snakes eat frozen/thawed mice of varying sizes. i get them prekilled, otherwise i'd end up keeping them too.
  • #13
i used to have a boa and only fed it live mice. the thing wouldnt touch thawed ones even when warmed.
  • #14
There are frozen mice. I use those for my corn snake. They also make "mouse sausages" that don't look like mouse any more. You have to mail order them.I'm not pushing a snake, I'm just sayin'.
  • #15
mouse sausage lmao thats oddly hilarious to me
  • #16
you have to work with them to get them to go for f/t, but it's a lot safer for the snake than eating prey that can fight back. maybe you could get an axolotl? although they require an aquarium, they're super cool. or maybe save up some money and start a dart frog terrarium with live cps etc?
  • #17
Oh, the Axolotl looks cool, but aquatics can't be for us. Being that we are military we move, a LOT. Since 2006 I've been from Arizona, 2008 to NY, mid 2009 Colorado, late 2011 back to NY.
Whatever I finally decide on needs to be kind of portable. We have a GMC Yukon XL, we put my husband and I, 4 kids, and 2 German Shepherds (crated behind the 3rd row), then we tow our small car. Small car is usually packed with dog food, our clothes, and anything we might need for 2 weeks until our stuff gets to our new place. Here, we slept on the floor for a week until our furniture got here, haha. The plants end up in plastic totes in the car and it's basically full. I learned the hard way with plants on my first move that they are easily damaged (my poor first pothos didn't make it, it froze, and I had had it for years and years).
So something that can cope with being in a smaller non-glass container for up to 2 weeks when we have to move and wait for the larger terrarium to get there. Since it would have to go in the truck with the herd.

Just thinking out loud, I don't want to be "that" military family that leaves pets behind when they move due to not having room.
  • #18
sounds like you had better go with a frog of some kind. they can be fine in critter keepers for extended periods
  • #20
anoles would also work pretty good there small , eat bugs , and are easy to care for, they live in the wilds of Florida,even in peoples hoses there