Six Easy Reptiles to Keep for Beginners


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Reptiles are fascinating creatures that make great pets for those who are passionate about animals. In the UK, various reptiles are easy to care for and make great companions.

Leopard geckos, corn snakes, and bearded dragons are all popular pet reptiles. However, reptiles are cold-blooded, and they require specific environmental conditions, as well as a regular diet, to be healthy. Caring for a reptile can be a rewarding experience, as they can live for many years. Reptiles have existed since the beginning of time and can be found on almost every continent.

They have adapted to an impressive range of environments, from the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of South America. There are many species, ranging from small lizards to giant constricting snakes. Reptiles come in so many different shapes and sizes, and some species even have brightly coloured patterns on their skin. When caring for a reptile, it is essential to meet its needs and provide them with the right environment.

This includes the right temperature, humidity levels, and lighting. They also need a diet appropriate for their species, consisting of insects, vegetables, and sometimes even small mammals. Reptiles are also sensitive to stress, so handle them gently and provide them with a calm environment. Additionally, regular vet check-ups are essential for maintaining their health and well-being.

Here are six easy reptiles to keep as pets in the UK.

Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are docile and friendly reptiles that are easy to care for. They are small, making them perfect for people with limited space. Leopard geckos are also easy to feed, as they eat insects like crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Leopard geckos are popular among reptile keepers for several reasons. They are one of the longest-living reptile species, with some living up to 20 years.

a cute gecko

They are also one of the most colourful species, with many different patterns and colours, including albino, hypo-albino, jungle, and patternless varieties. They are excellent pets for novice reptile keepers because they are hardy, easy to handle, and require minimal care. Leopard geckos are also fascinating to watch as they are active during the day and can be seen hunting and exploring their enclosure. Providing them with plenty of hiding spots, climbing branches, and appropriate substrate will help keep them happy and healthy.

If you are keen to find a low-maintenance pet that is interesting and easy to care for, a leopard gecko could be a perfect choice.

Bearded Dragon

bearded dragon

Bearded dragons are a bit larger than leopard geckos, but they still make great pets. They are social animals and enjoy human interaction. They like to eat crickets, mealworms, and vegetables.
Bearded dragons are near the top of the list of the most popular pet reptiles in the world. They are native to Australia and can grow up to 24 inches long. Bearded dragons are known for their distinctive spiked “beard”, which they flare when feeling threatened or excited.

The beard also changes colour depending on their mood, ranging from yellow to black. Bearded dragons are omnivores and enjoy a diet of crickets, worms, leafy greens, vegetables, and occasional fruits. They are relatively low-maintenance pets and are great for first-time reptile owners. Bearded dragons also enjoy being handled and interacting with their owners.

They can be trained to come when called and can even learn simple tricks. They are also among the most social lizards and can be kept in groups providing enough space for everyone. Bearded dragons can live for up to 10 years with the proper care.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are easy to care for and have a calm temperament. They are also quite beautiful, with different colour variations like orange, black, and white. Corn snakes eat mice, and they don’t require a lot of space. Corn snakes are an excellent pet for any home and a common choice for first-time reptile owners. They are relatively small and can be kept in cages as small as 20 gallons.

Corn snakes are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day and prefer to hide in logs or other dark, damp places. They have a pleasant temperament and rarely bite. They are also quite beautiful, with a variety of colour variations, including bright oranges, blacks, and whites. Corn snakes are carnivorous and feed primarily on mice, so feeding them is usually quite simple. They don’t require much maintenance either and can be easily cared for with minimal effort.

With proper care, these snakes can live for up to 20 years, making them a long-term commitment.

Crested Gecko

Crested geckos are ideal for those looking for a reptile that is easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of space. They are small in size and are incredibly social. They eat insects, fruit, and commercially available crested gecko food.
Crested geckos are excellent for reptile owners of all experience levels, from the beginner to the most advanced. They are one of the most docile and friendly reptiles, making them suitable for handling and interacting. They don’t require a large enclosure, and as long as their cage or enclosure is large enough to accommodate their needs, they will be happy and healthy.

They are nocturnal and do not need UV lighting, making them a great low-maintenance pet. They can be fed a variety of insects, fruits, and commercially available crested gecko food. They are also one of the few reptiles that don’t need to be bathed, so they don’t require much in the way of grooming. This makes them perfect for those who don’t have much time to devote to their pet’s care.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are docile, easy-to-care-for pet that doesn’t require much space. They are nocturnal and do not require bright light in their habitat. They eat crickets, mealworms, and waxworms.
African Fat-Tailed Geckos are a popular pet choice due to their small size and extremely docile nature. These geckos typically reach 4-6 inches long and can live up to fifteen years with proper care.

They are nocturnal, so they should be kept in an enclosure with a temperature gradient of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no higher than 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit at night. African Fat-Tailed Geckos should have a substrate of coconut fibre, moss, or reptile carpet and plenty of hiding places. They should have a shallow water dish available at all times and be misted with a spray bottle regularly.

In terms of diet, African Fat-Tailed Geckos enjoy a variety of delicious insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Please give them a variety of food to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle

The Red-Eared Slider Turtle is an excellent pet for anyone looking for a reptile that is easy to care for and low maintenance. They are very small when young but will eventually need a larger habitat as they grow. They eat pellets, insects, and vegetables. The Red-Eared Slider Turtle is a popular pet for reptile enthusiasts.

Due to their small size when young and low-maintenance care requirements, they make ideal pets for those who don’t want to invest significant energy into caring for a pet. They will need larger habitats as they mature, so planning ahead is essential. Red-Eared Sliders are omnivorous and eat food like pellets, insects, and vegetables.

They are also very active, providing plenty of room to explore their environment. They are social creatures and often interact with their owners, so providing a stimulating environment with lots of hiding spots and toys is recommended.


In conclusion, reptiles can make excellent pets if you choose a species that matches your lifestyle and abilities. These six reptiles are relatively easy to care for and make great companions. Learning about each species’ specific needs, including their habitat, diet, and temperature requirements, is essential. Learning about a reptile’s needs is only the beginning of responsible pet ownership. Researching the legality of the species in your state or country is also necessary, as some species may not be allowed in certain areas.

garter snake
garter snake

When selecting a reptile, find a reputable breeder willing to answer all your questions.
Additionally, ensure that the reptile is healthy and not carrying any parasites or illnesses, as these can be passed on to humans. Furthermore, you will need to provide the reptile with a large enough enclosure that mimics its natural environment and adequate stimulation, such as hiding spots, climbing branches, and temperature gradients.

Finally, spend quality time with your reptile and provide regular veterinary care to ensure a long and healthy life. With proper care, these reptiles can live long and happy lives with you as their owner.

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