Costopedia / Pets / How Much Does a Pet Lizard Cost?

How Much Does a Pet Lizard Cost?

$ $ Primary Expenses: $150 - $400 $ $ $ Continuous Expenses: $250 - $1,6K

Lizards are reptiles with scaly skin that include over 5,000 different species.

They usually have moveable eyelids, a small head with a short neck, a long body with a tail, and four legs.

Yet some species don’t have any legs, which makes them look like snakes.

Lizards live in all kinds of environments, although most species are found in warmer habitats.

In the past few decades, lizards have become popular pets, even though they are still considered exotic pets.

If you are thinking about getting a lizard as a pet, there are a few things you should know about them first.

Is A Lizard The Right Pet For Me?

Lizards can live in captivity between 8 and 30 years, which represents a long-term commitment that not every owner is prepared for.

The size is also a critical factor when bringing a lizard home.

Some species can get very large as they grow old, so it’s a good idea to do proper research on the one you want.

Lizards are not domesticated, which means that they don’t create bonds with humans as other pets do.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a bond with your lizard by taking good care of it and attending to its needs.

Not all of them will enjoy petting or human contact, so it’s another element to have in mind when getting one.

Lizards prefer to live by themselves, not needing another lizard as a companion.

Primary Expenses

Here you will find the basic things you’ll have to buy or get when getting a pet lizard.

Adopting or Buying A Lizard

In local shelters or rescue organizations, you’ll find lizards that previous owners couldn’t continue to look after.

You’ll have to fill out a form and show that you already have a habitat or proper enclosure for the lizard you want.

If you are selected, you’ll have to pay an adoption fee that could range from $50 to $100, depending on the species you want to adopt.

If you prefer to buy the lizard, you can find them in pet stores or breeders for $8 to $150, although some could also cost between $500 to $1,000.

Tank Or Habitat

The size and characteristics of the habitat will depend on the kind of lizard you want, so it’s better to check first the specific habitat requirements of the species you want.

The usual option is to get an aquarium or tank that you can transform into a terrarium or, get a terrarium that includes the necessary accessories.

Aquariums cost between $30 and $250, while terrariums will cost from $80 to $350.

The price will vary according to the size and accessories included.


If you buy a terrarium you probably won’t need any other supplies for your lizard.

But if you want to get an aquarium or tank and personalize it according to your preferences, you will need to buy basic supplies.

These include a thermometer and hygrometer -to measure temperature and humidity- ($5 – $15)10, a heating pad ($10 – $40)30, a heat lamp ($8 – $50)33, a water dish ($3 – $10),8 wood branches and hideouts ($7 – $40).27

The type of supplies will again depend on the species you choose.

Continuous Expenses

In this section, you’ll find the most common things you’ll have to buy either monthly or annually for your pet lizard.


The type of food that your lizard needs will be determined by its species.

Most of them will eat insects, such as flies, crickets, or grasshoppers, but some of them can also eat leaves, fruits, flowers, and others, small mammals, birds, and even other reptiles.

This means that the annual cost of feeding your lizard is hard to determine without knowing the species you want.

You could get live or freeze-dried insects at pet stores, as well as worms from $7 to $70, depending on the quantity.

There are also pre-mixed dried food for insect-eating lizards, that generally cost between $10 and $15.

If your lizard needs to eat small mammals, there are frozen mice you could buy from $3 to $35, depending on the quantity.

You could be spending annually from $135 to $1,200 on food.

Substrate Or Bedding

The substrate you need to use in the habitat will also change according to the species you have.

For desert lizards, you’ll need sand, for woodland lizards, coarse bark, and arboreal lizards, sphagnum moss, for instance.

On average, you’ll be spending between $60 and $300 annually.

Vet Visits

Even if you give your lizard a proper diet and care, you’ll need to find a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles for an annual check-up.

These visits usually cost from $50 to $100, but the price can vary depending on the city or town where you live.

Alessandra Spaziani Lara
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