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How to Be Friends With a Reptile

July 15, 2021

Do you wonder if reptiles have emotions? Most likely, it’s safe to say that they aren’t as affectionate or sentimental as cats and dogs, but there’s no real way to say for certain. What we do know is that reptiles can and will get quite attached to their humans. You’ll need a lot of time and patience to bond with your reptile, but it’s not impossible. In this article, a veterinarian offers some advice on taming reptiles.

Adopt Young

It’s simple. If you don’t handle your reptile, like any animal, you can’t tame him. Older, rarely handled animals are very difficult to tame. Some baby reptiles require a lot of care, and are not the best pets for first-time reptile owners. Before adopting, do plenty of research.

Watch Body Language 

Watch your pet’s body language. Learning how to read your reptilian buddy’s actions will help you avoid getting hurt. If your reptile is withdrawing, hissing, or acting as though it’s frightened or going to strike, leave it alone. 


Lizards can be very affectionate. Many like to cuddle or sit on their humans, and some enjoy being lap lizards. But, some lizards only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners. Don’t expect too much from a strange reptile.


Giving food and treats is a wonderful way to win any pet’s trust. But, this is not the best trick to do with reptiles, as most of them don’t eat every day. If your pet does want the treats, you might be less than thrilled about holding a live bug. Allow your reptile to get accustomed to your smell and the sound of your voice. He’ll recognize on his own that you’re offering dinner.


Many reptiles like to soak in water. With some, like iguanas, baths are a must. Use bath time to bond with your tiny dinosaur. Talk to your reptile while he’s soaking.

Settling In

Don’t handle your reptile immediately. Let him get used to his new territory. While he’s doing that, talk to him, and maybe hold your hand out for him to investigate. This isn’t recommended for larger reptiles that might bite.

Picking Up

Keeping your reptile tame and docile is simple if you handle him properly. Make sure you pick your pet up the right way! Never pick him up by the tail, and don’t grab him unexpectedly or when he eats or sleeps. Ask your veterinarian for more information. 

Discuss how to tame and care for a reptile with your local pet clinic!