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Making Friends With a Reptile

June 15, 2021

Have you ever wondered if reptiles have feelings? It’s probably safe to say that they aren’t as sentimental or affectionate as dogs and cats, but there’s no way to really know for sure. Some feel that reptiles just haven’t really evolved that way. However, some reptiles do seem to form strong bonds with their humans. Bonding with reptiles takes time and patience, but it’s not impossible. In this article, a veterinarian discusses taming reptiles.


Age will have a lot to do with how comfortable your pet is being handled. You’ll have more luck taming a baby animal than you will an older one that’s rarely been handled. That doesn’t mean you can’t tame an older reptile: it just may take longer.

Body Language 

Pay close attention to your pet’s body language. If your reptile is hissing, withdrawing, or acting as though it’s going to strike, just leave it alone.


Some lizards are very charismatic, and can even act affectionate. Iguanas, for instance, often have favorite people. Bearded dragons are also lovable, and enjoy cuddling with their humans. However, some of these tiny dinosaurs only feel comfortable being handled or petted by their owners.


Offering food and treats is a great way to win any pet’s trust. However, many reptiles don’t eat every day. You may be less than thrilled about trying to hold a live worm or roach out. Let your pet get used to your smell, and to the sound of your voice. Talk to the little guy as he’s eating, and greet him when you get home.

Settling In

Don’t try to handle your pet immediately after bringing them home. You’ll need to Give them time to adjust to their new home and surroundings. You can talk to the little guy, and perhaps hold your hand out for them to investigate. (This is not recommended with larger reptiles that may bite.)


Some reptiles are just naturally going to be friendlier than others. Learn to read your pet dinosaur, and pay attention to how they act around you. If your scaled pal acts scared or wary, don’t force the issue: that may just scare them!

Picking Up

Pet reptiles should be handled regularly, to keep them tame and docile. Be sure to pick your pet up properly! Never pick your lizard up by the tail, and avoid scooping him up when he is eating or sleeping. Ask your vet for more information. 

Do you have questions about reptile care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today!

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