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15 Best Pet Reptiles to Have and Suitable for Handling

Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures that often live in the wild. It is, however, possible to find them in residential areas with features that resemble those in wild habitats. Reptiles are gradually becoming popular options for pets. They are quite low maintenance and require little attention.

Not all reptiles are ideal for pets though. You probably don’t want to bring home a king cobra or an alligator…or maybe you do. The best pet reptiles are those you can handle without any risk to your life as some reptiles are known to be either violent or venomous.

So, if you’re bent on choosing a reptile as a pet companion, then here are the best pet reptiles for handling. The animals in this list won’t harm you or your kids and are quite fun pets to have at home.

If you’re not a reptile person then check out this article on the best small pets for cuddling. You can also have a look at the top 10 coolest pets.

  1. Russian Tortoise

If you want a reptile pet that is closer to a mammal appearance-wise, then this is probably the best you can get. Compared to other tortoise species, the Russian tortoise is quite small with its length often ranging between 8-10 inches. This is what makes it an ideal pet to keep at home.

Before you jump into getting a Russian tortoise, though, you should know that it can live up to 50 years. So unless you’re willing to make such a commitment to an animal, it may not be an ideal pet for you.

If you, however, want a reptile that you will be able to handle without fear then this cool looking creature should be at the top of your list.

  1. Water Dragon


This is basically a smaller version of the more popular Iguana. Since the iguana is, however, too large to be handled and can also get quite violent, the water dragon is the best compromise.

Its physical features also make it a perfect indoor pet. You should make certain that its cage is transformed into a reptile den similar to the animal’s natural habitat. This is the only way it will easily adapt to its new environment.

Pet Geckos

  1. Leopard Gecko

This is definitely one of the best pet reptiles for handling. It is also the best pet you can get a kid who is fascinated with reptiles. It can be quite docile so don’t expect an upbeat pet that is ready to play. It is also nocturnal like most reptiles so should fit your schedule perfectly if you work during the day.

  1. Crested Gecko


The name of this cute-looking reptile comes from the long crest on its body. Like its cousin, the leopard gecko, this reptile is an amazing pet reptile to own. It is also nocturnal, which makes it a perfect pet if you’re only home at night and in the morning.

  1. Gargoyle Gecko

This species of gecko actually does well in captivity, making it one of the best pet reptiles you can own. If you’re used to traveling by road, you’ll probably see this little guy crawling along the tiled road at night.

It is quite beefy when compared with other geckos and can live up to 20 years.

  1. Giant New Caledonian Gecko

If you want a gecko that is huge, then the best option for you is the giant new Caledonian gecko. This reptile is quite massive, stretching up to 13 inches and weighing as much as 450g. It is the ideal substitute if you want a reptile closer to the size of the bearded dragon, but still as tame as a gecko.

  1. Tokay Gecko

If you want a gecko that is more exotic, then this species should definitely be your first choice. Its alluring blend of blue and orange makes it a delight to watch. It is also capable of regenerating its tail, Deadpool style, so you can be as handy as you want with the little creature. Don’t cut its feet, though, they won’t grow back and it will probably die.

  1. Bearded Dragon


This is an adorable pet to own. For a reptile, it is quite active and can be playful when it has settled in an environment. It is also probably the most social among pet reptiles so handling it shouldn’t be an issue. You should endeavor to cater to its needs, though, especially when it comes to feeding and shelter.

Pet Snakes

When it comes to pet snakes, you have to be careful in choosing one. There are a lot of venomous and dangerous snakes out there so make sure you consult a snake expert before getting one as a pet.

  1. Ball Python

The ball python is one of the tamest snakes you’ll probably encounter. This is why it is the preferred choice for kids and new snake enthusiasts. It is small in size and incapable of squeezing a human to death. Don’t let near a baby and infant, though, you don’t want to be taking that chance.

  1. Corn Snake


This is also one of the few snakes that are tame and ideal pets. The corn snake has a calm demeanor and is usually never hostile. It is a snake that loves to explore so you have to keep its cage secured otherwise it will find a way out.

  1. Gopher Snake

The gopher snake is a brightly colored non-venomous snake that is quite ideal as a pet. Handling it may quite tricky due to its slippery nature. Still, it is rare for it to attack if properly held. It feeds on mice and rats; however, the prey must be pre-killed before delivering it to the snake.

  1. Milk Snake

Blessed with beautiful coloration that is alluring to the eyes, the milk snake is one of the best reptile pets you can own. It is also quite cool since many people are unable to tell the difference between it and a similar looking snake, the coral snake, which is venomous and deadly.

The milk snake is, however, harmless and non-venomous so you don’t have to worry about being attacked by your pet.

  1. Garter Snake

If you think non-venomous snakes are lame and you want a snake that is venomous but not deadly, then this is the snake for you. Though the garter snake has been found to produce venom, its venom is very mild and will probably not kill you.

It is still best that you take precautions when handling this snake e.g., wearing a thick glove. Also, ensure that its cage is well-secured so it doesn’t sneak out.

  1. Green Anole Lizard

If you’re into lizards then this creature is certainly one of the best pet lizards you can own. Its alluring green color gives it an exotic look. It is quite easy to care for and also very tame. You don’t have to worry about it attacking you.

  1. Red-ear Slider

This is another cool pet you can get if you don’t want any of the traditional reptiles. The turtle is a commonly known species that is widespread in the US and is accepted as a pet. You must read up on caring for this adorable animal, though, as it requires lots of dedication and commitment from you.

49's Team