If your child wants their first pet, getting them a dog or a cat is a big responsibility. Starting them out with a smaller, less demanding option may be a better idea in order to get them used to caring for an animal. Because of this, consider starting out by getting them a reptile. Below are two reptiles you should consider.
A bearded dragon can be fun for children as this reptile appears to have a beard. When confronted with a predator the dragon puffs out the beard, making it look much larger. Your child may not see this, however, as it will not likely come across predators, but it is a fun fact to tell them. You may see the bearded dragon bobbing their head and waving its hands.
Unless you are purchasing a full-grown bearded dragon, ask the owner how large it will get. You need to get a terrarium that is around 20-50 gallons to give the bearded dragon room to run and get exercise. This way you will not have to let the bearded dragon out into your home to get the exercise they need. Do not get more than one bearded dragon because they like to be alone. They also require heat, so you will need to get a heating source along with the terrarium.
The leopard gecko may be the perfect reptile for your child as they are friendly and low maintenance. Geckos are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day. Because of this, provide them with plenty of caves to let them hide during the daytime. Put rocks and branches along with the caves to give the gecko other places to hide. Leopard geckos are small reptiles as they grow to around 7-11 inches in length. They do live a long time, however, and your child may still have their gecko when your child becomes an adult.
Leopard geckos like to eat live insects, such as waxworms, small locusts, cockroaches, and crickets. You can find live insects at pet stores. You can also purchase a terrarium that is around 20 gallons. Because they are smaller, they will be happier in this size. You will need to use a heat light as geckos tend to like a warm environment.
The pet store or owner of the gecko you purchase can give you many tips on setting up a home for the reptile, how much to feed them, etc. You should also take your new reptile to a vet soon after you purchase it to ensure it remains healthy.
For more information about reptiles for sale, contact a local pet store.