If you’re planning on getting a lizard, but you already have other pets, you may be wondering if they’ll get along. After all, reptiles and mammals are different types of animals who don’t hang out together in the wild. But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you whether you can mix lizards with dogs or cats.
For the most part, lizards and common house pets are not a good combination. Your dog and pet could get curious and hurt these reptiles, even if it’s by accident. Also, lizards can be toxic to other pets, so you would have to keep them in their enclosure, away from dogs and cats.
That said, if you’re careful, you could get a lizard, even if you already have other pets at home. But what will you need to avoid battles between these reptiles and other animals? Keep on reading to find out!
The Truth About Keeping Pet Lizards and Other House Pets
As we mentioned before, getting a lizard when you already own other types of pets may be challenging. These species have very little in common, and it’s not natural for them to get along. On the contrary, a cat’s first instinct, for example, could be to hunt the lizard.
And even if your house pet doesn’t mean to kill the lizard, it may end up hurting it. Going back to cats, they could see the reptile as a toy to play with. The feline’s curiosity could even cause it to jump on top of the lizard’s enclosure.
As you can imagine, these encounters don’t tend to have a happy ending for the lizard. But your dog or cat could also be in trouble. How? Well, for starters, a giant pet lizard like an iguana could scratch your other pet and hurt it.
Likewise, some lizards produce liquids that are toxic to other animals. The reptiles can also carry bacteria and parasites that could harm your pet.
Thus, although you could still have a lizard, you’ll need to be extra careful. Otherwise, there may be fatal interactions.
To help you understand how to make these different animals co-exist, we’ll divide this post. First, let’s look at what you can expect if you keep a lizard with dogs.
Pet Lizards and Dogs – What You Need to Know
Out of the most common house pets, dogs may be the most welcoming to lizards. Yes, at first, a dog may bark and go after the reptile, even if it’s only to smell it. But, if your dog has had any training, the word “no” will be enough to make it back off.
Yet, dogs are territorial and protective of their environment and their owner(s). So, you’ll have to introduce these two types of animals and be careful.
Keep the lizard inside the enclosure and let the dog come near. Your pet may bark and sniff the reptile’s tank at first, but, in the best-case scenario, it’ll get over it fast.
That said, if the dog keeps barking at the enclosure, you may have to keep the lizard in a separate, closed room. If possible, place the lizard’s tank on a high shelf that the dog can’t reach.
Oh, and never let these two pets in the same space without supervision. Otherwise, the dog could try to go after the reptile and knock its tank down.
If you’re planning on letting your lizard come out of its enclosure or handle it, please be careful. Make sure that your dog is not alone with the reptile. Or, if you notice your dog’s restless, keep the pets in different rooms and close the door while the lizard’s out.
If your dog gets in contact with your new pet or a wild lizard somehow, there are two possible scenarios. Let’s say the dog eats or only licks a lizard, it may not experience symptoms, and you won’t even know what happened.
But lizards can carry parasites and bacteria like salmonella. So, in some cases, your dog could:
- Have diarrhea
- Show no energy
If your dog shows any of these symptoms after interacting with a lizard, please call the vet right away. Early treatment could prevent your dog from getting very sick.
Pet Lizards and Cats – What You Need to Know
Let’s be real; cats are rarely ever as “domesticated” as we’d like to believe. Thus, introducing a lizard to your feline friend is riskier than having a dog meet the same reptile.
On the one hand, cats are very curious. Even if you take your time to introduce them to the lizard (in its enclosure), they may keep trying to hunt your new pet.
This behavior is instinctive to felines, so, even if they’re not hungry, it’s a game for them. The cat will see the lizard as a brand new moving toy.
In return, the lizard could experience stress in its day to day life that could damage its health. A lizard will think of your adorable cat as a menace, a constant threat.
Cats also happen to be as sneaky as it gets and, as a result, they may be able to reach the lizard’s enclosure. So, you’ll need to think twice about where you’ll place the new pet in your household. And, as with dogs, you’ll have to keep an eye on the two animals and never leave them alone unsupervised.
Unlike dogs, cats are more likely to scratch a lizard than to lick it or eat it, at least at first. Since they use their nails and paws for many things, cats can pass many bacteria to lizards.
Sometimes, cats eat or lick lizards when they go out or if a lizard gets inside your house. Lizard ingestion can cause your cat to catch bacteria or parasites.
Thus, your pet may experience similar symptoms to the ones we described with dogs. And, as always, seeking medical attention is a must.
Yet, you may see many cute pictures of cats and lizards online for a reason. If you get a lizard that’s big-ish, your cat may not want to eat it. We would recommend you get a bearded dragon since they’re also docile, social animals.
Meanwhile, you should avoid mixing cats with iguanas. These reptiles tend to be aggressive and have strong, long claws that can hurt your cat and infect it.
Lizards and Other Common House Pets
If you don’t have dogs or cats but own other pets like hamsters or turtles, there’s nothing to fear. After all, you’ll have to keep these animals in different, separated enclosures. And, as a result, there won’t be any interactions at all.
Even cold-blooded predators like snakes could co-exist with lizards. As long as you don’t try to place such different species in the same enclosure or tank, things won’t get messy.
Can I Keep Different Pet Lizard Species Together?
Yes and no. Although you can keep different lizard species in your house, they shouldn’t be in the same tank. Why? Because not only there’s a risk even the friendliest may fight, they all have different needs.
As a consequence, it’s going to be hard to provide the perfect enclosure conditions. One type of lizard may need some temperature, and the other could require the exact opposite.
But that’s not all; if you pair together lizards of different sizes, they may end up even eating each other. Unless, of course, they’re vegetarians, in which case they could still kill each other.
So, please, try to keep your pet lizards to one species per enclosure.
Should I Allow My Pet Lizard to Walk Around My House?
Depending on the species, you could let a pet lizard walk around your house, out of its enclosure. For example, bearded dragons are docile and love to explore a home, regardless of its size.
That said, as you can imagine, you need to be extra careful and don’t lose sight of the lizard. Otherwise, you could end up losing your pet if a window or door is open. Likewise, the lizard may get hurt if not supervised.
As a pet owner, you should know where your lizard is at all times.