5 reptiles that enjoy being handled

If you are ready for a new pet but want something a little more on the wild side, then a reptile may be what you’re looking for. Reptiles can be great additions to any family, especially when you get one that enjoys being handled and held. Check out what reptiles love being handled, so you can find the perfect companion for lazy days, watching TV, or just hanging out on the couch.

Ball python held in person's hand
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Snakes

Many snakes enjoy being held and handled on a daily basis. Some like to rest on your arms and shoulders and even gently wrap around your hands. Despite the bad rap they get, snakes can be very gentle and friendly pets if you have the right kind. They are oftentimes both nocturnal and daytime pets, making them great for anyone’s schedule. The best types of friendly and docile snakes include:

  • Corn snakes. These snakes can grow up to 5 feet in length and remain pretty thin into adulthood. They should be handled delicately, so getting this snake for a child may not be the best fit. Corn snakes are extremely well-tempered and do well with being held. They feature pretty orange tones that are beautiful to admire.
  • Ball pythons. These snakes are probably the best option for kids because they are more hardy snakes. These snakes can grow to be around 4 to 5 feet and have a thicker body. They come in different patterns and colors.

Green iguanas

These massive reptiles can grow to be 6.6 feet long and weigh 11 pounds. The large size and weight is nothing to be intimidated by, however. The green iguana is an extremely docile reptile that does well as a pet. They tend to become a little more difficult to hold as they grow but can be great for handling when young. Many owners allow their green iguana to roam freely around the home just like any dog or cat.

Like the name, green iguanas are a vibrant green color. They have long, thick tails, lengthy claws, and little spikes around their bodies. The green iguana is a nocturnal species, so it is important to note that they tend to be more active at nighttime.

Bearded dragons

Boy holds bearded dragon
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The bearded dragon loves being held. They are known to run back and forth in their enclosures to get their owner’s attention. You can think of the bearded dragon as the scaly, reptilian dog you never had. They are known to hang out and sit with their owners for hours on end and are quite possibly the cuddliest reptile you can find.

Bearded dragons can be as long as 2 feet. They have spiky little heads and large scales that make them interesting to touch and hold. Bearded dragons are not nocturnal, making them great pets to have around for daytime enjoyment.

Argentine black and white tegu

You may have never heard of an argentine black and white tegu before, but it is quite the reptile. This reptile grows up to 4 feet in length and can weigh up to 10 pounds. Although these reptiles are hefty, they are actually great for beginners. The argentine black and white tegu is an extremely docile reptile, so it does well with being held. They are extremely intelligent creatures and can live between 15 and 20 years.

Leopard geckos

Gecko held in person's hand
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If you are looking for a reptile companion that is on the smaller side, then the leopard gecko may be a good fit. Leopard geckos grow up to just 10 inches in length. It is important to never scare your leopard gecko or lift them by the tail because it will detach to protect itself. This interesting gecko is called a leopard gecko for good reason.

It features leopard spots that mimic those of the leopard. Leopard geckos are super docile and gentle, making them great for handling. They also have huge eyes that make them not only cool-looking but also adorable.

Before purchasing any reptile, it is important to do your research. Speaking with professionals and caretakers can be a first great step to understanding the time, energy, and money involved in caring for one of these animals. When you are ready to get one of these friendly reptiles for your own home, consider the diets, care, and costs of each to find the perfect fit for you.

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