8 Best Pet Reptiles For All Ages

best pet reptiles in Memphis, TN
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8 Best Pet Reptiles for All Ages

Reptiles are fun pets to have no matter how old or young you are. After all, they are breathtakingly beautiful. Plus, some reptiles are even pretty friendly, easy to care for, and tolerate handling very well.

Here we will be listing the top eight best pet reptiles for people of all ages. These include several snake and lizard species, and there is even a specific type of tortoise that is pretty good for beginners as well.

Here we will give you everything that you need to know about these great starter pet reptile species. This way you can decide which species will be the best pet for you!

1.   The Ball Python

Ball Pythons are a great choice of python for a novice reptile owner. This is because they are easy to house, and they are also pretty mild-mannered snakes that usually don’t mind being handled. Plus, they do not get overly big, the average Ball Python will grow to be four or five feet long.

Another amazing thing about the Ball Python is its life expectancy. Ball Pythons are expected to live 20 to 30 years on average, so you will have your scaly friend for a long time! You will be able to find Ball Pythons at many pet stores, rescues, and online retailers. Be sure you can commit to this length of pet ownership before adopting a Ball Python.

2.   The Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are another great starter reptile. These adorable little lizards tend to have incredible temperaments. This is because they rarely bite and are typically docile. Also, Leopard Geckos are easy to house when compared to other species of lizards.

Additionally, Leopard Geckos are one of the most affordable pet reptiles that you could get. They are also sold in many different places including pet stores and online retailers. Leopard Geckos have an impressive life expectancy as well, with most living to be between 15 and 20 years old.

3.   Corn Snakes

Want an easy species of snake and are looking for something on the smaller side? Well, Corn Snakes are a great option. These little guys have narrow bodies that do not get quite as long as the Ball Python. This means that they are sometimes easier to house for the novice owner simply because they do not require as much space.

Corn snakes are very popular pets for their bright colors and docile temperaments. They take to handling very well, and most corn snakes live to be around 20 years old in captivity. Corn snakes are also very accessible, with them being sold both in pet stores and online.

best pet reptiles in Memphis, TN

4.   King Snakes

King snakes are another great pet snake for first-time reptile owners. They are incredibly affordable and accessible pets, and they are also easy for the average person to house and care for. Not to mention, most king snakes are very tolerant of handling once they have gotten used to it.

King snakes also have narrow bodies, but they tend to be a bit longer than corn snakes. King snakes have an average life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

5.   The Black Rat Snake 

Next up on our list is the Black Rat Snake. Black rat snakes can be a decent option for those who are looking for a snake that is a bit more challenging than a Ball Python or Corn Snake. This is because the Black Rat Snake tends to be a bit more temperamental than some other pet snake species. They also emit a musky scent when frightened, which can be bothersome to some reptile owners.

That being said, Black Rat Snakes are very easy to house, and they do not tend to be aggressive with people once they get used to handling. Black Rat Snakes have a narrow body structure, and they get to be between 3 and 6 feet long. This species has an average life expectancy of 10 to 30 years in captivity.

6.   The Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragons are an incredibly popular first reptile, and there are very good reasons for that. Bearded Dragons are social and docile pets that usually take to handling extremely well. Some Bearded Dragon owners even carry their lizards around on their shoulders. The only potential drawback to this lizard species is housing them. This is because Bearded Dragons require a tank that is between 55 and 75 Gallons.

This is because Bearded Dragons are a larger lizard species, and they can reach up to 2 feet in length. Bearded Dragons are pretty accessible and affordable due to their popularity, and their average life expectancy is between 6 and 10 years.

7.   The Russian Tortoise

The Russian Tortoise is by far one of the best to keep for first time reptile owners. This is because their size is pretty small, making housing them easy for the average handler. They are also friendly and sociable animals, so you will have fun handling and interacting with them.

The only drawback to the Russian Tortoise is that they tend to be a bit more difficult to find in pet stores than some of the other reptile species on our list. This means that you will most likely need to turn to an online retailer for one. Russian Tortoises also live a long time, with their average life expectancy being at around 40 years.

8.   The Crested Gecko

Crested Geckos are another decent option of lizard species for a novice reptile owner. This is because this species is small, making them easy to house and care for. Just keep in mind that crested geckos love to jump and climb, so tall terrariums work best for them.

The only drawback to Crested Geckos is that they tend to be much more skittish than Leopard Geckos and Bearded Dragons are. This means that they may not be the best choice for those who want a reptile that they can handle on a regular basis. They are better suited to being viewed from their terrarium. However, their low maintenance care needs still make them an excellent option if their skittish nature does not bother you. Crested Geckos tend to live between 10 and 20 years.


The best pet reptiles for beginners are usually more popular and easier to take care of than other reptile species. Before deciding to get a pet reptile, it is important to do your research on the type of reptile you want, know how long of a lifespan you can commit to, and what species best fits your lifestyle. It is also a good decision to talk to a vet about what your new pet may need in their enclosure and get any information about your new pet before bringing them home.

If you are located in the Memphis, TN, area, McGehee Clinic for Animals is here to help you with your new pet reptile. Give us a call at (901) 682-5684, or Request an Appointment today.

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