From bearded dragons to leopard geckos, lizards are a great choice for exotic pets. Many of them are low-maintenance and good-natured, making them easy to care for.
However, before introducing any scaly pet into your household, it is crucial that you consider if they can coexist with other animals, especially your furry friends.
Can lizards and dogs coexist?
Now, the next question is how. Read on as I share some tips on how you can make it easy for lizards and dogs to have a harmonious relationship in your home.
The Best Ways to Introduce Lizard to a Home With Dogs
It is stressful if you see your pets constantly fighting instead of living cordially. Avoid such a nightmare by following the tips I will talk about below.
1. Make Sure They Are a Match
The first and most important thing to do is to find a lizard that would perfectly match your dog. Yes, they can get along, but you need to make sure that they are not aggressive. Otherwise, your home will be filled with nonstop chaos.
Tagus and monitor lizards are some of the more aggressive species that you might want to avoid. In the wild, they are hunters, so they might always find the need to defend their territories from dogs. Veiled chameleons and iguanas can be equally hostile.
As for the dogs, you should also avoid introducing a lizard when you have aggressive breeds, such as Siberian husky, American bulldog, German shepherd, rottweiler, and American pit bull terrier. It is best to choose dog breeds that are good for kids since they are gentler. Top examples are beagles, Labrador retrievers, and poodles.
You should avoid dogs that bark a lot, especially when seeing other people or animals. They can be too noisy, which can affect the quality of life of your lizard.
2. Have a Gentle First Meeting
When you bring your pet lizard home for the first time, make sure that the introduction is gentle, so both pets will not end up in shock on their first meeting.
On the first interaction, hold your lizard in your hand. Keep your palm flat while supporting the tail and feet of the reptile. This way, it won’t easily get out of your grip even as it becomes aggressive after seeing your dog.
Be slow with your movements to avoid the lizard from being startled. If you can feel that the lizard is stressed at that moment, postpone the introduction until the time that your pet is calmer. Reptiles Life is a great resource if you want to learn more about the behaviors of lizards.
It’s also important that you manage your dog to avoid aggression. Having a leash is a good idea, so you can easily control its movement. Keep it a few feet away before getting it closer to the reptile. Watch out for its behavior, making sure that it isn’t barking or being aggressive. Be on the lookout for the signs that a dog might bite.
3. Give Your Lizard an Enclosure
Do not let your pet lizard roam around the home freely. It can scare not just humans, but even dogs. Hence, it is best to keep it in an enclosure, especially during the first meeting.
By keeping the lizard in a cage, it is easier to manage its behavior. Even if it turns aggressive, it will remain in its place. At the same time, if the dog turns out to be unwelcoming, it won’t easily be able to attack your lizard.
While it’s in the cage, watch out for reptile emotions. From its head to its tail, keep an eye on how it is reacting. This will let you know if it is scared of your dog. Also, look at the dog and see how it will react. From this first interaction, you can already tell if the two pets can co-exist.
4. Find a Quiet Area of the House
As you introduce a lizard to a dog, your goal is to make a good first impression, which will be the stepping stone to a harmonious relationship. One strategy that you can use is to make them meet in a quiet part of the household.
Find a neutral territory for both the lizard and dog. This way, they do not have to be defensive and will not feel as if someone is occupying their place. It will also prevent both of them from exhibiting protective behaviors.
Noise can make the environment more stressful, triggering unwanted behavior. If it is quiet, it is more likely that both pets will be calm during their introduction. Loud noises can cause over-stimulation.
5. Supervise Closely
The most important thing to do is to supervise both pets, especially during the first few days of having them in the same household. Such time is crucial as it will indicate whether they will get along in the long run or you need to keep them apart.
Watch out for the common signs of aggression, such as stiff muscles, long gazes, snarling, growling, and excessive barking. The lizard will wave slowly, hiss, or drop its tail when it is stressed, which are indicators that it is not comfortable around your dog.
By supervising the pets closely, you can act accordingly once one of them becomes hostile to the other. They won’t develop a harmonious relationship overnight, so stay patient. If it seems that they are not yet ready, do not force them to get along.
Can lizards live with dogs? Yes!
However, while they can coexist within the same house, it is not as easy as putting them together in the same room. Pay attention to the proper introduction, which will set the mood and prevent a stressful environment.
Are there other tips that you would like to share? Leave a comment below!