Learning About Rodent Pets

Choosing A Vegetarian Pet Reptile To Avoid Live Feeding

by Neil Turner

Lizards, snakes and other reptiles can all be fascinating and rewarding companions. But many potential reptile owners hesitate to commit to a pet that will require a carnivorous diet such as live insects or mice. Besides making many people a little squeamish, live prey for your reptile will need to be securely housed until feeding time, and even a few hours delay can be both noisy and inconvenient. These are four beginner-friendly reptiles for sale that can survive comfortably on an herbivorous diet and spare you the hassle of live-feeding. 

Uromastyx Lizards

Uromastyx lizards are a desert genus that often feature bright green or yellow scales. Bearded dragons and frilled lizards are included among the species of the uromastyx genus. They range in size from less than a foot in length to a little less than three and are relatively easy to look after, though they are active and will need room to dig and move. Most uromastyx species are able to live happily on nothing but fruits, seeds and vegetables, with the occasional ground insect powder as a protein supplement. 

Crested Geckos

Geckos, with their bulging eyes, tiny frames and long tongues, are another popular type of lizard among reptile enthusiasts. Crested geckos in particular are a popular choice due to their hardiness, climbing ability and the widely available powdered feed made specifically for them. Most other lizard species are not popular enough to warrant their own feed, making crested geckos a welcome exception to the rule. This feed, which meets all of their nutritional requirements, allows you to skip the live insects unless you want to provide them as a treat. 


Chuckwallas are a variety of iguana, but they live in desert environments and do not reach the same size as their more familiar cousins. Their relatively small size makes them easier to care for than green iguanas, and their flat, vibrantly colored bodies are almost primordial in appearance. These lizards enjoy basking throughout the day and are not especially active, and like other iguana species, they are almost entirely herbivorous. Leafy greens and the occasional fruit should make up the vast bulk of your pet's diet. 


Tortoises range in size from a few square inches to several square feet, and their care ranges in difficulty accordingly. Small tortoises like the Russian Tortoise can be kept inside a terrarium for the entirety of their lives, but larger species will need to roam your home and yard freely. Because of this, always be aware of the adult size of any tortoise you buy. If you choose the right tortoise for your household, however, you will find that they are endearing and gentle pets that love nothing more than a delicious kale leaf or melon. By choosing any one of these four pets, you can enjoy all of the rewarding benefits of reptile ownership without the inconvenience of housing and feeding live prey.