Lizards at Petco
|average adult size:||1 to 7 feet, depending on species|
|average life span:||up to 10+ years with proper care, depending on species|
Will reach adult size in 2-5 years, depending on species and under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your reptile grows.
A well-balanced Tegu or Monitor diet consists of:
- A variety of insects, including gut-loaded (recently fed) crickets, mealworms and waxworms.
- Common goldfish; frozen, thawed rodents.
- Avoid high fat foods such as dog and cat food.
- If feeding live rodents, do not leave your lizard unattended. Live rodents can injure the lizard, sometimes fatally.
Things to remember when feeding your Tegu or Monitor:
- Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
- Feed juvenile Tegus daily, adults 1-2 times a week; feed juvenile Monitors 3 times a week, adults 1-2 times a week.
- Sprinkle food with calcium supplement daily and a multi-vitamin supplement once or twice a week.
- Size - appropriate size and shape habitat to accommodate normal behaviors and exercise; ensure Tegu habitat is secure as they are escape artists. Due to varied sizes and growth rates of reptiles, and their individualized needs, we recommend you consult a book on this species to determine its specific housing requirements.
- Habitat - most Monitors and Tegus like to climb; long, sturdy branches, driftwood, hollow logs, and large rocks are recommended. Maintain 60-80% humidity by misting as needed every day.
- Substrate - use a mulch-type such as coconut fiber, dampened sphagnum moss, and bark.
- Temperature - temperature gradient (100°F for the warm end and 70°F for the cool end); recommend radiant heat. Use an incandescent light or ceramic heater as primary heat source.
- Lighting - UVB rays with full spectrum lighting for 10-12 hours a day is required. An incandescent day bulb can be used for basking area during daylight hours only; can use a ceramic heater or black or red incandescent at all hours.
- House adult Tegus and Monitors separately and do not house different reptile species together.
- Tegus and Monitors are not naturally tame; significant time must be spent with them to handle them.
- Prefer a daily routine with set feeding and cleaning times.
- Likes to hide in dark, tight areas.
Thoroughly clean the habitat at least once a week: place lizard in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all traces of bleach smell; dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.
Grooming & Hygiene
Lizards regularly shed their skin; ensure humidity of habitat is at appropriate level to allow proper shedding. To facilitate shedding, bathe in a large container that allows the lizard to immerse its entire body or provide a shed box, which is essentially a hide box with sphagnum moss, that will aid in the shedding process.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
- Active and alert
- Clear eyes
- Body and tail are rounded, filled out
- Healthy skin
- Clear nose and vent
- Eats regularly
- weight loss or decreased appetite
- mucus in mouth or nose
- bumps, sores, or abrasions on skin
- labored breathing
- paralysis of limbs or tail
- abnormal feces
Common Health Issues
|Health Issue||Symptoms or Causes||Suggested Action|
|Gastro-intestinal disease||Runny stools, caked or smeared stool around the vent area, and loss of appetite caused by bacterial or parasitic infection||Consult your exotic animal veterinarian|
|Metabolic bone/vitamin deficiency||Inability to absorb calcium. If untreated, can lead to a disorder characterized by deformities and softened bones. Swollen limbs and lethargy.|
|Respiratory disease||Labored breathing and mucus in the mouth or nose. Can be caused by a habitat that is too cold or damp.||Consult your exotic animal veterinarian and ensure habitat is appropriately warm.|
Ask an associate about Petco’s selection of books on Tegus and Monitors and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.
Because all Lizards are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your Lizard and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for a Lizard and should consider not having a Lizard as a pet.
This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.
Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.