Small lizards pets
Annual cost: $330 - $1, 310
Total lifetime cost (avg. lifespan of iguana: 9-10 years): $3, 200 - $12, 125
Reptiles may be some of the least-understood small pets. They have particularly high set-up costs because they must live under very specific conditions. Proper heating and lighting are vital to reptiles’ health, and an under-tank heater and heat lamp will cost about $100. Glass aquariums are also part of the initial cost, requiring you to spend between $100 and $180 for a 45- to 75-gallon tank with a screen top. Finally, food and water bowls, a thermometer, climbing branches and fake foliage will cost $30 to $55. The price of the reptile itself will vary significantly, depending on what type of species you decide to purchase (a small lizard will be much less expensive than a bearded dragon or a boa constrictor).
In the beginning, also be sure to take your new pet to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. Many reptiles must be de-wormed, while others can carry gastrointestinal parasites that can be easily eliminated before they’re passed on to humans. Your vet can also talk to you about the environmental and dietary needs essential to keeping your reptile healthy.
Annual costs include material for the bottom of the tank ($80), food ($100-$1, 080) and regular vet visits (less than $100). Food costs will vary greatly depending on what type of reptile you purchase. Some species, such as geckos and dragons, eat crickets, while iguanas eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, which will rack up a higher monthly bill. UV light bulbs will need to be replaced once or twice a year (a ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Bulb costs $25 on Amazon.com), and the heating and lighting fixtures will also take a toll on your electric bill.