Reptiles are generally known for being somewhat apathetic and not particularly cuddly as pets, but many of them do in fact feel emotions.
Reptile owners know that their snakes and lizards react differently when they are around, and some of the more intelligent species like bearded dragons, tegus and monitor lizards, are even considered to be capable of “affection”.
Can lizards love
Love is an already ill-defined concept when it comes to humans, even more so when we are talking about to reptiles. One thing is for sure: lizards and tortoises have been proven to be able to recognize people who handle and feed them, and they seem to even form some kind of bonding. Every tegu owner knows that, despite being solitary animals, they will regularly seek their attention from time to time.
A monitor lizard may look like they merely tolerate your presence, but they actually trust you as a source of food and shelter, and whether that can be considered love or affection as opposed to mere opportunistic behavior is up for debate.
Do lizards like to be pet
Some species of lizards like to be pet more than others. Some of the most affectionate reptiles are tegu lizards, bearded dragons, blue-tongued skinks, iguanas and some monitor lizards (like Ackies and Savannah monitors).
These species are known to respond well to regular handling, to the point where they may appear to even enjoy it – rather than just tolerating it. That said, there is no such thing as imprinting for reptiles and the taming process for any reptile is however long and requires a lot of patience on your side.
A lizard that does not recognize you as a safe companion will see you as a potential predator and act stressed or aggressive and could even drop their tail if you try to handle it. It takes months – if not years – for them to start learning to trust you and, in their own way, to show any form of affection.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.