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Can you keep tegu lizards with cats and dogs?

You may have heard that as far as big lizards are concerned, tegus make the best pets.

It’s true – they are docile, smart, fun to keep around, and not dangerous to humans.

But if you have cats, dogs or other small animals in your house, then you may wonder if it’s okay to let them play together with your tegu.

Tegu with dog, cat and hamster
You can house some pets with your tegu. Others may be seen as a snack.

Tegu lizards are actually quite similar to cats in terms of behavior.

They need a lot of personal space, are highly inquisitive, and do not crave your attention too often – despite still being cuddly at times.

That said, you should not let your tegu play with your cat without supervision.

Your tegu is unlikely to harm your cat, but it has a very strong bite capable of hurting it badly should something go wrong, and cats do tend to annoy tegus.

One wrong move and it could end very badly! 

Can a tegu eat a cat?

No, your domestic tegu won’t attempt to eat a cat.

Even wild tegus mostly feed on insects and small rodents and birds, anything larger than that isn’t usually seen as prey.

On the other hand, your cat’s killer instincts you should worry about. Never let your full grown cat anywhere near a juvenile tegu. Remember that cats like to prey on smaller animals including lizards.

Are tegus dangerous to cats?

Tegus are generally not dangerous to pets like cats when they are properly cared for and supervised.

It’s better not to keep a tegu and a cat free to roam in the same room unsupervised. If a cat pesters a tegu, it could lead to a dangerous situation.

Tegus are capable of inflicting serious injury on a cat, especially if the tegu feels threatened or disturbed. This risk is small, but it’s not zero.

Tegus and dogs can live together usually get along pretty well, because the dog won’t pester the tegu too much and tegus tend to keep to themselves.

Yet again, both dogs and tegus have the capability of hurting each other badly so it’s important to have them interact only under strict supervision.

Can a tegu eat a dog?

No, tegus don’t eat dogs. They can eat dog food, though.

A large tegu could technically eat a small dog, but this is very unlikely as it is not what they would normally prey on in the wild.

A pet tegu is unlikely to attack a dog of any size unless provoked.

Are tegus dangerous to dogs?

Tegus are typically not dangerous to dogs or most other pets. They are calm and not known for attacking anything larger than themselves. However, they will defend themselves if threatened, which could result in minor injuries from a bite or a tail slap.

Dogs, including puppies of small breeds, are generally safe around tegus. They might receive a bite or tail slap if they approach the tegu, but they aren’t in any real danger.

You should not keep your tegu anywhere near rodents, birds, or insect pets, because they will see them as a meal.

Even other small reptiles such as turtles and smaller lizards and snakes are at risk.

Are tegus dangerous to small pets?

Yes, tegus can potentially be dangerous to small pets. In the wild, tegus regurarly prey and feed on rodents, birds and smaller lizards.

They are also quite good at hunting eggs and will eat eggs from birds and reptiles that nest on the ground.

Even though they are usually tame, wild tegus can also be more aggressive than domestic tegus and may attack small animals if they are hungry or feel threatened.

Two or more tegus can live under the same roof as long as they are each given their own space.

You will either need to set up two separate enclosures or build one that is big enough to accommodate both of them.

It is best to keep tegus of the same gender together, and you should not allow an adult tegu anywhere near a juvenile.

Do tegus get lonely?

Like most reptiles, tegu lizards are solitary animals and territorial, opportunistic creatures.

They live in solitude and do not get lonely, so it is perfectly acceptable to own a single tegu and never let it interact with other animals.

You only need to make sure to provide adequate enrichment conditions for them to stay happy.

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