Hi, i worked in a reptile shop so i know a fair bit about them. They are safe as long as your son washes his hands after handling them. For a three year old i would suggest a bearded dragon as i found them to be the most easy going reptile. Reptiles need to be fed live food and salad, so you will need to always have a stock of locust and crickets. If you can encourage your son to be gentle with a dragon then its fine to buy a baby, if not and you feel he may be a little heavy handed then go for an older one.
Be prepared to have adequate housing though as they can get to just over a foot long. They are lovely reptiles, if you handle them regularly then they will have a lovely temperament. I worked with them for five years and wasn't bitten once. Hope this helps :)
Also things like chameleons wouldn't take to being handled very well by a three year old as they get stressed easily.
i have a son who is really excited by reptiles, too. We've had success with live caught reptiles, because if you take good care of them they live a REALLY LONG TIME, and when you get tired of them you can release them back into the wild with a full belly of food and water.
We've had great success with ribbon snakes and garter snakes in particular - you just put a water dish in their cage, and buy them a dozen "feeder fish" each week. The snake is really adept at catching the fish, and they stay really healthy and active in captivity.
Three years old is awfully young to have a pet. We have turtles, but they are not our children's pets, they are ours. Reptiles can be very expensive to upkeep, finding a qualified vet can be difficult and pricey, and their housing needs require constant upkeep and diligent care. Our first turle came to us sick and after spending over $2000, months being rehabbed, surgery, and injecting antibiotics every other day for months, he finally recovered. Not to mention many reptiles harbor salmonella and there is nothing you can do to get rid of it. Children often put their hands in their mouths and relying on a three year old to wash their hands copiously enough to not contract it is not reasonable.
I do not advise catching and releasing wild reptiles either as they can teach them to become reliant on humans for food or they could end up sick from eating food that is not normally part of their diet. Allowing your childre to catch them and carefully look at them is one thing, but keeping them indoors and feeding them only to release them is not adviseable.
My advice would be to hold off for several years before buying your child a pet. Inevitably you will sink hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars into a pet that your child will grow bored with in short order and then what will you do? Our turtles have a life expectancy of 30 years! We didn't go into this expecting they wouldn't be around for a while ; )
I suggest a bearded dragon as well. They are amazingly gentle and love to just relax on your lap or bask in the sun (well the light bulb...but they dont know the difference:) I have 2 (use to have 9)...and i actually have about 32 in an incubator right now...should be ready to hatch in about 2 weeks. Cant wait! Feel free to email me with any questions...***@**** I also have quite a few snakes, 11 to be exact, and i must say that Ball Pythons are very docile as well. Do a lot of research on the animal before getting it though- that is a must. Either way, enjoy!
i have a african fat tailed gecko and a leopard gecko. They both are VERY good pets. They can be handled well but there are like with most pets things to look out for. my boyfriend is a herpetologist (reptile studier) so i know quite a bit about reptiles. it depends on which reptile you want or like.
Ok,so why hasn't anyone mentioned crested geckos,I've kept many herps over the years and they are by far the easiest going small pet anyone could want.Maybe not the cheapest,but not big and ugly like a beardy,messy like a turtle or have an ugly tail like a leopard gecko.
hi i have 3 trantulas 2 snakes a geko, beaded dragon and a green iguana, for a three year old i would suggest a beaded dragon as they are very doctile and love been played with, the only thing is, is that you might av to feed it as the like live food (crikets,locast) they also eat greens, so u have to alternet them. another thing is that your son may lose intrest as he gets older with may result in getting rid of it so u need to be able to look after it if your son dosnt pls post a comment on my page if you have any other ???
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