When you think of reptiles, you wouldn’t imagine them to be playful creatures, but the best toys for pet lizards will provide the right stimulation they need. Reptiles are naturally curious and enquiring, and so they need an environment that will offer plenty of stimulation and interaction to banish their boredom.
It’s important then, to tap into their instinctual behavior, and consider how they interact with objects usually found in their natural environment. For instance, besides using their eyes and feet to see and touch, they use their forked tongue to examine items strewn around. In fact, their tongue is crucial, not only for taste but smell. With the aid of their Jacobson's Organ, situated inside the mouth, they are able to taste the air.
With so many options of toys for pet lizards on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is suitable for your reptile. It’s always ideal to give them something to explore as well as to challenge them. From exploration toys that allow them to climb, hide and burrow to water toys such as pool floats to pique their interest. Of course, when your pet lizard fancies a snooze, there are always hammock toys to lounge around on. If you want more ideas about looking after pet reptiles, you can check out our bearded dragon care guide.
In any case, here are our top selection of the best toys for pet lizards that will keep them engaged and entertained for hours.
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PetsRadar's pick of the best toys for pet lizards
- Best overall toy for pet lizards: Penn-Plaxx Lizard Lounger
- Best exercise toy for pet lizards: WATFOON Adjustable Lizard Leash
- Best bath-time toy for pet lizards: Haichen Tec Floaties
- Best hideaway toy for pet lizards: Penn-Plaxx Reptology Shale Step Ledge
- Best climbing toy for pet lizards: EONMIR 8-foot Reptile Vines
- Best hunting toy for pet lizards: Chuckit! Ultraball
Penn-Plaxx Lizard Lounger
Best overall toy for pet lizards
Animal size: Medium | Enrichment goal: Lounging | Material: Seagrass Fibre
If there's one thing we know about lizards, it's that they like to lounge, and they can do it in style in this quality hammock. Environment is one of the first things you need to get right for your pet lizard, and investing in a hammock is a great way to provide stimulation and exercise opportunities with a lookout they need to climb to get on to. Lizards like to perch on high in the wild, away from the ground, as it makes them feel more secure, so this is a great way to give them that option.
This hammock is made from rustic-looking 100% natural seagrass and will mirror the kind of vegetation your reptile pal would encounter in the wild. The weave is very climbable and depending on how you mount it – the suction cups that are used to attach it can be placed at many different angles - it can provide different levels of exercise and it's wide enough to give even larger lizards a handy high hide-away.
Designed to suit both arboreal and terrestrial species, it's a surprisingly versatile addition to their living area. The hammock can be fixed at the top of the tank to provide a secluded and safe-feeling perch for your pet, or you can position it on an incline to provide a ramp to another higher area or just to let them get closer to their cozy heat lamp.
We've mentioned the suction cups already, and if that's got alarm bells ringing let us address that. Although suction cups are often the bane of any lizard owner's life, despite a few reports of them sliding or not sticking at all, the majority of people have reported no issues with the fixings on this hammock. If it is a worry, you can still attach the hammock using string to more permanent features of the tank, which
previous buyers have reported has been very successful.
The hammock we are featuring here can support lizards up to 700g, so should comfortably carry the weight of a bearded dragon or smaller iguana. However, it is also available in larger sizes should you want to upgrade.
WATFOON Adjustable Lizard Leash
Best exercise toy for pet lizards
Animal size: All | Enrichment goal: Exercise | Material: Leather/nylon
Letting your lizard out of its cage is a great way to engage them and let them get more exercise than they would in their usual enclosed environment. Some species, like bearded dragons, really benefit from extra exercise to stimulate both their legs and their mind.
This leash will let you take your lizard for a walk in the great outdoors – a great way to give them a much-needed change of scene and to stretch their muscles on some unfamiliar terrain. That said, don’t expect them to go out for a long hike, but this lead will let your bearded dragon, gecko or anole explore your house or garden in a safe and secure way.
With three standard sizes and an adjustable leather harness, you can find the right fit for your lizard without it irritating their skin. With a stainless-steel swivel link and a nylon cord, this leash is very durable and secure enough to give you peace of mind that they can’t easily escape when you are out and about. It also comes with tiny wings, but if you or your pet aren’t into dressing up, you can remove them if wanted.
Be warned though, not all lizards take to leashes - they can freeze or simply do everything they can to get out of the harness. Before taking them out into the great outdoors it’s a good idea to do a few test runs in your house or another safe environment, so they get comfortable with the experience and you can tell if going for walkies is something they are going to enjoy.
Haichen Tec Floaties
Best bath-time toy for pet lizards
Animal size: Small | Enrichment goal: Fun | Material: Vinyl
Bathing your lizard is an essential task. Unlike us mammals, reptiles don’t have to drink to hydrate themselves, they can take moisture in through the skin, meaning bathing is a brilliant way to ensure your lizard stays hydrated. Beyond that, bathing can help with shedding, blood flow and even constipation. Given that it’s so important, it might as well be fun too.
These adorable little floaties from Haichen Tec are great to get your little lizard swimming about in a cute way. It’s not all about the ‘gram but we all know that our pets playing with tiny versions of human things is worthy of a picture or two (or a dozen).
Made with non-toxic vinyl, these rings are safe to use and easy to take off when going swimming with your reptile. Of course, you shouldn’t take them to an actual pool, but they’ll be good for a well-run bath. Haichen Tec recommends a temperature of 86-100 Fahrenheit, for five to ten minutes, once or twice a week.
You don’t get to choose which floatie patterns you get with these lizard toys, instead you’ll be sent a random assortment of five from their stock, so do bear that in mind when purchasing. It’s also worth noting that these are not reinflatable, so if one gets damaged, you’re down one floatie.
Lastly, we’ll say that these floaties, while fun, are not lifejackets and lizards like to wriggle so make sure you’re supervising your beloved animal while using them. Other than that, they make an adorable addition to a reptilian bath time.
Penn-Plaxx Reptology Shale Step Ledge
Best hideaway toy for pet lizards
Animal size: Small | Enrichment goal: Habitat | Material: Resin
There are some days when all any of us want to do is hide away from the world – for a lot of lizards, that’s every day. Indeed, it seems several of our reptilian friend’s favourite terrarium features are those they can hide behind or in. This is crucial for making a lizard feel happy and safe at home, but the best hideaways can be multi-functional.
The Shale Step Lodge has plenty of space underneath for your lizard to hide itself from the world, but it also has plenty of basking space and fun climbing opportunities. That makes it great for a small terrarium, or even as a smaller piece to a larger vertical habitat puzzle.
Made from resin, the lodge is hand-painted to give it a natural stone look, so it’ll loom up like some ancient ruins among your placed vegetation. It’s perfect for small reptiles, amphibians and could even be placed in water.
There is one thing we really need to mention here though, there are several reports of the inside of the lodge having sharp edges that owners are worried might harm their animal. This is disappointingly a quite common complaint for many lizard hides and lairs, even from the most trusted of brands.
It is something you can fix yourself, with a pad or coarse sand paper and a little bit of work (and not everyone has had this experience), but you’ll need to be prepared to do get your hands dirty if you’re going to invest.
EONMIR 8-foot Reptile Vines
Best climbing toy for pet lizards
Animal size: Small - Medium | Enrichment goal: Climbing | Material: Rubber + Iron
If there’s one thing that’s true about lizards, they know how to climb. They like to climb into things, onto things, up things and around things, but it’s not always easy to simulate that real jungle experience they’ve evolved to love. These bendy, adjustable vines from EONMIR are a useful important toy for any lizard habitat.
Climbing isn’t just about doing what comes natural for a lizard, it’s great exercise, it gets their brains working as they work out which path to take and it’s fun to boot. Creating a good climbing space is a great way to inject a bit of excitement into a lizard’s life, which is why it’s such a fantastic toy.
These 8ft long vines can be wrangled into any shape you want and fixed to your terrarium walls, it uses suction cups, which can be a pain, but their adjustable nature make them perfect for creating a fun run around a habitat.
This lizard toy is not really suitable for the heavier species of lizard – anoles, geckos, chameleons, bearded dragons and the like should all have no trouble – but due to the nature of the suction cup affixers anything heavier is likely to slide the vines down a terrarium wall.
Those examples are more to do with size though, those with lizards that like to live in a more humid environment, like the chameleon, might find the suction cups fail to work for very long. So, it’s worth considering if you have any alternate methods for fixing to your enclosure before buying.
Best hunting toy for pet lizards
Animal size: Medium-large | Enrichment goal: Hunting | Material: Rubber
No, we haven’t gone crazy, that is a dog ball – it turns out, you can play ball games with your pet lizard. You won’t be playing fetch in the park, obviously, but plenty of lizards like to hunt. And rolling a ball around can help simulate that experience; we can tell you, seeing a bearded dragon pounce on a bright orange bouncy is an absolute joy.
In fact, it’s Bearded Dragons especially that seem to enjoy playing with balls and there are plenty of heart-warming YouTube videos out there to prove it. We’re not sure if it’s the movement, the shape or just the fact that their beloved owners seem to be getting such a kick out of it, but they do. Though we should say, there’s plenty of evidence to say that a few different species enjoy the sport, from anoles to tegus.
Some speculate that ball games simulate the hunt. In the confines of the home, there’s not much call for practicing the art that millions of years of evolution have instilled in your tiny terror. So this toy really allows your lizard to do what it was born to do, stimulating the mind and giving it some great exercise.
Chuckit! Make great pet balls, they’re tough and they bounce, which is about as much as you can want for something you throw to things with teeth. They come in a variety of sizes and colours and varieties. Though we will say, the desire to attack balls seems to be down to the personality of the lizard, but at least these rubber balls are inexpensive. Of course, as with any other animal, make sure you’re using balls that are too big for your animal to swallow, or in this case bite. The goal is to have them batting the ball around and chasing, not playing fetch.
How to choose the best lizard toy
Choosing toys for pet lizards is not an easy task, not least because most of them have quite the impressive poker face. Your ultimate goal is to get something that enriches your animal’s life, and provides something that they either enjoy, or aren’t currently getting.
Many lizards prefer to chill out and hide away, and that’s fine, but you can get them some great toys that provide the best environment for that. Hides and hammocks, branches and vines provide the perfect environment for keeping a healthy lizard, while giving them enough space to climb and move around.
More social lizards, like the bearded dragon, might like to be led on a leash or bat a ball around with you (we’ve even seen some riding skateboards!), but it’s all about your animal’s personality, if they’re happy and seem normal they’re probably getting what they need. If they’re overly lethargic then you need to think about introducing some new stimulus.
The best advice we think we can give though, is to use the internet’s community of lizard lovers to find what’s recommended, check the reviews and make sure the products are safe, or how to safely use them.
Geraint is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience; starting with comedy and football, these days he tends to specialise in words about business and technology. His three young cats - Tora, Uru and Dyfi - occasionally allow him to get on with some work.
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