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Caring for an Anole

September 15, 2019

Are you considering adopting your first reptile? An anole may be a good choice. These cute little lizards are great beginner reptiles, and can be suitable pets for kids. Cute, quirky, and gentle, anoles are quite easy to care for. In fact, getting the tank set up properly is over half the battle! In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet clinic, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a local vet discusses anole care.


Anoles stay quite small, rarely growing over 8 inches. They have a short lifespan, only living about 5 years. (This is one reason they make good kids’ pets.) Like chameleons, these pretty little lizards can change color. Needless to say, that’s really fascinating to see!


A good tank is a must. Although you can keep several anoles together, you should only have one male per tank, as the males do get aggressive. Anoles like to climb, so add some branches and live plants. Your scaled pet will also need a hiding place. For substrate, add a few inches of moss, bark, or coconut fiber. (Tip: if you need to increase the humidity, add more moss.) Remove waste every day or two. About once a month, you’ll need to deep-clean the cage and change out the bedding.


Anoles do have some specific light and heat requirements. Their tanks should be warmer at the top than at the bottom. You’ll need some specific heating equipment, including two thermometers, to regulate temperatures. You’ll also need to keep the tank at about 60 percent humidity, which may require misters. As for light, your cute pet will need UVA/UVB lights on a timer, which will mimic natural sunlight. Ask your vet for more information.


Crickets should make up the bulk of your tiny dinosaur’s menu. A few times a week, you can give your pet lizard some waxworms or mealworms as a special treat. You’ll need to dust your anole’s creepy-crawly lunches with nutritional powder, such as calcium powder and vitamins. Ask your vet for nutritional advice.


Pay close attention to your reptilian buddy, and watch for potential signs of illness, such as diarrhea, hiding, and skin discoloration. If you notice anything unusual, contact your vet immediately.

Please contact us here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO animal hospital, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, anytime. We’re here to help!