Small Reptiles Make for Nice, Loving Pets

Geckos may seem scary, intimidating, yet they’re surprisingly caring


Submitted by: Ella Chester

Clyde crawls around in his enclosure that mimics geckos’ natural habitats, which are typically warm and rocky.

Lots of people have dogs or cats and some have rabbits or hamsters. But few have reptiles– geckos, frogs, or toads– and most people wouldn’t even see them as pets. Many reptile owners feel they’re overlooked and that they actually make amazing pets, maybe even as good as cats or dogs.

Ella Chester ’24 recently got her second gecko, Clyde just before the summer, but has had her other, Rex, since she was 11. She’s had a dog for even longer, and has even had fish and turtles, but says that geckos are just different, in the best way. Chester explains, “I already had a dog and I really wanted a smaller, like, reptile. I fell in love with reptiles cause they’re just so cool. And, like, they’re different.”

When asked about a favorite memory with each of her geckos, Chester reminisces, “I have a photo of Rex. My gecko I’ve had for the longest sitting on my head when he was a baby. And then we retook that photo a couple years later and to see how both of us had grown so much was crazy.” Just like dogs or cats, you can develop relationships with them, making them really special and unique pets. Chester states, “[Clyde’ll] fall asleep on my knee while I’m doing homework or watching a video or something. And sometimes if like a loud noise goes off on what I’m watching, he’ll just jump. And it’s really funny.”

Chester continues, “I love all animals, but I think I really like reptiles because I feel like they’re very misunderstood… and I feel like they’re actually giant sweethearts.” But not everybody sees them that way. Chester elaborates, “My mom actually is kind of terrified of them.”