What are the most popular pet reptiles in the UK?

Reptiles are becoming more and more popular as pets in the UK, but what are the most preferred species among reptile owners and enthusiasts? A recent survey conducted by MDPI, a scientific publishing platform, aimed to answer this question by using Google Trends data and online questionnaires. The survey analysed the search volume and interest of various reptile species in the UK from 2010 to 2020, as well as the opinions of 1000 reptile owners and experts.

The results determined that the most popular reptile species during the last decade is by far bearded dragons, followed by ball pythons and leopard geckos. These three species accounted for more than 80% of the total search volume and interest among the surveyed reptiles. They also ranked high in the online questionnaires, with most respondents naming ball pythons as the most popular reptile.

The survey also revealed some interesting trends and patterns in reptile popularity over time. For example, bearded dragons showed a steady increase in popularity from 2010 to 2016, reaching a peak in 2017, and then declining slightly afterwards. Ball pythons, on the other hand, showed a gradual decrease in popularity from 2010 to 2015, but then rebounded sharply from 2016 to 2020. Leopard geckos maintained a relatively stable popularity throughout the decade, with minor fluctuations.

The survey also explored the reasons behind the popularity of these reptiles, as well as their care requirements and challenges. Some of the common factors that influenced reptile preference were size, temperament, appearance, availability, cost, and ease of care. The survey also highlighted some of the common health issues and welfare concerns that affect these reptiles, such as metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, parasites, stress, and improper husbandry.

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The survey concluded that bearded dragons, ball pythons, and leopard geckos are the most popular pet reptiles in the UK, and that their popularity is likely to continue in the future. The survey also suggested some recommendations for improving the welfare and conservation of these reptiles, such as providing adequate lighting, heating, humidity, diet, enrichment, and veterinary care. The survey also encouraged further research and education on reptile biology and behaviour, as well as responsible pet ownership and ethical breeding practices.


We would like to thank MDPI for conducting this informative and comprehensive survey on pet reptiles in the UK. You can read more about their methods and findings in their full-text article.