New York, United States
Posted Jul 31, 2015
I had my anole lizard back when I was a teenager, before I seriously researched reptiles. I hadn't expected to be taking care of one at the time--I won Damion from a carnival game unexpectedly, so we just walked into the nearest pet store and asked a salesperson for whatever we'd need to care for him--and so he didn't last very long. Unfortunately, I've found over the years that a lot of major chain pet stores like Petland don't have the most knowledgeable staff sometimes.
Now that I've researched reptiles to properly care for my beardie, I think there were two factors at play in Damion's poor health: improper lighting and improper feeding. We fed him crickets that I think may have been too large, as well as too many mealworms which tend to clog their intestines and cause impaction due to their thick husks. I'm also fairly certain he didn't have a UV bulb, which is a very basic need for them.
As with any animal--especially exotics--make sure you thoroughly research their needs before picking up an anole. If you're looking for a pet you can hold and carry around on your shoulder, I strongly recommend something larger like a bearded dragon; my anole was very skittish and fast, which made it almost impossible to hold outside of the tank.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons).