The Pros and Cons of Heat Rocks

The Pros and Cons of Heat Rocks

New and Improved

Use of reptile heat rocks is on the rise again. The reptile heat rock manufacturers have made dramatic improvements in recent years making them a safe additional heat source for the dry desert reptile species. The popular bearded dragon is just one of the heat loving reptiles that benefit greatly from having more than one heat source.

There have been many questions and concerns with the use of heat rocks for reptiles in the past. The use of heat rocks must be carefully observed. The specific needs of an individual reptile species must be met to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your pet. Here are some pros and cons of heat rocks for reptiles.

Pros of Heat Rocks for Reptiles

  • An excellent additional source of heat for “desert species” that require extremely high temperatures for survival.
  • Aids in digestion and helps to regulate metabolism levels.
  • Assists in keeping daytime and nighttime temperatures higher in large enclosures.
  • Provides a warm resting area.
  • Reptile is free to move on and off of the heat source.
  • Ideal use for bearded dragons, Uromastyx, monitors and other high-temperature desert animals.

Cons of Heat Rocks for Reptiles

  • Do not use heat rocks for iguanas, chameleons, skinks, and other species that require low to moderate temperatures.
  • Heat rocks are NOT for use in reptile tropical, temperate, wetland and grassland environments.
  • Small enclosures tend to overheat. Cool retreats must be available for animals to regulate their body temperature.
  • Heat rocks can make it difficult to regulate the temperature of the enclosure.
  • There are extreme hot spots on the heat rock itself.
  • The heat rocks hot spots can be hazardous for animals that require lower temperatures which could result in burns, open sores, dehydration and possibly death.


Heat rocks are made to be a constant high heat source for use in a desert environment. However, they do not replace the need for basking lights and/or the need for simulated light sources that provide UVA and UVB spectrums. UVA promotes the psychological well-being of an animal while UVB light spectrum is necessary for digestion, metabolism and the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. In addition to regulating the ambient temperatures in an artificial environment, maintaining regular day and night light cycles are a key factor in the overall health of your pet reptile.