Contrary to popular belief, I think newts and salamanders are attractive creatures. That is why you should consider carefully the following before rushing down to the pet store with your money:

Do you have any idea which newt or salamander you would like to buy?

If the answer to the above is no, a good idea would be to get a book out of the library. When my wife first fell in love with a pair of leopard geckos (lizards), that's what I did. Apart from hooking me on lizard keeping, the books I borrowed showed what was available, and at what level of cost and difficulty. You can adopt the same approach towards starting to keep newts and salamanders: read and learn before you buy. Most books on the subject are also well endowed with pictures, and as most newts or salamanders are display animals more than companion pets, you can see what takes your fancy.

When thinking about the sort of newt or salamander you want to purchase, you will need to consider the next lot of questions:

And, most importantly..

If the answer to all of the above is yes, then it is still a good idea to trot down to the library and do a bit of research. Alternatively there are often books available from pet shops on the newt or salamander you are interested in.

Having listed all the potential pitfalls, I should also list the advantages of frogs and toads over some over pets:

Of course there is always the exception to the rule, which is why you should find out as much about your projected pet as possible. But by and large these rules tend to be very much the norm for newts and salamanders. It is true that you should always wash your hands after touching one, but then you should after handling any animal.

In the following section I would like to consider some newts or salamanders that are commonly seen for sale, and give my opinion on the level of difficulty of keeping them. Those which I have direct experience of will be marked. All the others I have either read up on to a good degree or spoken to some of their owners.

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