Bearded dragons are fast becoming popular pets in the United States. Their low maintenance, nature, and lifespan have led to a significant increase in pet ownership. The growing appeal of owning reptiles have made people wonder if bearded dragons are the ideal pets for their home.
Before we consider why beardies make good pets, what defines a good pet? A good pet possesses ideal qualities that people think of before bringing home a new addition to the family.
While we’ve defined a good pet, what are the reasons why bearded dragons are excellent pets? Read on to discover why these little beings make ideal pets.
1. Low Maintenance
Bearded dragons rank among the easiest pet lizards to maintain. Their small size and weight play a role in their low maintenance. The adults grow up to 2 feet in length, small enough for easy handling.
You’ll need little time and effort in feeding them and cleaning their house. Like every pet, they need food, water, housing, and a bit of specialized care in the form of heat and lighting for their enclosure.
You don’t have to spend much on their upkeep. Since they are omnivores, their diet should include plants, vegetables, insects with plenty of water.
Bearded dragons thrive in the right environment. Your beardie doesn’t need much space; a 50-70-gallon tank will do. You can keep little bearded dragons in smaller tanks, but soon enough, they’ll outgrow them.
Cleaning your pet’s home isn’t quite tasking and time-consuming. Just clean up spilled food, droppings, and dirt. With the right diet, adequate water, and care, your pet will stay happy and healthy.
2. Peaceful & Friendly
You’re probably wondering if bearded dragons are friendly? Yes, they are. These medium-sized reptiles are known to form bonds with their owners and love cuddling. So long you’re affectionate towards them and don’t mishandle them, they won’t act aggressively to you.
Beardies are usually peaceful and they become more gentle as they grow. Unlike other pet reptiles, beardies enjoy socializing. You can take them out for walks or even allow them to explore the surroundings while keeping watch on them.
Bearded dragons rarely bite except when frightened or threatened, but once they’re treated well and gently, they won’t pose any problem.
Unlike some other larger pets, such as cats and dogs, beardies are relatively cost-effective, especially in veterinary care. While vet care for cats and the likes can cost close to thousands of dollars, regular veterinary check ups for bearded dragons might be less cheap.
Besides that, their diet is relatively cheap. Even the substrate for their terrarium is most times inexpensive. Setting up an ideal habitat for your pet can cost around $200 – $600, depending on how you want their enclosure to be.
You’ll certainly want the best terrarium, heat and lighting source for your beardies since these factors are beneficial to them. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend much at the vet. Once the enclosure is spacious and best suited for your pet lizard, your expenses will be reduced.
You’ll only have to spend money on food and an occasional replacement bulb for their heat lamp or UVB.
4. Long Lifespan
Another reason bearded dragons make fine pets is their longevity. If properly cared for, they can live for 10 – 15 years. This means ample time for you to play, bond and enjoy moments with each other.
Providing them with adequate housing, nutritional and balanced diets and frequent veterinary check ups will likely prolong their lifespan, making them happy and healthy.
Beardies are so much fun to watch. They can be attention-seeking pets who move back and forth in their terrarium, all in a bid to draw your attention. They learn when it’s mealtime and will likely inform you if you’re running late.
Beardies enjoy exploring their environment. You can take them out often to explore their space. You can put a leash on them and take them out for a walk outside or in the yard. Watch your beardies bask in the sun.
It’s intriguing seeing them cock their head sideways to look at you. They seldom wave by raising their front paw. You might even be startled by their hunting instincts when they run after a live cricket. Watching these little creatures is entertaining.
6. Awesome Look
One attractive feature of bearded dragons is their appearance. There’s no denying that these reptiles are neat compared to common pets.
The lizard has a flap of skin around its throat (likened to a beard), which puffs up when it’s territorial or feels threatened. They come in different morphological sizes and colors.
Some are yellow, red, orange or a mixture of colors. For instance, sand fire bearded dragon color ranges from bright red and orange to light red.
You can’t distinguish the males from the female bearded dragons as juveniles. Nevertheless, as they grow older, the males develop larger heads and darker, more renowned beards. Bearded dragons have wedge-shaped heads with spines on various parts of their bodies.
It’s flat-bodied and has four cute, short legs. Their stomach is lined with rows of scales. The tail is usually half their body length. Unlike other lizards’ tails, beardies’ tail won’t fall off when they feel threatened.
These pets are also medium-sized, which makes them suitable for many owners. Their compact size makes them comfortable to keep in homes as pets, but they’re large enough for kids to handle.
Regardless of your accommodation type, be it a condominium or apartment, these reptiles can fit in comfortably anywhere.
Bearded dragons measure about 12 – 24 inches length. Interestingly, their tail is 1/3 of their length. Typically, males are bigger than females. Most bearded dragons grow rapidly in their first year of life.
7. Children Friendly
Beardies are wonderful pets for kids. Due to their pleasant personality and longevity, children can keep this pet for years. Easy to care for but require routine feeding, maintenance, and attention, these dragons teach youngsters how to be responsible.
Over time, kids form strong bonds with these dragons and develop time management skills. Since bearded dragons get accustomed to a schedule, teach your kids to feed, care, and clean their enclosure regularly.
Being hairless reptiles, bearded dragons make great pets for hypoallergenic children, who are allergic to pet dander and hair.
Due to their calm disposition and low maintenance, they make lovely beginner pets. Children will enjoy knowing more about their unique desert habitat and their various lighting needs.
8. Easy to Feed
Bearded dragons consume different kinds of foods. This makes feeding them relatively easy. They feed on both animal and plant-based foods. Many owners have a routine of feeding little beardies one or two times daily, and adult bearded dragons once daily.
Their diet can include mustard greens, broccoli, green or red cabbage, mangoes, apples, and kiwis. Adult beardies can be fed insects like crickets, silkworms and many more. Ensure you gut load and dust your dragons with calcium and Vitamin D before feeding them insects.
This prevents metabolic bone disease. It would be best if you didn’t feed your young dragons with too many insects as it can lead to impaction. Feed your juvenile bearded dragons with balanced diets consisting of fruits, green vegetables and insects.
Several potential owners don’t know this, but bearded dragons are brilliant. They can identify their owners and form a strong bond with them over time. These lizards are curious and observant, paying rapt attention to how bearded dragons behave in other enclosures.
With the right training method and some consistency, these beardies can be easily trained to respond to calls for meals and walks.
Bearded dragons cherish playtime. Try putting a few toys in their enclosure or outside their terrarium and watch how they play with the toys. Some love playing ping pong ball, and others may be seen playing with a mylar ball or one made with a ruffled wrapping paper.
These little guys also love swimming. You can get a big plastic storage container or kiddie pool for them to swim in. Ensure to provide only warm water that isn’t deeper than their elbows and knees. Their docile and happy go lucky attitude make them ideal pets.
Bearded dragons make pretty great pets for everyone. Guess you’re thinking of owning one. Don’t sleep on this!
Having various patterns, colors, behavior and character, each dragon is truly unique in its way. While some may be lazy, others are hyperactive. Many of them are usually inquisitive and become gentler with age but it’s interesting, knowing that each beardie has its personality.
Now you know bearded dragons are easy to maintain, intelligent, fun to hang around, and are able to build strong connections with owners. Owning a bearded dragon is an absolute no-brainer!
For anyone who wants a pet that is low maintenance, cost-effective and has a great personality, then these little reptiles will be an excellent choice for you. You definitely can’t beat a bearded dragon as a great pet!