So, do bearded dragons make good pets? The answer is, of course, a big fat YES!
Keeping a bearded dragon as a pet may seem dangerous, since it’s a dragon and all… However, it’s not as dangerous as it may seem!
Bearded dragons actually make wonderful pets and are one of the most popular pet reptiles in the world. Beardies, together with the leopard gecko are probably the two most common lizards that are kept as pets, and the easiest to get your hands on.
The bearded dragon
If you squint, they sort of look like dragons. Chubby, clumsy dragons that is!
However, they don’t come from Gondor or any other area from Lord of the Rings. Bearded dragons natively come from Australia.
You probably knew this if you live there, but for the people who don’t…
They are a basking reptile and love to lay on hot rocks and branches to heat up. They’re even able to flatten themselves out slightly in order to catch more of the suns rays.
The name bearded dragon is actually used to the whole pogona genus of lizards. This is a family of 8 slightly different lizard species.
These lizards can get up to 60 centimetres long in the wild. They eat mostly insects when they are young, but start eating more and more plant-based foods as they get older.
In captivity, these animals live to be about 7-10 years. Not extremely long, but still quite a substantial amount of time for a pet!
Are bearded dragons good pets?
Bearded dragons are one of the most common pet reptiles around! They are also probably one of the most beginner-friendly reptile species that can be found.
No need to watch every “How to train a dragon” movie to learn how to care for these little dragons!
They are very easy going, and a lot of information can be found on them online which makes it even easier (our bearded dragon care guide is a good place to start!). They are also an extremely common reptile species to own as a pet, this makes them all the easier as well since vets most likely have experience with them.
The same can’t be said for all reptiles, unfortunately!
Bearded dragons don’t have a lot of challenging care requirements and are very hardy when it comes to most diseases and illnesses. Of course, there’s always a chance you run into one or two problems, but in general, bearded dragons aren’t very difficult.
That being said, they do need quite a large enclosure. The larger the better, and the more area they get, the more natural behaviours you will get to witness. This can be a bit of a downside to some, but if you don’t have space, a leopard gecko may be a better alternative.
Apart from a large tank, they need the usual hides, water and feeding dishes etc. It’s also great if you can provide them with some sort of basking rock or some branches.
In the wild, bearded dragons like to perch on basking rocks, so providing them with some rocks and branches for this same purpose is great enrichment for them.
When it comes to handling, bearded dragons are also one of the best lizards.
Bearded dragons are generally very comfortable with you handling them and tend to stay calm. This is another reason why they are so popular as pets.
A bearded dragon’s diet consists mainly of insects when they are still young. They eat a lot too! They eat so much when they’re little, most people only buy slightly older beardies as their care at a young age takes up a lot of time.
As they get older, they start eating more and more vegetables.
Supplementation is extremely important for bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are quite susceptible to metabolic bone disease (an imbalance in calcium and phosphorus).
A good supplement helps to prevent this from becoming a problem.
Bearded dragons aren’t very expensive. That being said, there are some exotic morphs that can fetch a hefty sum.
If you aren’t looking for anything too crazy, you can usually find a bearded dragon for around $30-$120, depending on the age of the animal and where you’re located.
The whole setup doesn’t have to be very expensive either, and you can usually get everything set up for about $100-$200.
The only thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to bearded dragons, as with all reptiles, is the heating costs.
It’s not too bad but heating a bearded dragon enclosure can add a couple of bucks per month to your electricity bill. Nothing too crazy though, unless you have an extremely extravagant setup.
Bearded dragon as pets
If you are looking for the perfect reptile to start you off with, bearded dragons are a great choice, together with their smaller cousin, the leopard gecko.
They aren’t too difficult and are a very hardy species. Also, as we’ve already said, there’s a lot of information out there about bearded dragon care. We actually have a few in-depth articles on our site too!
Bear in mind that these little critters live to about 6-10 years of age in captivity. There have also been cases of bearded dragons reaching ages in the 20’s documented though, so you can expect to care for your new pet for a long time to come.
Also, you are going to have to feed them insects. If you’re not ok with this, it’s not the right pet for you.
All in all, bearded dragons are a great species of lizard to have as a pet!
Is a bearded dragon a good beginner pet?
Yes. Bearded dragons are hardy reptiles and there’s a lot of information available on their care. Bearded dragons are wonderful pets for both beginners and more advanced reptile keepers! Make sure to do the research before getting one though.
Do bearded dragons show affection?
It depends what you class as showing affection. They may enjoy you handling them and like your body heat and relax. It’s not a dog or cat though, so don’t expect anything too affectionate.
What do bearded dragons play with?
Some bearded dragons may play around with small balls. Just make sure the ball isn’t so small that they can eat it though. That being said, they aren’t dogs or cats!
How bad is a bearded dragon bite?
A bearded dragon bite can hurt a little bit, but it’s nothing to worry about. They also don’t bite easily and the chances of you getting bitten are very small.
Do bearded dragons need a lot of attention?
Only to maintain their enclosure and ensure proper living conditions. They don’t need affection like dogs or cats do, so are fairly low-maintenance in that regard. If they are still very young, you will need to feed them very often though, which is a little demanding.
Do bearded dragons like to be handled?
Some do, some won’t. It’s often more the fact that they like the heat your body provides, and not generally you handling them. That being said, bearded dragons are great lizards to handle.
Do bearded dragons sleep a lot?
Bearded dragons are diurnal, which means they sleep at night like us humans. During the winter they tend to sleep a lot more than throughout the rest of the year.
As you can see, bearded dragons make great pets. They are relaxed, easy-going and are a wonderful addition to your household.
If you want to learn more interesting things about these lilzards, check out our post on bearded dragon facts!