Are Bearded Dragons Good as a Pet?

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Bearded Dragons, also known as Beardies, are the type of reptiles that show affection towards humans and they make great exotic pets if that’s what you’re looking for. Many people seem to think of them as being lazy but they only like to cuddle with their owners.  

These reptiles hail from the deserts of Australia and like to be pampered. Some people think that this exotic pet is easy to handle and yes they normally are if you know how and what to do that. They have some criteria that need to be met for them to get warm to you otherwise they can be a bit unfriendly. So before deciding to buy one, do your research on how to take care of them and what are the things needed to make them feel more comfortable and at home. However, first, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of getting a beardie.

Good things about a Beardie

  • Less space: and it’s true! They don’t roam around much and just stay in their habitat or when let free, they just sit tight and observe and try to cuddle with their owners.
  • No walks or potty training: unlike cats or dogs, you do not need to take them outside for a walk or when they have to go to the bathroom. This is a great option for people who work a late hour or just simply don’t like leaving the house much and finds it an inconvenience. You can also adopt pet birds if you’re living in a dorm, but if they’re in a cage, and will need constant care. 
  • Affordable: When compared to cats and dogs, they cost less in veterinary care. What would cost treating your cat’s UTI ($200-$400),  that would cost for a major surgery of a beardie. 
  • Even their food costs are relatively cheaper than that of cats and dogs. A bearded dragon’s diet varies according to its age. Adults require 80 percent insect protein and 20 percent vegetation, whereas babies and juveniles require the opposite. They prefer healthy snacks and love insects such as roaches. They prefer healthy snacks and love insects such as roaches. You can check out for more information on what your pet would prefer to eat and the nutritional value it provides.
  • Long life: well cared for beardies live up to 15 years of age. Some people even said that their pets lived for up to 20 years. It is highly uncommon but not impossible. 
  • Friendly: this is common for all pets: if you do not give them a reason to be aggressive with you, then they won’t. Everybody, even animals, wants to be treated kindly and affectionately and only when they trust you, they’ll return the favor and be more compassionate towards you. For a bearded dragon, known to be docile creatures, once they get to know you, you’ll know they have bonded with you when you see them cuddling and snuggling with you every chance they get. 
  • Great with kids: Beardies are typically non-aggressive and friendly creatures. As soon as they feel safe in their habitat, they start warming up to the owners, especially when kids are involved in taking care of them. They are a great pet to have if you have children as it’ll teach them to take care of another living thing. Even if it is easy to care for a beardie, they still have to go through their routine every day, of feeding, maintaining, and giving them proper attention. Great way to teach your children about responsibility!

Not so good things about a Beardie

It has been mentioned above how a bearded dragon is affordable. While that is true, the start-up investment of their habitat or enclosure might be a bit heavier on your pocket. 

Setting up an enclosure for your bearded dragon can be quite expensive as it would require you to install a lot of things that will ensure your pet to live a long and healthy life. The most important thing they need is an incandescent UV light that provides UVB light with the right temperature grading. The initial set-up is costly but once it is done, you don’t need to worry much about anything else. 

Essentials needed for a pet bearded dragon

Now that you know about the good and the bad of having to own a beardie, and you still want to adopt one, then let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make a home for the dragon. 

  • Large Enclosure

You’ll of course have to make sure your bearded dragon has a tank with enough size and space to roam around. If it’s small, it’ll only lead to stunted growth, depression, and in some cases, they may develop health issues. We as humans cannot fathom living for long in a small enclosed area, these are animals who are even unable to complain when they feel uncomfortable. 

  • Heat and Lighting setup

With proper lighting and heat radiating within the tank, your pet dragon will have a chance of living a long, healthy life. All you need is a heat lamp and a UVB light, in some cases you might need to change the bulbs rather than taking the whole setup down. 

  • Cleaning tools 

You not only need to clean the tank but also disinfect and sterilize the entire habitat. Regular clean up of food scraps and poop would make it easier for you and your bearded dragon pet to live hygienically and peacefully. 

  • Food

Beardies love veggies that are both healthy and cost-effective for you. They also have the occasional protein intake of insects, roaches, or critters but if they frighten you, some dehydrated critters or worms can easily do the trick. 

In conclusion, getting a bearded dragon as a pet is a good idea if you have late working hours or if you have kids and want them to learn about responsibility. Apart from this, you can also get a baby turtle or a cockatoo as a pet if you’re looking for something else. 

However, if you never had a reptile for a pet, a bearded dragon is the best way to start with low maintenance and low cost required. Just setting up initially is expensive but that’ll also save you money in the long run when you do not have to run to the vet now and then. Habitat means everything to the Beardies and getting them the best one ensures you a longer living pet. 

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