While all pets require care, there are those that require significantly less time and attention than others. The bearded dragon is one of those pets that require much less time and attention than a dog or even a cat. This had led to a surge in their popularity. However, before deciding to bring a bearded dragon into your home, it's important to understand them and their needs. If you're considering one, read on to learn all that you need to know.
Bearded Dragon Facts
Each animal has its own unique personality and behavior traits; however, as a general rule the bearded dragon is calm and has a passive personality. Your dragon may very well get to the point where it seeks out your attention, which is a great compliment for the owner. They are full of personality. Uncovering the unique personality of your own lizard is a fun and rewarding experience.
Kids and Bearded Dragons
The bearded dragon makes a great first pet for children who are mature enough to be gentle. As with any pet, parental involvement is a must in order to ensure that the animal is getting the care that it needs.
You'll have to set up a home for your bearded dragon. Most people keep them in an aquarium that they equip with a heat lamp,a basking bulb, and a heat rock. It's important that your new pet stays warm, so these are a must. Add a reptile hammock, and your lizard should be quite happy. Shred some newspaper on the bottom of the tank for litter.
There is often confusion as to which size tank is best. The correct size will depend on the size of your dragon. You can use a smaller tank for a baby bearded dragon. However, you'll have to change out the tank as your pet grows, or you can start out with the larger size tank and just let your pet enjoy the space. A 120 gallon tank would be an excellent choice and one that you can keep throughout your pet's life.
Your new pet comes from the desert and likes to be warm. The basking area should be at 90 degrees. The rest of the tank can be kept in at between 80 and 90 degrees. Be sure that you have a working thermometer in order to make sure that your dragon is warm enough.
Once you have the tank set up, the rest of the reptile's care is easy. Simply keep the tank warm and clean. Be sure that your pet also has enough food and water.
The bearded dragon has a varied diet. They eat insects, such as live crickets and mealworms. You can also feed them fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a garden, your bearded dragon will love dining on the foods that you grow. Treat your bearded dragon to a buffet made up of kale, strawberries, sweet potatoes and other fresh foods. Some owners arrange a mixture of foods on a paper plate and allow their bearded dragon to come out of the tank and dine on whichever options they wish. This is a wonderful way to see which foods your particular lizard enjoys.
You can even take your bearded dragon outside for walks if you want to. Of course, this should only be done when the weather is warm, you would never want to take him or her out in the snow or rain. On a hot, sunny day, put a reptile harness on your bearded dragon and take a walk outside. Again, if you have a garden, he'll love walking around the garden, stopping to snack on his favorite treats. He isn't able to take long walks, but he may want to hang out on your shoulders as he basks in the sun. Your lizard may also like just standing outside and looking around.
Toys and Exercise
The bearded dragon doesn't need a ton of exercise, but some stimulation and something to do is good for the body and the mind. There are special toys made just for him, such as a ball that you can fill with crickets. They also seem to enjoy cat toys. There are several owners who use cat balls, and other toys to entertain their lizard.
Roaming Around the House
You can let your lizard roam around the house. The bearded dragon is a relatively slow-mover, which makes it easier for you to catch him or her later. You'll likely find your dragon up high once you let them out. They enjoy climbing the curtains.
Size at Maturity
Your pet will be approximately two feet long when it's full grown. They grow about two inches per month, until they reach this size at about 12 months of age.
All in all, the bearded dragon makes a great pet for both children and adults. They are interesting and fun, they are easy to care for, and they have a good personality. Their docile nature makes them pleasant to be around. They are excellent for a busy person who doesn't have a lot of time to dedicate to a demanding pet. The bearded dragon is also wonderful for the person who wants a pet that's a bit more unique than a dog or cat. These lizards make excellent first pets for children, as long as there is adult supervision.