Top 8 Reasons Bearded Dragons Make Great Pets
Ask any reptile enthusiast “what’s a reptile with a personality?” The answer will be Bearded Dragon more often than not. Search any top 5 reptile list, and you will see them in the top 5. With the rise in popularity of bearded dragons, let’s take a look at what makes them a popular pet choice.
1. Bearded Dragons Have A Unique Personality
Every Bearded Dragon has its own unique personality. While some are super lazy, you will find others can be hyperactive.
My male beardie Max, is super lazy. He loves chilling on his hammock staring out his enclosure. The hammock also is his poop spot. Now if I could only find a way to train him not to poop on his hammock. During feeding time when I give him live crickets, he prefers to be hand-fed. Also, he enjoys nightly snuggles, afternoon naps, and loves to be held.
My other Dragon, Speedy, you can probably guess what he is like just from his name. He loves to run around and is very social! Also, he never went near his hammock, I finally removed it. When I bring him out of his enclosure he becomes an explorer. He has the personality of a zombie.
The difference between two dragons is the same as the difference between a Saint Bernard and a Chihuahua. Each has there own unique personality and quarks.
2. Bearded Dragons Have A Long Lifespan
Bearded Dragons can live 10-13 years in captivity. But their lifespan depends on how well they’re cared for. Just like any pet, improper care will shorten their life.
If you are rescuing a dragon, keep in mind the conditions that he was kept in as a juvenile. Improper husbandry as a juvenile will lead to a shorter life span. Keep him happy, healthy, practice good husbandry and enjoy your time with him.
With reptiles its hard to tell if they have health issues. Bearded dragons are no exception. In fact, they have a good poker face. Most of the time you will not know unless it’s causing them serious pain. You want to locate a reliable reptile vet and never hesitate to visit if you think something is wrong.
3. Bearded Dragons Are Docile
Generally, bearded dragons are nonaggressive by nature. This is what makes them so popular.
My Beardie speedy, will be waiting on his rock when I come home from work. If he doesn’t get handled when I walk through the door he will run and hide in his critter cave. He will stay in his cave until gets let out to run around.
Dragons are one of the most “feeling” reptiles. They need to come out daily to explore and play.
But just like a teenager they suddenly discover they have a black beard and become a little feisty. It usually starts around 8-12 months.
4. Bearded Dragons Are Easy To Care For
Anyone you ask this question will give you a different answer. Ask someone who is trying to sell you a bearded dragon he will say “there easy to take care of.” Ask the next person and they will say “there difficult to take care of, buy a fish instead.”
The truth is the answer falls between the two extremes. While they are not difficult to care for, they are not the leave in the tank type of reptile. They really do love interaction.
Also, juvenile Beardies will be a bit more difficult to care for. You have to watch over them during feeding time 3 times a day. Their diet is mostly live insects when their young, so the food costs will add up. Adopting an older dragon is always an option. The food costs are lower, and they don’t require the time commitment during feeding.
Once you have the proper setup and daily routine there relatively easy to take care of.
5. Bearded Dragons Can Eat a Variety of Foods
Bearded Dragons are omnivores. An omnivore can eat both plants and animals. Or in your Bearnies‘ case insects. Younger Bearded dragons diet will consist of mostly insects and greens ( 1 to 12 months). As they age, their diet changes requiring fewer insects and more greens and vegetables.
Some staple foods for bearded dragons are turnip, mustard, collard, kale, squash, green beans. And some treats include Kiwi, Banana, and Raisins. And this is only a fraction of foods they can eat.
Need ideas on what to feed your Bearnie? We have compiled a list of foods that are safe and aren’t safe for Dragons. In under 10 minutes, you can be on your way to becoming a Bearded Dragon food expert.
6. Bearded Dragons Show Affection
When you’re thinking about animals that show affection, normally you would think of cats or dogs. Reptiles would be towards the bottom of most people’s cute and cuddly list.
Bearded Dragons are an exception compared to most reptiles. They are extremely curious, social, and affectionate.
Max, my lazy dragon will sit on my desk and watch me if I’m using my computer. While sitting in my recliner, he will come over and fall asleep on my chest. Although maybe he’s just trying to show dominance by getting the best basking spot. Every Dragon is different but if there is one trait that they have in common it’s being affectionate.
7. Bearded Dragons Are Good With Kids
As mentioned before Bearded Dragons are extremely docile and affectionate. Those two traits combined with being nonaggressive make them a perfect pet for kids.
For younger kids, supervision is important. While Dragons are not normally aggressive, they’re still a wild animal. Also, you wouldn’t want him to be squeezed like a tube of toothpaste.
I recommend buying a juvenile (6 months to a year) so he will create a bond with your son or daughter. Also, he will grow up accustomed to being handled. If you buy an older dragon there is a chance it might have been neglected. If that is the case he might not like to be handled and would need to be retrained. Sometimes It can take longer to earn the trust and retrain an adult dragon.
Beardies are pretty much the reptilian equivalent of a cat
8. Bearded Dragons Aren’t Smelly
Before buying any pet, our first question is usually “How bad do they smell?”. All pets have an odor, Bearded Dragons are no exception. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. With the right conditions, the smell is minimal to almost unnoticeable.
If you’re contemplating buying a Bearded Dragon and are worried about the smell, I would recommend buying an air purifier. Having it in the same room as your Dragon will greatly reduce the smell. Also leaving a dish of baking soda in a bowl next to his enclosure will absorb a lot of the odors. Combined with spot cleaning his home every day will keep the odor negligible.
If you’re looking to get a Reptile, Bearded Dragons are a great choice. But just like any pet, there will be pros and cons. One of the major downsides is the initial cost. A great way to reduce the cost is to check your local craigslist ads. If you are patient you can find cheap or in some cases free reptile setups.
I would love to hear your thoughts, questions in the comments below.