Bearded Dragons Might be Just the Pet You’re Looking For.
If you’re in the market for a new friend, it is common to look for one of the fuzzy or scaled variety. However, reptiles, especially bearded dragons, make great pets. They are some of the most unique and happy-go-lucky reptiles on the market. They are the perfect option for someone looking for a new companion.
Why do Bearded Dragons Make Such Great Pets?
Let us count the ways. They are easy for beginning reptile parents and do well with children, as they are larger than other reptilian pets. Bearded Dragons, or their scientific name, Pogona barbata, can also live up to fifteen years with good care, so this is not a pet you’ll be replacing every few years. They come in a variety of exotic, beautiful colors, such as red, orange, yellow, and blue. Plus, their beard is an attractive feature unique to this dragon. Last, but certainly not least, they have large personalities. They are very content animals and like to bob their heads, wave their arms, and interact in other ways with their owners. Many enjoy having a bath or taking a walk. All you need is a proper leash, and you’re good to go!
What is a Bearded Dragon’s Natural Habitat?
Bearded dragons originally lived in the dry deserts of Australia. They like a hot climate but also need cycles of cooler temperatures, like they would experience in the wild.
What Do I need for A Bearded Dragon?
What Type of Enclosure Do I Need for a Bearded Dragon?
They are used to an arid climate, so they need to live in terrariums that are continuously heated and dry. Typically, you will need a 55-75-gallon tank with a screened top made of metal, rather than plastic. Dragons need a lot of heat to stay healthy, and plastic screens do not hold up well. You should also avoid using glass as a topper. Glass-enclosed tanks tend to overheat and filter out UVB rays, which are crucial for your dragon’s health. If needed, you can buy locking lids for the enclosure. This is important if you have young children or other pets in the house.
What Kind of Bedding do Bearded Dragons Need?
You will need to supply the tank with a substrate, such as sand or carpeting. Whatever substrate you use, make sure your pet is not ingesting it. The most common ones to avoid are wood shavings, shells, or loose sand. These can cause gut impaction and other health problems. Some companies make digestible sand that should not cause gut impaction. If you want to be extremely careful, you can use paper towels, newspaper, or ceramic tiles to line your tank.
What is the Best Option for Heating a Bearded Dragon Enclosure?
There are a few options for heating your enclosure, the three most popular being heat lamps, ceramic heat emitters, and heating mats. Each accomplishes a different task for supplying heat. You can read more about each in this article. Heat lamps provide both heat and light, which are vital to the health of your dragon. However, your dragon also needs darkness to be able to sleep through the night.
- 100 watt heat lamp bulb to keep your favorite reptile species basking in healthy UVA and UVB rays
- Self ballasted mercury vapor bulb self regulates and does not output damaging UVC radiation
- Helps appetite, activity, beautiful colors, and allows calcium absorption through vitamin D3 production. Also needed to prevent metabolic bone disease.
- Works for turtles, bearded dragons, lizards, reptiles, birds, terrariums, and aviaries.
- 10,000 Hour Lifespan
Ceramic heat emitters provide heat via infrared waves in an overhanging bulb, which makes them the perfect source of light for overnight heating. If you still need additional heating, heating mats provide direct contact heat. They adhere to the bottom of the tank and are location-specific when heating. While these are nice for heating your dragon’s body, be careful to make sure they don’t overheat. Dragons cannot feel heat through their stomach, so they will not sense when it becomes too hot.
What Do I Need to Feed my Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Therefore, they need a mixed diet of insects and plants. When beardies are young, be careful to feed them easily digestible insects, such as crickets, (yes you can buy crickets on amazon)so they do not experience gut impaction. Once they are older, you can introduce more insects and animals, such as worms or small mice.
It is also recommended to use a multivitamin dusting of calcium and vitamin D on the insects to help keep your dragon’s bones and digestive system healthy. Do not feed them insects caught in the wild, and rotate the feeding of insects with leafy greens and fruits. They also need dechlorinated water to drink.
Are There Any Other Accessories I Should Consider?
Beardies love to perch, which means you’ll want to provide areas for “basking” in the sun. Adding a few rocks or a large piece of wood to your tank is the perfect way to give your pet a sense of home. Just make sure to avoid putting live plants you don’t want your dragon to eat.
They also need a place where they can hide. When bearded dragons become stressed, they look for shelter. Adding a box or place they can hide is important to keep your dragon happy and healthy. Lastly, make sure you have a scoop, like one you’d use for cat litter, to keep their tank clean.
As you can see, bearded dragons are some of the most unique and fun pets. They enjoy interacting with their owners and are generally very agreeable. Once you have everything set up, their maintenance is minimal and simple. So, what’s stopping you from going and buying your own bearded dragon?