Pet ownership is a very wonderful thing. It teaches a lot of responsibilities and commitment. It also provides us with years of solid companionship. Plus, it feels very great to keep an animal happy and healthy.
Bearded dragons are among the best pet lizard species. However, not all bearded dragons are the same. Bearded dragons that make good pets have different traits compared to those that make good display or breeding specimens. While size, genetics and color are also highly important to breeders and exhibitors. Likewise, health and personality should be a prospective pet owner’s primary consideration.
The following information will be addressing easy recognition of the best bearded dragon:
- reasons why you should have bearded dragons as pet
- easy maintenance
- types of bearded dragons that make the best pet
- healthy dragons
- aggressive feeders
- direct from the feeder
- reasonable color
- how you can get the best bearded dragon for a pet
- where you can get a bearded dragon
Are Bearded Dragons Good Pets?
The first thing many people ask when they are thinking of getting a bearded dragon is, “Are bearded dragons good pets?” This is quite an understandable question since no one wants to get a pet and then regret having it later on.
Out of all the reptiles available for hobbyists today, the bearded dragon is arguably the most popular and commands the highest demand. One of the reasons for this is because they really do make excellent pets.
Here are just a few reasons why the bearded dragon is the lizard you should have as a pet.
One of the most attractive attributes of a bearded dragon is its physical appearance. Bearded dragons have a unique appearance that resembles something leftover from the age of the dinosaurs.
They also come in a variety of morphs, or colors. In fact, many breeders have recently bred bearded dragons that come in beautiful colors, such as yellow, red, orange.
Interestingly, one of the most popular morphs available is the Sandfire bearded dragon.
Sandfire bearded dragons come in different hues of red, that range from bright red and orange to light red.
Bearded dragons are arguably one of the easiest pet lizards to maintain. Interestingly, they are not too fussy about what they eat because of the wide variety of foods they enjoy.
Although bearded dragons do have a minimum amount of housing needs, yet they are not nearly as complicated to house as turtles or chameleons are.
With just a few minutes of upkeep a day your dragon will stay happy and healthy.
Bearded dragons have the best behavior as a pet of any lizard species. Most bearded dragons enjoy daily or weekly interactions with their owners. Also, owners can take them out of their housing and can as well allow them to explore their home, or room.
Likewise, with the proper leash, owners can even take bearded dragons for walks outdoors. They tend to have a very docile and “happy-go-lucky” attitude that makes them the ideal pet lizard.
Further, many times bearded dragons will display other behaviors like
- arm waving,
- head bobbing, and
- the billowing beard that many keepers find amusing.
Therefore, keeping a bearded dragon as a pet can be as entertaining and satisfying as a cat or dog.
Many captive-raised bearded dragons can actually live ten to fifteen years, or even more, with proper care. It is quite possible as long as you provide
- Adequate housing,
- a nutritional and balanced diet, and
- Regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian. Your dragon will live a long, prosperous life.
Types of Bearded Dragons that Make the Best Pets
Bearded dragons are very notorious at spreading parasites among themselves very quickly. Thus, if one animal in a group looks sick, it is better to avoid purchasing any other bearded dragon in the group. Likewise, you should as well avoid lethargic animals who exhibit depressed or listless posture.
If a dragon eats and grows well, it is partially indicative of good overall health. Try to watch your prospective bearded dragon eating. Generally, aggressive feeders quickly notice a cricket or mealworm and pounce on it.
Thus, if a bearded dragon is appropriately warm but must be coaxed into eating, choose another dragon.
Direct From the Breeder
Bearded dragons from a breeder are far more likely to thrive than dragons that have passed through multiple facilities. That is the more cages and other lizards a bearded dragon has come in contact with, the higher the likelihood that he has acquired a parasite or disease.
Therefore, by purchasing directly from the breeder, you will be able to obtain a more complete history of the lizard and obtain assistance if you need it.
New keepers shouldn’t pick bearded dragons under 6 inches in length or even 4 weeks in age. Even at this stage, a very delicate touch and excellent husbandry are much required for success.
At the other end of the spectrum, large adult bearded dragons are sometimes intimidating to first-time keepers. The best solution is to select a well-started juvenile between 8 and 12 inches in length.
Designer bearded dragons are more expensive than normal or wild-type dragons. Hatchlings don’t display their full adult colors for some time, so dragons are usually sold based on projections of potential color.
While it is fine to select a red, yellow or white bloodline for a pet, you should also give measured attention to the color. That is, premiums spent on color are better spent on a larger dragon with less color.
How to purchase the Best Bearded Dragon for a Pet
Choosing out a bearded dragon can seem overwhelming. And if you don’t know what you’re doing you can actually pick out the wrong bearded dragon for your need.
Here are some simple tips to follow to make sure you pick out the right bearded dragon.
Where to Purchase a Bearded Dragon
You can either get a dragon from a local pet store or from a breeder. It’s common for breeders to have the healthiest bearded dragons because they raise their dragons in the same environment around the same dragons.
This means there is less of a chance of their bearded dragons becoming stressed, sick, or injured from rival dragons.
However, you can still get very healthy dragons from local pet stores as well.
Choosing a very Healthy Bearded Dragon
There are a couple of easy ways you can tell how healthy a bearded dragon is before you purchase it. The first thing to look out for is how alert and active it is.
A healthy bearded dragon will not be lethargic and will keep its head lifted. Also, most bearded dragons will be alert enough to notice you approaching them.
Likewise, you should look at their body for the following things:
- ensure that they don’t have any visible injuries
- if you do see any injury, ensure it appears to be healing and is not infected
- also, make sure their eyes are not runny and there are no signs of puss on their face
- It is important that you ensure that the dragon is not missing any body parts.
It is worthy of mention that bearded dragons do not regrow their tails, toes, or even limbs. Thus, if your dragon is missing something, it will not grow back.
Young VS Old Bearded Dragons
So, should you get a younger or a more mature dragon? Well, if this is your first dragon, then you will probably want to get a fully grown (or close to fully grown bearded dragon) to start. This is because younger bearded dragons are very fragile and can easily
- get sick,
- or worse if you do not have any experience in handling them.
Therefore, a good way to tell the maturity level of a bearded dragon is how long they are. If they are over 10 inches in length, they are mature, but if they are smaller than 10 inches in length then they are juveniles.
Reasons Bearded Dragons Make the Best Pets
They like to cuddle
Bearded dragons are surprisingly very easy to cuddle, and are fond of curling up inside of hoodie pockets. Likewise, they love to rest on their owners’ chests or shoulders. Before you know it, they close their eyes and fall asleep!
They’re incredibly easy to tame
As far as reptiles go, bearded dragons are very friendly. They don’t mind you holding them, and they will even sit on your lap long enough to watch a movie with you.
They look so cute and silly with things on their heads.
Building their terrariums can really be a fun hobby
Some people get very involved in the design of their bearded dragons’ tanks. They invest a great deal of time and money to make them as elaborate as possible. Thus, making rock formations out of foam and adding miniature waterfalls.
They’ll keep you smiling all the time
Bearded dragons are popular for their antics and they will never disappoint.