Have you always wanted a dragon? Look no further than the bearded dragon, one of the closest approximations to the mythical monsters of lore. These reptiles originated from Australia, where they climbed fence posts and had a large territory to themselves. Males have multiple females in their territory that they breed with, and females can lay upwards of 20 eggs per litter. The bearded dragon gets its name from its beard; when they feel threatened, their beard turns black and puffs out.
A tamed bearded dragon can eat a variety of different foods from live insects to fruit. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of having to feed live insects, reptiles aren’t the pet for you. They may eat everything from cockroaches to earthworms. As for plants and veggies, they can eat a bunch of things, such as raw bell peppers or yellow squash. Always ask the breeder, pet shopkeeper, or vet about the diet you think is best for your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons need a large tank that is horizontal (50-75-gallon tank is the minimum). The ideal tank size should be 120 gallons per dragon. For bearded dragons, they need a basking bulb and a UVA/UVB fluorescent tube light. The basking side of the tank should be between 95 degrees F to 110 degrees F, and the cool side should be around 85 degrees F. It’s therefore ideal to have a thermometer. As for bedding, SAND IS NOT RECOMMENDED. Use reptile carpet, paper towels, newspaper or even butcher paper. As for accessories, a hammock, branches to climb, holes for your bearded dragon to hide in, water and food bowl, and a basking platform so they can lie down. Fake flowers and plants are also nice to make the cage pop out a little more.
Make sure your vet is up to date on reptiles, as for bearded dragons, it’s important during shedding, if you see some shed still on them, to give them a warm bath and use a soft cloth to remove the excess shed. Failure to do that could cause them to lose their fingers. They can get dehydrated, so much sure to always fill their bowl.
Bearded dragons are a great pet; like other geckos, they don’t need constant 24-hour surveillance. Always do your research when buying a pet, since bearded dragons can live upwards of 15 years, it’s a lifetime commitment.
Written By: Andrianna Kapralios