Did you know that of the estimated 90.5 million U.S. households with a pet, 5.7 million have a reptile?
The bearded lizard, also known as the bearded dragon or “beardie,” is one such pet. It’s native to Australia, but because of its popularity, many breeders now rear them in the U.S.
But what exactly makes bearded dragons popular as reptile pets? Why should you even consider getting one?
Below are the top reasons to keep a bearded lizard pet, so read on.
1. Gentle and Intelligent
They may not be as cuddly as dogs, but bearded dragons tend to be gentle and friendly. Once socialized, they usually like climbing on their “pet parent’s” body. They also show affection by riding around their owners’ shoulders.
Bearded dragons may bite, but they rarely do, usually out of fear or if they feel threatened. So long as you treat them with kindness, they’ll remain docile.
By contrast, other species or types of lizards, like tokay geckos and iguanas, can be more prone to biting.
Another great thing about beardies is that they’re diurnal. This means they stay awake during the day to keep you company.
Bearded dragons are also intelligent, making them trainable. For example, you can train your beardie to do their potty business or come to you when you call out. Some socialized lizards can even enjoy outdoor walks on a leash.
2. Ease of Handling and Care
Because of their docile nature, bearded lizards are easy to handle and care for, even by children. However, ensure your kids treat them gently and with respect and avoid startling them.
An adult bearded dragon would be comfy enough in a 120-gallon tank. You can get a smaller one for a baby lizard, but remember that they can grow up to 20 to 24 inches. So it’s best to get a larger-sized tank from the get-go.
The tank should also have the following:
• A ventilated screen lid
• A heat lamp
• A UVB light
• Separate water and food dish
• Branches offering a hide-out
As for their diet, bearded dragons thrive on live insects and vegetables. But when feeding a lizard with live critters, go for bred, organic-fed insects, not wild ones.
Fortunately, you can find reputable reptile pet supply stores carrying quality feeder insects. A perfect example is a Dubia or hissing cockroach for sale. Both are nutritious for your pet dragon; you can even breed them at home to have a constant supply of lizard feed.
3. A Long-Lived Animal Companion
Wild bearded dragons can live between 5 and 8 years. That’s a short lifespan, mainly due to the presence of predators. So if you remove predators from the equation, you can get a bearded lizard that can stay with you for 15, even 18 years.
However, please remember that a beardie’s longevity depends on proper care and diet.
Consider Getting a Majestic Bearded Lizard
As you’ve learned in this guide, a bearded lizard can be a gentle, intelligent, and affectionate pet. So long as you care for it properly, you can enjoy its company for at least a decade. Those are good enough reasons to consider raising a beardie in your household.