Sure, bearded dragons might not be the first choice for many folks since reptiles aren’t exactly cuddly. You might think they’d e hard to care for or are dangerous or just unsuitable for living in a home with humans. The great thing about bearded dragons is that they make for interesting home companions and they take about the same care as most other types of more traditional pets.
And if you already have a love for the reptilian world, a bearded dragon might just be your dream pet. And for good reason. They make for pretty good pets!
They’re Friendly & Funny
A bearded dragon can really have a personality and they even learn to recognize and respond to you. They’re also pretty friendly and even-tempered, so if you’re looking for a reptile you can actually take out its cage and hold – a bearded dragon is a good bet. They’re pretty tame.
Beardies, as they’re affectionately called, generally like to be held and are pretty easy to handle as lizards go. Just make sure to support them from underneath (true of nearly any pet) and be sure to wash your hands after interacting with your bearded dragon. (All reptiles carry salmonella bacteria!)
They can also be pretty funny.
They’re Great With Children
Bearded dragons are safe for children since they are generally docile and unaggressive creatures. These reptiles like to be held and in fact thrive when they are shown affection. Dragons can even be handled by children as long as the children are taught to be responsible and supervised by adults as necessary. It’s also good to teach a child (and remind them) that anyone who handles a dragon must wash up afterward!
They’re Generally Calm & Quiet
Ever have a pet bird that makes a lot of noise early in the morning or a yippie little dog who is sometimes just too noisy? You won’t have to worry about a beardie making much noise. No incessant barking and, unlike lizards who are active at night, bearded dragons are awake during the day. They like to climb branches and sit on logs to bask in the sun during the day, not run on a little squeaky wheel all night long like a hamster sometimes can. Daytime pets are great because you can interact with your little buddy during the day when you’re at home.
Cute is in the eye of the beholder and we’re not saying a bearded dragon is as cute as a frisky fluffy kitten, but c’mon, they’re cute in their own way. A lot of lizards are, but bearded dragons have that little spine covered guttural pouch area that looks like a man’s beard and they wear their emotions on their beards (males and females). When they’re stressed or upset, their beards turn jet black.
Little green anole lizards are cute, too, but they’re not nearly as expressive as a bearded dragon and they don’t make very good pets for people who want to interact with their four-legged friends. We have them all spring and summer here in the Carolinas and I adore taking photos of them in their crazy natural habitats (sunning on my patio furniture, hanging out on a the leaves of the raspberry plants, or climbing a chain-link fence and then sitting very still to patiently await a snack).
They Can Live A Pretty Long Life
The average life span of a bearded dragon is between five and eight years, although there are reports of dragons living 12 to 13 years when properly cared for. So be ready to have a beardie for several years if you get one as a pet.
It’s pretty easy to find a bearded dragon that’s for sale (or needs a good home). They’re native to Australia, but most kept as pets in the United States today are bred from captive stock. Finding a reputable breeder is a good idea. And, be sure to learn everything you need to now about keeping a bearded dragon happy and healthy before you go looking to find your new friend.
Most pet stores carry all the supplies you’ll need but shopping online for supplies is also really, really easy. For an adult bearded dragon, you’ll need at least a 55 gallon tank and, as with any pet who lives in an aquarium, be sure you get the environment just right for your beardie buddy.
Fun Bearded Dragon Names
Okay, choosing a name is one of the best parts of getting a new pet and it’s no different when you opt for a bearded dragon. Some of the best names I’ve heard:
If She’s A Girl Consider:
- Marge (our personal favorite)
If He’s A Boy Consider:
- Mushu (we love Mulan)
Or you could always go for the striking contrast and name your new bearded dragon fluffy or curly. Whatever you name your new bearded buddy, show it some love and attention and provide everything it needs to live a happy and healthy life with you.