Wondering, ‘should I get a bearded dragon?’ If so, you must be a true pet lover!
Many animal lovers own cats, dogs, or other types of mammals. However, there are not so many reptile owners. Not surprisingly, they are some of the most dedicated pet parents we have come across.
If you are contemplating joining this group of pet parents, we would like to help you prepare for the journey.
Buying A Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons originally come from Australia, and they love hot dry conditions.
A beardy’s natural habitat is in the semi-desertous regions of Australia, and they are diurnal (most active during the day). However, they spend the hottest part of the day underground and have adapted to cold desert nights. They are also semi-arboreal, spending plenty of time in trees.
These are the types of conditions you need to be able to replicate in your home when getting a beardy. Here are seven things you should consider before buying a bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragon Enclosure
Bearded dragons need a special enclosure.
They are not like cats or dogs who will settle into a new home basically as they find it. And, a bearded dragon’s house is not tiny like a goldfish bowl or a small aquarium. They require at least 2′ X 2′ X 4′ for an enclosure.
And there is more. Bearded dragons are ectotherms or cold-blooded, and they love and need to sunbathe. Since they cannot maintain warm body temperatures like mammals, they spend plenty of time basking in the sun.
So, as you consider space to place the enclosure, think about locations close to the windows. Alternatively, you can use special bearded dragon lighting to keep it lit and warm. It’s an excellent substitute.
When you adopt a bearded dragon, you will have to review your daily schedule. Make time to hang out with your newfound buddy, and to do other routines like bathing, cleaning his habitat, and vet visits.
It does not take a big chunk out of your time. But, as with all pets, there are those care and maintenance things that do take time. So, look at your schedule and think about how a new bearded dragon will affect your days.
You Need To Learn About Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons have not been kept as pets for long. We are still discovering a lot about them in a home environment. Before you take the leap and bring home a bearded dragon, take some time to learn about the creature.
One of the activities that will take a substantial amount of time will be cleaning up. You should clean up the habitat, replace the substrate and wipe the walls with a disinfectant.
This is not a short or quick process and does get old quickly. You should also thoroughly clean all the stuff the dragon climbs on or places he hides.
Also, clean the food and water bowls, their bath section, and the prey carrier. Bearded dragons, and their prey, can carry salmonella. So it is crucial to be thorough.
You Will Need Live Prey
Bearded dragons are carnivorous. Their diet consists of small insects and spiders. Although adults can eat vegetables (like this Omnivore Mix), they enjoy insects much more.
Roaches are a favorite for the dragons. If you plan to adopt one, start thinking about where you can get a good supply of roaches to keep their belly full. Stocking a few live ones could be the solution.
If roaches make the hair on your back stand on end, consider other critters like crickets.
Loud Noises Don’t Go Well With Beardys
If you are the kind who loves weekend parties with loud music, you may have to consider relocation of those parties. Bearded dragons hate loud noises.
They have huge depressions on either side of their heads which open up to their ear canals. They are hypersensitive to sound. It is one of their first adaptations for hunting. So, plan to keep the house quiet.
There Are Significant Expenses
Taking a bearded dragon home means that you have to make changes to your home, schedule, and social life.
It all boils down to whether your heart is in it. If it is, the chances are high that you are ready to spend what you need to care for your new beast properly.
Initially, you will purchase a suitable enclosure, set it up, and buy equipment to keep it lit and warm. The costs may run into thousands of dollars.
Then, there are running costs like utilities due to the special lighting, hygrometers, healthcare costs, and substrate replacements.
Owning A Bearded Dragon
Getting a bearded dragon is a big move. But, if you’ve learned everything you can online and are still keen, you’re probably the right person for one! Now all that’s left to do is to choose a great name for your Bearded Dragon!
Buying and maintaining a bearded dragon is not easy. But if your heart’s in it, it is worth every effort, cost, and sacrifice.