“Are bearded dragons good pets” is one of the most common questions we get from potential new owners. This is understandable, because the concept of owning a reptile is a little out of the ordinary for most people.
And the answer is a resounding yes!
Bearded dragons make very good pets for a number of reasons. To help sell you on the idea of owning these fantastic reptiles, we put together a handy list to give you a nudge!
1. They Have A Peaceful And Calm Temperament
Bearded dragons are good pets because they are generally peaceful and nice reptiles. They have a tendency to be passive, and they generally get calmer as they age.
Beardies enjoy interactions with their people, which is something that isn’t the case with all pet reptiles. You can take your bearded dragon out of its terrarium and allow it to explore your home under supervision. With the right leash, you can even take it outside for walks!
Bearded dragons may bite when they feel threatened or scared, but as long as you handle them kindly and gently, this generally won’t be a problem. Honestly, their bites are more surprising than anything (they typically don’t hurt much and rarely draw blood).
2. They Have A Good Life Expectancy
Another great reason why bearded dragons make good pets is their fairly long lifespan. With the right care, it’s likely that you’ll have these little creatures for quite a while.
In fact, they can live to be 8-15 years old! This means more time to bond, play, and enjoy your time with each other.
Expert Tip: In order to maximize their lifespan you’ll need to provide them with a proper house, a balanced and nutritional diet, and regular checkups with a reptile veterinarian. Staying consistent with all of these things will let them live a long and healthy life.
3. Caring For Them Is Simple
Bearded dragons are easy to care for, which makes them good pets for both kids and busy adults. Once you create the right habitat environment for your bearded dragon with appropriate heat and lighting conditions (like a great UVB bulb), caring for them is an easy and fairly low-maintenance task.
A 55-75-gallon tank with a secure screen top is the ideal enclosure for an adult bearded dragon. Juvenile bearded dragons can be kept in smaller tanks, but they will eventually outgrow them.
Provide your beardie with a proper diet and plenty of clean water. These lizards enjoy a variety of insects, fruits, and vegetables, so finding food they like is never a challenge. To make things even better, most of the foods they enjoy are fairly inexpensive!
Keeping your bearded dragon’s home clean is an easy thing to do. All you need to do is spend a few minutes cleaning up any unwanted food, giving your lizard clean water, and cleaning away its droppings each day.
Giving your reptile’s tank a thorough cleaning once a week will help it stay healthy and happy. When you compare this to some other pets out there, this is not very time-consuming.
4. They’re Intelligent
Many potential owners don’t realize this when they’re shopping around, but these lizards are quite intelligent! They have the capacity to clearly recognize their owners and develop a strong connection over time.
They can also learn new things by observing how bearded dragons behave in other enclosures. Beardies can even be trained! With some consistency and the right approach, you can train these lizards to come when called, get ready for food/water, and even walk on a leash.
5. Bearded Dragons Can Show Affection
Bearded dragons may not show love like a cat or dog does, but they definitely have the ability to display signs of affection for their owners. Many people are surprised to hear this because they assume that reptiles don’t have the capacity to be nice and show affection (which is simply not true), but bearded dragons are very good pets in this regard!
Beardies like to be warm, and it is not uncommon for them to snuggle into their owners’ necks or chests when they are taken out of their terrariums. Some will even fall asleep while snuggled up with their owners and stay like that for hours at a time!
Bonding with your lizard and reaching this point may take a little time, but it’s worth it. Give your bearded dragon time to adjust to its new environment and to you.
Start by talking or singing to your lizard when you come into the room. They will quickly get to know your voice and recognize that you are not a threat. Eventually, they’ll begin to associate you with positive things like food and play time!
Expert Tip: Gradually increase the time you handle your bearded dragon as they get used to you. Another good way to bond without directly handling is by taking it for walks in your yard with a leash and harness.
6. Feeding Them Is Straightforward
As we hinted at earlier, bearded dragons like eating a variety of foods. This lack of pickiness makes feeding time very easy.
Bearded dragons are omnivores. This means that they eat both plant and animal-based foods. You can follow a straightforward schedule of feeding young bearded dragons once to twice a day, and adult beardies once a day.
Some nutritious vegetables to feed your bearded dragon include collard greens, mustard greens, chard, green beans, broccoli, parsley, dandelions, kale, cilantro, red or green cabbage, watercress, bell peppers, and even bok choy.
These lizards also enjoy eating fruits, such as mangoes, apples, pears, kiwis, melons, bananas (with or without the peel still on), guavas, tomatoes, star fruit, peaches, and grapes.
Bearded dragons also enjoy animal-based protein. Some nutritious animal-based proteins you can feed your bearded dragon include crickets (read this guide to learn how many they can eat), spiders, mealworms, wax worms, earthworms, grasshoppers, moths, silkworms, and slugs.
7. Their Size Is Very House-Friendly
Bearded dragons are medium-sized lizards which is very convenient for most owners. They are small enough to comfortably keep in your home, but they are big enough for young children to handle them easily.
This also makes bearded dragons a good pet no matter what size home you have. It doesn’t matter if you have an apartment or large house, these reptiles will be a viable pet for you.
Bearded dragons can grow to be 12 to 24 inches in length from their head to their tail. Interestingly enough, approximately one-third of the lizard’s length is its tail. Males generally grow to be larger than females. They are not very heavy as adults (which makes snuggling easy).
Expert Tip: Most of a bearded dragon’s growth occurs in the first year of their life, so if you get a young lizard, you’ll see them grow rapidly until they reach one year of age.
8. They’re Affordable
Compared to other pets, bearded dragons are quite inexpensive to care for. Initially, you will need to invest in a good habitat for your lizard. Because you will want to get a quality terrarium, thermometer, and light source, setting up your bearded dragon’s habitat can cost you from $200 to $600.
Once you get your bearded dragon’s terrarium set up, they’re a pretty inexpensive pet to maintain. Many of the foods these lizards eat are inexpensive. You will need substrate for its terrarium as well, but this is often very cheap (or even free).
Regular veterinary checkups are as important for bearded dragons as they are for other pets, such as cats and dogs. You will need to take your lizard to a veterinarian who sees reptiles, but your veterinary bills will likely be lower than those of owners who have cats or dogs (we also recommend getting pet insurance to cover you if any surprises occur).
9. Bearded Dragons Are Fun To Observe
It may surprise you to find out that bearded dragons can be very entertaining to watch! If your bearded dragon wants your attention, it may run back and forth inside of its terrarium. It will learn when it’s mealtime, and it will let you know if you’re running a bit late!
Beardies also enjoy getting out of their terrariums to explore their surroundings. Take your lizard out regularly to explore the room it’s in, or get a leash and harness and take it for a walk in the yard or outside of your home. Watching these little creatures explore never gets old!
Bearded dragons also enjoy swimming. You can purchase a kiddie pool or a large plastic storage container for your bearded dragon to swim in.
Expert Tip: Make sure the water is warm and isn’t deeper than your lizard’s knees or elbows.
Bearded dragons enjoy playtime. You can put a couple of toys into its enclosure or allow it to play with toys when it’s outside the terrarium. Some bearded dragons enjoy nudging a ping pong ball around. Others may enjoy playing with a ball of crinkled wrapping paper or a mylar ball cat toy.
10. They’re Good Pets For Kids
Bearded dragons make excellent pets for kids. They are generally docile and gentle creatures. Kids will be able to learn how to handle them and develop a strong bond over time.
Caring for them is easy, but they need regular meals, attention, and maintenance. A bearded dragon can teach kids how to care for a pet and provide a low-risk sense of responsibility.
Bearded dragons also like routine, so caring for one can teach kids time management skills. Your bearded dragon should be fed, given attention, and have its enclosure cleaned on a regular schedule.
11. They Look Neat!
There’s no denying it, these reptiles have a unique appearance (especially compared to most common house pets). This means if you want something a little out of the ordinary, bearded dragons are probably a good pet for you. There are different species of bearded dragons, and they come in various shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Bearded dragons are medium-sized lizards and typically won’t exceed a couple feet in length. The bearded dragon’s head is wedge-shaped and contains rows of scales. The throat contains more rows of scales. When bearded dragons puff these up, it looks like a beard, hence the lizard’s name (they can even make this beard turn black).
It has a very flat body with four cute and stubby legs. A row of scales lines each side of the lizard’s stomach. Its tail is generally half the length of its body. A bearded dragon’s tail will not fall off and regrow when it feels threatened the way other lizards’ tails do.
Bearded dragons are very good pets for many people. We’ve spoken to countless owners who had never dreamed of owning a pet reptile, and now couldn’t imagine the alternative!
These lizards are very easy to care for, smart, fun to play with, and capable of building a strong bond with their owners. When you add in the unique factor, we think it makes owning a beardie a no-brainer.
If you have any reasons you think we should add to this list, feel free to send them our way. We’re always looking to improve the guides and resources we publish on our site, and will never turn down some extra help!