The name “bearded dragon” is quite intimidating if you are not familiar with the friendly reptile, and some parents may not allow their child to have one as a pet. This is a shame, really, because bearded dragons are the exact opposite of intimidating.
So, is a bearded dragon a good pet for a child? Yes, absolutely! Bearded dragons are good-natured and very easy to care for, making it a great choice of a first pet for a child. Bearded dragons are even known to be affectionate to their owners!
One of the best characteristics of bearded dragons is that they are hypoallergenic – they do not cause allergies! This is wonderful news for children with allergies that long for a pet of their own. Bearded dragons can offer kids with allergies the invaluable experience of having a pet.
What Makes Bearded Dragons Such Amazing Pets?
With so much praise being given to bearded dragons hailing them as wonderful pets for children, it’s hard to narrow down the reasons.
However, here are the most talked-about reasons that bearded dragons make amazing pets:
- They are really friendly.
- They are very easy to care for.
- They are inexpensive.
- They are affectionate.
- They have a super unique look.
- They live a long time.
They Are Really Friendly
Look at any information resource about bearded dragons, and there will be a mention of how friendly they are. They are very rarely known to bite, and, if you trim their claws, they won’t scratch you either.
Because bearded dragons are so easygoing and happy-natured, they make great first pets for children. In fact, most of the reasons that bearded dragons make an amazing pet for children are also reasons they make great first pets for children!
Children can learn to care for a pet without the high energy of a puppy and the sassiness of a kitten. The bearded dragon will be a calm and well-behaved way to teach your child about caring for something other than himself or herself.
They Are Very Easy to Care For
The quiet and peaceful demeanor bearded dragons make them easy to care for. They won’t fight you to be washed off if they are dirty. They won’t run away when you try to feed them. They don’t ever require an excessive amount of attention.
In addition to being a match made in reptile heaven for kids, bearded dragons are also the perfect pet for families that are often away from home. Sometimes having a household with two working parents or even a single parent household in which the one parent holds more than one job make it hard for a pet to be brought into the family.
However, bearded dragons are low maintenance enough to hang out on their own most of the time. Make sure their terrarium is clean and they have enough food and water, and they are delighted as can be!
Busy families, families that travel, and families that spend less time at home than away from home and all still suitable families for a bearded dragon.
They Are Inexpensive
Another aspect of owning a bearded dragon that is very appealing (especially to parents) is that they are inexpensive.
Initially, the cost is on the expensive side. This is because you are purchasing the terrarium that they will live in, the accessories for inside the terrarium, and a bulb for a heat source. Take note that a heat source is necessary because bearded dragons are cold-blooded and must regulate their body temperature.
Purchasing a terrarium and all the extras to go with it will cost anywhere from $200 to $450. The bulbs you will need cost about $30, but they only need to be replaced about every six months.
So, other than the start up costs of outfitting your bearded dragons personal habitat, the only other cost is feeding your adorable reptile which comes out to pennies because he can eat the same fruits and vegetables that you eat. Feeder insects for your little dragon can be bought online in bulk very inexpensively.
Because of the low cost of maintaining your bearded dragon, it makes a great pet for low-income families that do not have much to spare but also deserve some reptilian love!
They Are Affectionate
Bearded dragons in the wild tend to spend their lives alone, for the most part. This isn’t very different for a bearded dragon that becomes a pet, honestly. Part of what makes these reptiles easy to care for is the fact that they do not always require attention.
Eventually, once a bearded dragon gets used to his new family and bonds with them, the reptile is ready to love! You may find that your beloved dragon pet has started coming up to greet you when you walk up to his cage. You may find your pet has started to follow you with his eyes as you move around the room he’s kept in.
Bearded dragons are known for having their own quirky personalities. These personalities start to be seen when your dragon has warmed up to you and begins to let you hold him or her.
Some bearded dragons will just lay out, unmoving, on your belly – riding the waves of your breaths. Others will be more active, walking around your neck and onto your chest before heading back to your neck and snuggling into a ball for cuddles.
How to Properly Handle Your Bearded Dragon
It’s necessary to know how to handle your pet, no matter what kind of pet you have. Being too rough or holding it the wrong way can hurt the pet. Bearded dragons are no different.
There are a few things to keep in mind when handling your bearded dragon. They are:
- A young bearded dragon may take longer to accept being held because they are more nervous than adult dragons. Fully grown dragons, however, are pretty accepting of human contact.
- Avoid holding your bearded dragon by his tail.
- Make sure to support your dragon’s body when you hold him. Put your entire hand underneath his belly and then lift with care.
They Have a Super Unique Look
Have you ever seen a bearded dragon? Imagine looking at a bearded dragon through the eyes of a child. It must be fantastical!
In general, bearded dragons are rather common reptiles, but they are not often seen as pets. Your child would be the star of his classroom’s Bring Your Pet to School Day!
Bearded dragons are named directly after their unusual but striking appearance. They resemble the mighty dragons of the myths and legends we grew up hearing, just without the wings. The bearded part is not just added on for the show, either.
These loving reptiles have a pouch that wraps around their neck with little spines on it that looks like a man’s beard. When they feel like they are in danger, they flatten out their bodies, puff out their “beards,” and open their mouths wide.
Even the gentle dragon has a tough side!
They Live a Long Time
Another perk of having a bearded dragon pet is that they live reasonably long lives. With a lifespan of 6 to 10 years, even in captivity, they are a wonderful choice of pet for your child to grow up with.
With a bearded dragon, your child can experience selflessness by caring for another living being, responsibility by making sure his dragon has all his necessities to live, and love by experiencing the unbreakable bond between a man and his little beast.
Bearded Dragon FAQ
Once you are positive that you want a bearded dragon for a pet and you’ve fallen in love with the idea of reptilian cuddles, it’s wise to do some research on your lizard. While there are so many positive and downright adorable facts, it is best to be completely informed about your new pet, even if it means learning not-so-happy things.
Starting Your Journey with Your Bearded Dragon
First, you get to choose the perfect bearded dragon for your child!
When choosing your bearded dragon, consider the following:
- Since you are buying the reptile for your child, it is recommended that you look for a well-respected breeder that has bearded dragons that have been raised in captivity since birth. Wild bearded dragons can harbor sicknesses that can pass to your family members.
- Be mindful that setting your bearded dragon up with his home will initially cost up to $450. Because these lizards do have reasonably complex living environments, you want to be able to purchase everything you need to completely set up your dragon’s home either before or when you purchase him.
- When choosing the terrarium for your pet, keep in mind that bearded dragons can grow up to 24 inches long. So, if you do not want to pay for another, larger habitat for your dragon in the future, make sure to get one large enough to accommodate the maximum length of the reptile.
Outfitting Your Bearded Dragon’s Home
You will need to purchase extras with your dragon’s tank to completely outfit it and get it environmentally favorable for your pet.
Some extras you will need to purchase are:
- To house a single adult bearded dragon, you will need to get either a 55 or 75-gallon tank with a secure top.
- You can purchase smaller tanks if you have a young bearded dragon. Remember that you will eventually need to replace the tank as he grows, resulting in more cost.
- You will need to acquire something to line your tank with to catch waste.
- For an adult dragon, you can purchase washed sand to spread along the bottom of the cage. With sand, dragon droppings can be scooped out. You can also use short carpet to line the cage.
- For a young dragon, you cannot use sand. Instead, line the tank with paper towels, paper, or short carpet.
- You will need to purchase various items to place inside the tank for your dragon to perch on top of or hide underneath.
- Suggestions for this are medium to large rocks, half logs, and branches
Finding the Proper Heat Source for Your Dragon
Bearded dragons require a specific kind of light to help them flourish. This type of light is known as UVA/UVB radiation.
You can purchase Mercury vapor bulbs that emit both heat and UVA/UVB rays, so you get both your heat source and the light rays that your reptile needs to thrive.
It is also wise to allow your bearded dragon to get sunlight! Make sure that, if you bring them outside for the sunshine, they are around the adequate shade to be able to regulate their temperature.
Ensuring Your Dragon Eats Well and Stays Hydrated
For hydration, you should place a shallow dish of water in your bearded dragon’s cage. If you notice your dragon likes to dunk himself in the water and relax, you can place a large bowl of water for him to enjoy as he pleases.
Bearded dragons eat a diet of insects, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. It is recommended to dust the insects with calcium and a Vitamin D supplement without phosphorus to help maintain your dragon’s health.
Bearded Dragon Health Issues
Bearded dragons are not sickly animals, but they are prone to developing metabolic bone disease which can cause them to get fractures often. It is also common for them to develop respiratory sicknesses that could cause them to excrete excess mucus and wheeze.
Bearded dragons are delightful creatures that make friendly, carefree pets. They are a great choice for a childhood companion for your kids, growing with them into adolescence.
They are easy and inexpensive to care for and creating the terrarium tank for the bearded dragon is a fun project to do with your kids!
Learning all about bearded dragons can seem overwhelming and complicated but caring for them is simple to understand and quickly becomes a habit.