If you are reptile fancier and looking to adopt a reptile, “bearded dragons” will be recommended by most people. Since owning a pet is a lifetime commitment in physical and financial terms, naturally, you wonder whether you will be able to get along with a bearded dragon and are beardies high maintenance or not.
Well, for a reptile fancier, “bearded dragon” is the best recommendation because, usually, beardies make a great pet and are not considered a high maintenance animal to keep as a pet. However, bearded dragons are a bit different from other pets (like dogs, cats, birds etc.); you may have to make certain arrangements beforehand to ensure the well-being of your bearded friend (we have discussed this aspect in the latter half of the article). In addition, you will have to follow certain instructions while handling the beardies. Since you have to make these arrangements once in the beginning, the rest of the journey is easygoing and low maintenance. According to many seasoned beardie owners keeping a bearded dragon is as satisfying and enjoyable as having a dog or cat.
This article intends to help you reach a logical decision and know why beardies are considered low maintenance pets and what responsibilities come with adopting a beardie.
Reasons Bearded Dragons Are Most Sought After Reptile
Lets look into 5 reasons why bearded dragons are considered low maintenance.
1) Docile Personality
You may have heard that bearded dragons are solitary and territorial by nature; that’s right. Despite this fact, beardies are known to have gentle and docile personalities and make good bonds with their owners in captivity. Naturally, even dogs or cats may behave strangely or aggressively when they are in a new home with new people around them, and bearded dragons are no different. However, if you provide them with a habitat close to their natural environment, handle them properly, and provide them with the food they like, your beardie will become a peaceful and docile pet within a few days.
2) Small Size
Every pet needs a place to live, food, water, and some sort of handling and grooming that may require more time and expenses for a larger pet. Bearded dragons are one of the pet lizards that are easiest to care for due to their smaller size, both in terms of effort and expense. Twenty four inches is the maximum length a bearded dragon can attain when fully grown. So bearded dragons eat less, need less space to roam and are easy to handle due to their small size.
3) Affordable Or Cost Effective
a) In Term OF Space Required
Since bearded dragons are small in size compared to dogs and cats, they require a lot less space to live and roam as compared to larger pets. An adult, fully grown bearded dragon, can thrive happily in a 75 to 120 gallon tank (depending on its size). So you can effectively manage a bearded dragon if you don’t have enough space in your house or live in a small apartment.
b) In Term Of Feeding
As far as feeding is concerned, Bearded dragons are low maintenance and cost-effective in this aspect also. Usually, they don’t need any specifically formulated feed because beardies are omnivores by nature and can thrive on both plant and animal source diets. Therefore, bearded dragons will happily eat insects (like crickets, silkworms etc.) and many routine vegetables and fruits (like mustard greens, broccoli, green or red cabbage, mangoes, apples, and kiwis). Thus, making the feeding relatively easier and cheaper for the owner.
4) Unique (Dinosaur Like) Appearance
In addition to being low maintenance, bearded dragons are also liked for their distinct dinosaur-like look, which makes them the most wanted lizard. Another attractive feature of bearded dragons is that they come in a variety of colors like red, yellow and orange.
50 Well Behaved & Get Along With Kids And Other Pets
When taken out of their enclosure, bearded dragons generally act as well-behaved pets and enjoy roaming around and exploring the world. When properly trained and socialized, beardies can get along well with kids and other pets (like dogs or cats) in the house. Since they are small in size, docile, gentle, low maintenance and easy to upkeep, kids like to have a pet like this.
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Maintenance Essentials To Keep Bearded Dragons Happy And Healthy
We have already mentioned above that bearded dragons are one of the most recommended lizards for reptile fanciers due to their gentle and docile nature, small size and low maintenance. However, despite all this, beardies are not only distinct in their look, but they also have some special maintenance requirements, so you will have to take some steps to ensure the physical and mental well-being of your bearded friend.
Though bearded dragons need a comparatively smaller place to live, they need a specific environment and accessories to be healthy and happy. You need to install a heat source because beardies are cold-blooded and can’t maintain their body temperature on their own, and heat is essential to digest food and run other vital functions in the body. In addition, beardies need continuous exposure to UVB light, which is essential for the uptake of nutrients from the gut to the blood (especially calcium and vitamin D). Maintaining a continuous temperature gradient inside the enclosure is vital, with a hot basking spot at one end and a cooler spot at the other so that beardie may rest where ever they need. Placing multiple hides, tree branches, hummocks, or toys is also beneficial.
Though it’s true that feeding beardies are easier because of their omnivore nature (already discussed in detail), bearded dragons need calcium supplements to maintain their bone health and avoid metabolic bone disease. In addition, you must know what fruits and vegetables are not suitable to feed a bearded dragon (like onions, garlic, leeks, avocados, rhubarb etc.). You must also ensure that you are not deviating from the recommended insect to vegetable ratio, that is, 75 : 25 (for baby bearded dragons) and 25 : 75 (for adult beardies).
Bathing And Handling
You need to bathe your bearded dragon regularly, as it’s necessary for different reasons. So, naturally, you will have to pick and handle your bearded friend to take him out of his enclosure for a bath or to spend some time outside. Since bearded dragons are small, they can get hurt very easily, so you must be extra careful while handling your bearded friend and know how to handle a beardie.
Need Continuous Supervision
Unlike dogs and cats, you need to supervise your bearded friend continuously when outside his enclosure. You should never let your beardie out of your sight, even for a moment when he is roaming around or playing with other pets of kids. This is crucial to ensure that he does not get hurt or lost.