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Bearded dragons are outstanding cold-blooded giant lizards, and these reptiles love being held, petted, and making great companions. So, are bearded dragons good pets?
If tamed, bearded dragons are friendly and tolerant pets to new owners. They are gentle with kids, fast to bond, and wear an ever smiley face. Hence, it is easy and affordable to maintain these lizards at home
Besides being common in Australia, they are now a favorite pet in the US and Germany. However, like other reptiles, their skin, saliva, and droppings may carry salmonella bacteria. Nevertheless, you and your family can prevent germs transference with proper care and caution. So, go ahead and domesticate one today for their matchless traits, unlike other reptiles.
Here are some great highlights about these oversize lizards.
Incredible Facts about Bearded Dragons as Pets
Love for Crickets
These beautiful creatures are part of the omnivores’ family. So, feeding them is not challenging for most owners. Besides enjoying eating vegetables and worms, crickets are a favorite dish for bearded dragons. Hence, prepare to make endless trips to the store.
Crickets are rich in calcium and protein. However, give ten pieces per day to your pet beardie to limit the portion.
No Rearing Dragons in Hawaii
The State of Hawaii prohibits anyone from owning, transporting, or capturing this giant lizard. Hence, it is illegal to sell or buy one.
Separate Male and Female
During breeding or other days, keep each pet in its cage. Male have dominance streaks; hence, they can attack other males. Apart from that, the males are hostile with the females. However, if they are of the same age, they could co-exist under supervision. Nevertheless, to prevent injury and other discomforts, it is advisable to keep bearded dragons separate.
Female Lays Many Eggs
Unlike other animals, the female lays about 20 to 30 eggs at once within clutch groups. Therefore, there is a need to supply it with extra calcium during this period. However, the eggs are sterile, and it occurs naturally without mating. Though, not all females will lay infertile eggs.
Brumation is Irregular
While in captivity, bearded dragons experience an irregular brumation period. Because of varying, non-natural temperatures and surroundings may be a challenging time for both you and the pet. However, most survive, thanks to the bright and warm habitat you offer them.
All bearded dragons are allergic to most foods like avocado’s oxalic acid. Besides that, the fruit has persin, which is harmful to animals but not humans. Unfortunately, it can cause death, vomiting, breathing complications, and diarrhea.
Nevertheless, there are other unique vital nutrients you can offer your pet to balance their meals.
Pet Requirements for Your First Bearded Dragon
Like any other kept animal, shelter or housing is critical for their happy stay with you. The enclosure should be warm, bright, and free from natural conditions. For example, bar the rain, direct sunlight, snow, and winter. Besides that, it should prevent escape or other attackers.
For such reptiles to survive captivity, they need full-spectrum UV lighting. However, you will need to move them out at intervals to heat themselves naturally.
Beardies like to adventure and hide from people or unfavorable weather. Surprise your pet with a branch to practice its climbing skills. Besides that, offer a basking corner to foliage.
Monitor your dragon’s cage temperature to be about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to add extra heating lamps or bulbs. Consider its safety and health by supervising its environment temperature every day. This move prevents dangers caused by excess heat or discomfort.
Offer your new dragon the right foods and enough clean water to drink. Be alert for any reactions emerging from the meals you give. Live feeding is a plus for any captured animals. So, be generous with crickets, mealworms, locusts, and cockroaches.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Being Petted and Cuddled?
Most new pet owners may wonder, ‘how does one pet or cuddle a bearded dragon?’ Yes, people love these lizards because they are friendly, patient, grow fast, and easy to handle. Dragons love to bond with their owners, thus making good pets. Moreover, they wear an ever-smiling face; hence, an excellent pet choice for your kids.
Apart from that, they love to receive gentle scratches when held. So, next time you carry your pet, focus on giving smooth pats on their chin, neck, and head. Protect your hands from the rough scales on the skin using proper gloves.
However, take caution as bearded dragons carry Salmonella germs.
There are high chances of infecting humans during direct or close contact with their skin or saliva. So, wash your hands before and after handling these unique lizards.
Trying to pet or touch a beardie for the first time is delicate. But it becomes successful with several attempts, especially when they close their eyes. However, be careful as they can attempt to escape. This move is because of stress or anxiety; thus, they can injure you or themselves.
Also, be careful when holding it near another pet. For example, a dog or cat can create nervousness and trigger stress in the dragon as it senses danger.
Handling a Bearded Dragon Pet
Before you can pet or cuddle these loving pets, learn about the dos and don’ts. Here are some fantastic examples:
Do’s and Don’ts When Handling a Dragon Pet
- Wash your hands before and after handling them to arrest germs.
- Feed it various foods to balance its diet like vegetables, crickets, worms.
- Cuddle or pet it when it’s calm, not stressed.
- Handle it once a day for not more than two hours to stop illnesses caused by tension.
- Use UVB bulbs to provide round-the-clock lighting in their enclosure.
- Monitor its room temperature to feel like its natural habitat.
- Clip off their nails if bothered or scratched.
- Move closer to a stressed pet; it will bite or attack you.
- Grip or restrain when holding it to prevent dislikes for future embraces.
- Nourish it with avocado; it erupts allergies.
- Expose it or its cage to direct sunlight or rain.
- Desist from handling it just after meals to prevent discomfort or vomiting.
- Embrace or handle it around other domestic animals to avoid instilling stress and fear.
- Stare before picking it up to avoid frightening and stressing them.
- Hold a dragon whose length is less than 6 inches as they are still fragile.
- Lift your pet by its legs or tail; it hurts the spinal column or stresses the lizard.
How to Hold Your Bearded Dragon Pet
Wash Hands before Holding Your Pet
It is critical to wash your hands before holding any pet. For instance, bearded dragons carry infectious diseases. Hence, it is wise to prevent the germs from their skin or saliva from getting to you through close or direct contact.
Lift it with Care
When holding a bearded dragon pet, skip being rough and fast. Lift it in a smooth and caring motion. Remember that staring and picking it by the tail or legs will provoke stress.
To prevent injuries and fear, place your finger beneath its chin and press upward to invite it onto your arm.
Alternatively, lift it with one hand under the belly while the other supports the tail part. Let it rest on your stretched arm.
Secure and use both hands to help to affirm the pet’s security, warmth, trust, and love. However, use one hand if it is still tiny.
Handle Your Pet in a Convenient Environment
When handling your pet, ensure the environment is safe, quiet, cool or warm, and calm. Keep other pets away to prevent stress, outbreaks, and other fear-related emotions. One great site to hold and cuddle your dragon pet is within a controlled setup.
For example, settle for an enclosure with no music, TV, many guests, or onlookers to maintain calmness and patience. This reptile relates to crowds as potential predators. So, avoid the above red flags next time you want to pet or cuddle your bearded dragon.
Brief Holding Session
Once a dragon feels insecure and tired, they become reckless and want to come down. To keep it wanting more close sessions, never clutch on the pet when it’s not comfortable. Apart from that, holding it for long may result in tension and fatigue.
The maximum you can hold on to a dragon pet is less than 15 minutes. Allow it to enjoy the short moment, especially if still new to you. You can further enjoy other moments you will spend together, like during vet visits, bath time, and while it basks under the sun.
Cuddle Your Pet
These medium-sized lizards love to be held and touched. Besides that, you can go a step further and scratch or pat their favorite spots. For example, their chin, head, and neck are areas that calm them down.
Wash Hands after the Session
Always wash hands before and after handling or hugging any pet. Use warm water and soap to eliminate any stubborn bacteria that may affect humans. Follow the above dos and don’ts for a safe and happy moment. Every comfortable cuddle will result in a happier hug the next day.
FAQ;s about Beard Dragons
If you still have doubts on ‘if bearded dragons are good pets,’ worry no more. Yes, they are amazing, friendly with a passive nature if tamed. Besides that, they are easy to maintain and handle. Follow the above guidelines before bringing in a bearded dragon as your pet.
However, consult an expert should you encounter any related issues with your new pet. So, go ahead and get one for your family today. All the best in your exciting role as a new pet parent!