Bearded Dragons 101
Fluffy isn’t fluffy when Fluffy is a Bearded Dragon. Cute in so many other ways, Bearded Dragons have their charms—including giving good cuddles. They change colors and puff up their spiky throat areas when they’re in love, but they don’t have fur to groom and might not offer kisses.
What Is a Bearded Dragon?
Bearded Dragons are lizard-like reptiles with scales and colorful, patterned skin. They are a recent introduction to the family pet market. Although they originated in Australia, Beardies cannot be exported legally from their homeland. Local breeders have taken on the task of providing family homes with Bearded Dragons, often breeding for favored characteristics.
Why Keep a Bearded Dragon as a Pet?
If you can overlook the fact that their skin is scaly and not furry, a Bearded Dragon could be your next favorite pet.
- Beardies are relatively small, growing to a length of no more than 2 feet
- They’re gentle and don’t mind handling, even by youngsters
- Like snakes, they are sensitive to temperature, so they sleep during cool nights and are awake during the warmth of the day
- Bearded Dragons are good cuddlers. When picked up from their cages, they’ll seek a warm place on you where they can curl up, like the space between your neck and shoulders
Is It Hard to Care for a Bearded Dragon?
Caring for Bearded Dragons is relatively simple. They aren’t picky eaters. They live in a cage, and they are gentle when handled.
- Beardies like all types of food, from meat to fruits to veggies and do the best with a diet that consists of a combination of insects and produce
- Adults are fed just once per day
- A cage they can move around in, like a terrarium or aquarium with a screened top, is all they require for housing. Add a heat lamp or heat pad to keep your Beardie warm. And they would appreciate a place to hide and something to climb on. Food and water bowls, cleaned daily, will keep your dragon content.
- You’ll want to handle your Bearded Dragon so it gets to know you. Beardies will come to recognize you and will even go for a leash walk!
Are Bearded Dragons Prone to Disease or Other Health Issues?
Bearded Dragons should live healthy lives and have a lifespan of about ten years. They could develop symptoms of disease, mostly from diet deficiencies. Things to look for if you think your dragon may be ill:
- Fungal disease on the skin
- Gastrointestinal disease symptoms can include diarrhea and loss of appetite
- Fading color, seizures, and stunted growth may be symptoms of diet deficiencies
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