With more and more people looking to own a bearded dragon, the answer to “do bearded dragons make good pets?” is naturally becoming more frequently sought out.
While what defines a “good pet” lies in somewhat of a grey area, there are definitely some universal qualities most people look for when it comes to bringing home a new member of the family.
Likewise, similar questions will be asked, regardless of species, to help decipher what animals will or will not work for said individual’s family, needs, budget, etc.
Before getting into specific questions people might have, let’s first address the elephant in the room, at least from a broad perspective…
Do Bearded Dragons Make Good Pets?
By most definitions, YES. Bearded dragons are very docile and easy-going lizards that actually do quite well under human care and handling.
Hailing from the arid deserts of Australia, bearded dragons also are pretty easy to care for in terms of setting up a habitat… just so long as you keep the lighting, temperature, and a few other details on point!
Bearded dragons are also essentially one of the only reptiles that can demonstrate affection, as they are able to bond over time with their human(s), and quite enjoy snuggling up to them for warmth.
Now, Let’s Dive Into the 8 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Make a Great Pet!
1. They’re Inexpensive to Care for
In comparison to other pets, bearded dragons can actually be quite cost-effective when it comes to veterinary care.
While checkups, medications, and surgeries for cats and dogs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, bearded dragons typically will run up a smaller bill should you need to take them in.
For example, what might cost you $200 – $400 for just diagnosing and treating your cat’s UTI, would likely cover the cost of a full-blown surgery on your bearded dragon.
However, getting started with a bearded dragon can be quite an investment as setting up the ideal habitat can set you back anywhere from around $200 – $600, depending on how luxe you go.
There are certain things, like the enclosure, light setup, and thermometer that you really are not going to want to skimp on.
With that being said, once you have an enclosure that is large enough for your adult bearded dragon, you won’t need to buy much else besides clean substrate for cleaning… which a lot of the times can be free anyways!
2. They’re Good with Kids
Because bearded dragons error on the docile and gentle side over being aggressive, they make great pets for kids.
Bearded dragons are also a great pet for kids because they are easy to care for, yet still require routine feeding, maintenance, and attention, which will help teach children the responsibility of having to care for something else.
One thing your child needs to understand about bearded dragons though, is they can become quite accustomed to a schedule!
For instance, if you have bonding time every night with your beardie before they go to sleep, and then suddenly skip it one night, this can be very upsetting for the social little guy or girl!
It is important to try and maintain a regular schedule as this is what beardie’s thrive on emotionally.
3. They Live a Long Time
If kept extremely healthy and happy, your bearded dragon may be lucky enough to live to be 15 years old!
This is, however, pretty uncommon. Typically, well cared for bearded dragons can live anywhere from 8 to 12 years.
4. They’re Docile
Bearded dragons can of course bite you if they feel threatened or are mishandled. However, because bearded dragons are docile and non-aggressive creatures, biting is not in their nature.
As long as you’ve treated them kindly and make sure to handle them in gentle, non-threatening environments, they likely won’t feel a need to be aggressive.
Look at it this way, if you don’t give your bearded dragon a reason to feel scared of at risk, they won’t have a reason to bite you… just like any other pet!
Now, there are some instances where your bearded dragon may bite you despite your best intentions.
As a baby, bearded dragons can be a little jumpy and aggressive only because you haven’t established a relationship with them yet!
The same goes with adult bearded dragons that are adopted by you or rehomed.
However, their bites don’t hurt very much and rarely draw blood. It’s more of a shock to be bitten than anything really!
Tons of people own bearded dragons and never get bit.
5. They Show Affection
Although it remains difficult to prove if reptiles can actually show affection, many bearded dragon owners will adamantly tell you their bearded dragon has indeed bonded with them and shown signs similar to affection.
For instance, because they love to be warm, bearded dragons that trust their humans will snuggle up to them against their neck and chest, often times falling asleep and remaining still for up to several hours!
It’s also not uncommon for bearded dragons who have a routine with their human to become distraught and upset if said routine is broken.
So say you take your bearded dragon out for cuddle time every night around 8 PM… once your dragon gets used to this daily occurrence they will come to expect it and will look forward to it daily.
6. They’re Easy to Care for
Naturally, as aforementioned bearded dragons can be a small investment upfront when it comes to setting up their habitat just so and going through the bonding/socialization process.
However, once this period passes, bearded dragons are relatively easy to care for especially after you surpass the learning curve.
7. They’re Easy to Feed
With a wide array of greens and fruits they enjoy, not to mention live insects, bearded dragons will eat many things… most of which are pretty inexpensive!
It can actually be quite fun mixing up your beardie’s diet now and again, investigating what they enjoy munching on!
Likely, you will find that there are just some things they do not enjoy eating, however, which may be a little tricky on your end.
When it comes to their greens, stubborn beardie’s can be encouraged to eat them with special bearded dragon salad dressings you can buy online, like this one here.
8. They’re Good With Cats and Dogs
Of course, it is never advised that you put your bearded dragon with your cat or dog unless they feel comfortable, and in this instance, it is still recommended you 100% monitor the situation.
But bearded dragons have actually been known to be very tolerant of other animals, just like they are with humans.
You will see some pretty cute pictures if you google “bearded dragon and cat” or “bearded dragon and dog”.
Only you will be able to discern whether or not your cat or dog can be trusted around your bearded dragon.
But even if you believe your cat or dog poses no threat, it is still really important that you supervise any and all interactions.
It only takes a second for a bearded dragon to lose their life.
Bottom Line: Bearded Dragons Make Great Pets for Beginners with Reptiles
If you’ve never had a reptile before, bearded dragons are notoriously a great pet to start with. Why?
Well besides their wonderful temperaments, they’re just really easy to care for and relatively inexpensive once you’ve bought and set up their habitat.
So, if you can’t tell by now bearded dragons make pretty great pets, especially where reptiles are concerned!
If you want a low maintenance pet that is pretty cost-effective and easy-going, then these little guys are a great choice for you!
Just make sure you can afford to get them a good habitat and that you have money for any occasional trip to the vet as they can become sick or injured occasionally.