With both pet ownership on the rise and the increasing appeal of owning reptiles, it’s only natural that more and more people are beginning to ask…
You see, bearded dragons as pets are appealing for multiple reasons.
For starters, when compared to cats and dogs, they require much less space, making them dream pets for those who rent.
Additionally, they don’t have to be walked or taken outside to use the bathroom either. This is GREAT for those who work long hours or simply hate the inconvenience of having to leave their home multiple times a day or late at night.
And while these qualities are all fine and dandy, the question remains…
“Are bearded dragons good pets?”
And 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.
However, before getting into specific questions people might have, let’s first address the elephant in the room, at least from a broad perspective…
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Are Bearded Dragons 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 (opens in new tab).
Hailing from the arid deserts of Australia, bearded dragons as pets 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!
One of the best lizards, bearded dragons provide first time reptile owners with a relatively hardy pet that is well adapted to people and full of personality after warming up to their human!
At a glance, here’s the TOP 5 reasons why bearded dragons as pets are so wonderful:
- They’re affordable
- They live a long time
- They’re easy to care for
- They’re friendly
- They’re great with kids (& even other pets!)
5 Bearded Dragon Pet Pros
Now, that you have a general idea of why bearded dragons make good pets, let’s dive a little deeper into each specific reason why.
Below, you’ll find 5 bearded dragon pet pros to consider before adopting your new pet!
Bearded Dragon Pet Pro #1: They’re Affordable
Perhaps one of the BIGGEST draws of bearded dragons is their overall affordability, especially when compared to larger pets such as dogs and cats.
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 for a much more serious condition.
On top of this, their diet also tends to be relatively cheap, costing anywhere from $15-$40 on average per month depending on the types of feeders offered.
However, getting started with a bearded dragon can be quite an investment upfront as setting up the ideal habitat can set you back anywhere from around $200 – $600, depending on how sophisticated and sizable you choose to make their enclosure.
And naturally, there are certain components to their enclosure you are NOT going to want to skimp on, as these will directly impact your pet’s health.
For instance, investing in a quality heat and lighting setup, will add years to your beardie’s life and ensure you don’t end up spending more money in the long run at the vet.
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 food and the occasional replacement bulb for their heat lamp or UVB.
Bearded Dragon Pet Pro #2: 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.
But, don’t let that stop you from providing excellent care as some bearded dragon owners have reported their lizards living to be as old as 18 and even 20 years of age!
Bearded Dragon Pet Pro #3: They’re Friendly
If you’ve never owned a reptile before, you may find yourself wondering…
“Are bearded dragons friendly?”
Which in all fairness, is a REALLY normal, common, and even responsible question to consider before adopting.
Think of it this way, how many times have you been exposed to cats and dogs (whether in person, online, or in film) that are cuddly, warm, affectionate, and friendly towards people? Probably a lot. But could the same be said for reptiles?
It isn’t all that rare for people to wonder about bearded dragon’s temperament or assume they can be antisocial or mean spirited, especially when you consider the fact that reptiles are notoriously referred to as “cold blooded”.
However, it is important to note that 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 bite you, they won’t.
🤓 Expert Tip: Naturally, there are some instances where your bearded dragon may bite you despite your best intentions. This is most common with babies and beardies who have been re-homed. However, rest assured that both will almost always calm down with a little patience and time.
And when it comes to bearded dragon temperament? Well, you’d be hard pressed to find a more docile reptile.
In fact, it isn’t uncommon to hear stories about bearded dragons who display signs of love towards their owners.
And although it remains difficult to prove if it’s possible for reptiles to be actually be affectionate…
Many bearded dragon owners will adamantly tell you their bearded dragon has indeed bonded with them and shown signs similar to affection.
Never is bearded dragon affection MORE evident than when they curl up and actually cuddle (yes, you read that right!) their owners.
And although the added warmth is most likely a benefit of the cuddling, it’s pretty hard to argue that a bearded dragon cuddling it’s owner ISN’T bonded to them in at least some capacity.
Bearded Dragon Pet Pro #4: They’re Easy to Take Care of
Naturally, as a prospective new pet owner you may find yourself wondering…
“Are bearded dragons easy to take care of?”
The answer to this question is for the most part a resounding “Yes”.
Although they will thrive on a schedule, bearded dragons are relatively independent creatures who are easy to care for in regard to feeding and husbandry.
However, as aforementioned they can be a small investment upfront when it comes to setting up their initial habitat. But these upfront costs amount to very little money over time.
But, once their care is set up and you’ve mastered their lighting and temperature setup, chances are… you’ll likely find caring for them easier than most other pets!
You will have to clean their tank regularly, and it is advised you remove waste upon first noticing it.
However, you can always choose an easy-to-clean substrate that makes removing waste a fast, painless process.
Additionally, if the idea of feeding mice or rats makes you squeamish, you’ll appreciate the fact that bearded dragons can thrive on mere crickets.
Even those who HATE the thought of bugs will appreciate the fact that adult bearded dragons enjoy a primarily vegetarian diet, rich in staple veggies you can purchase at any grocery store.
And when it comes time to feed them their protein? Rest assured, there are literally PLENTY of feeder options out there, from dehydrated crickets to live crickets various worms, and so on.
If jumping critters freak you out, there is a work around without jeopardizing your bearded dragon’s health.
In regard to making their salad, you may be surprised at how fun mixing up your beardie’s diet now and again can be!
Introducing new veggies and investigating what they enjoy most is a real joy for many owners.
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.
🤓 Expert Tip: Firmly opposed to the idea of having to keep insects in your home and feed them to your pet? If so, you may want to consider a vegetarian reptile such as the Uromastyx instead of a bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragon Pet Pro #5: They’re Great With Kids & Other Pets
On the hunt for a family friendly pet? The bearded dragon is a GREAT choice for so many reasons!
You see, not only are bearded dragons friendly… they’re wonderful with children and even other pets!
This is due to their docile and gentle nature that makes them easy to handle and interact with.
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.
Children will LOVE learning about their unique, desert habitat and their various lighting needs. It isn’t even uncommon for boys (and girls too of course!) to delight in watching them crunch down on some juicy feeders.
🤓 Expert Tip: However, it shouldn’t go without saying that younger children may be better off observing than handling as bearded dragons can be seriously hurt if dropped. Proceed with caution if your household has children under 5 years old.
And when it comes to pets? 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”.
Of course, it is never advised that you put your bearded dragon with your cat or dog unless they feel comfortable.
And even in this instance, it is STILL recommended you 100% monitor the situation.
But at the end of the day, only YOU will be able to discern whether or not your cat or dog can be trusted around your bearded dragon.
However, 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 even if your pet is just trying to play.
Wrapping Up Bearded Dragons As Pets
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.