Bearded dragons make excellent pets and are suitable for both adults and children alike. Despite their appearance which takes a little getting used to, these are actually docile, attention loving creatures. They will happily sit on your palm while you stroke them.
Raising bearded dragons is not difficult, but requires you to be diligent. They are relatively fuss-free creatures and once you have settled the most important jobs of setting up their vivarium and learning when and how to feed them, the rest is pretty easy. You still have to ensure they are healthy (disease free and parasite free).
If you are a first time owner, it’s best to buy an adult dragon because he requires less diligence to dietary needs . Baby bearded dragons need more care and concern so they grow up healthy and strong.
A baby bearded dragon may take up to 12 months to reach adult size which can range from 18 to 24 inches. The size the beardie grows to depends on the size of the vivarium. The bigger it is, the bigger your beardie will be. However, most male bearded dragons do not get bigger than 24 inches.
The most important thing to do will be to create a nice lair for your dragon. You can choose to buy a vivarium from a shop or build one yourself. Of course, it’s a lot more convenient to just buy a “setup” since it will have all the necessary fixtures from UV lighting to substrate to a temperature gradient within the tank.
Baby beardies require strong UV light for 8 to 12 hours a day. This is essential to their well-being since these are creatures that were originally from the arid and extremely hot regions of Australia. You must have a UV light. If you’re building your own housing for the beardie, you’ll need to purchase one. Refer to Creating a Dragon’s Lair – Make Your Dragon Feel At Home.
You need to feed your baby beardie live food and you need to feed him often. Initially, try not to over handle your beardie. It’s best to just leave him be without touching him for the first week or two. Let him grow accustomed to you and his new environment. Slowly try feeding him by hand and be patient. Some acclimate quicker than others, just as we do. Observe your new friend and determine by his actions when is a good time to start slowly and quietly interacting.
It would be a great idea to set everything up all nice and cozy before buying and bringing your beardie home. Moving can be stressful and it may take a week or two before your beardie starts eating normally. This is no cause for panic. Take your time and allow enough time for your beardie to recover.
Do keep in mind that a pet is a responsibility that lasts for years. Do not buy a bearded dragon as a gift for someone and especially do not buy on impulse. These lovable little creatures deserve a nice home and an owner that is going to consistently look after him. If you think you fit the bill, you will have many years of fun with your beardie.
There are many interesting and important facts about beardies that a responsible owner should know. The best way to learn everything a responsible owner should is to purchase a guide on bearded dragons and actually read it. There are several excellent bearded dragon guides available online. This is a small investment that will benefit you and your precious pet immensely. Two of the best detailed guides I have used are:
|eBook – PDF||The Bearded Dragon Guide|
|The Bearded Dragon Manual provides the essential information all devoted bearded dragon owners need to meet the demands of these beautiful, naturally tame reptiles. Since reptiles are cold-blooded creatures, most humans don’t instinctively understand their requirements the way they understand the needs of a cat or dog. Herp expert Philippe de Vosjoli and his team of veterinarians and authors seek to make keepers confident in their ability to properly care for their bearded dragons through this most informative book. Easy to understand with many colorful pictures to illustrate what they are talking about.|
As a quick reference (24 pages) and another point of view, the Bearded Dragons : A Guide From A Veterinarian On Caring For Your Bearded Dragon How To Make Your Dragon Live For 12 Years Or More makes a decent pocket reference in which information can be found quickly. If you are looking for detailed information about Bearded Dragons, then consider one of the above choices.