If you fancy owning an exotic pet and you’re comfortable with reptiles, you could do no better than start with a bearded dragon.
The most common bearded dragon species is the Pogona Vitticeps, which are only found naturally in the desert regions of Australia, were introduced into the United States in the 1990’s and are now becoming increasingly popular. They make great pets, are sociable and easy to manage. Of course, as with any pet consideration must be given to their complete well-being, including their diet which consists of a range of insects, fruit and vegetables, and whether you would be able to commit to their care for their lifespan of 10 to 15 years or more! Luckily there are several internet sites out there for you to visit for information on their care before you buy.
In considering a bearded dragon’s care you should first give thought to the room you will need to house a tank, or vivarium. In considering whether to re-home an adult or start straight off with a baby or a juvenile under one year, the size of the tank is crucially important. Ideally adults should be housed in a tank with a minimum length of 4ft (1.3 metres), as they can grow to 24 inches (45 cm), and it is crucial to provide enough space in their tank in order to ensure a hot end for basking of 100-110 F(38-43 Celsius) and a shady cooling off end, for when they become too hot, of 22 – 27 degrees Celsius. All reptiles are cold blooded which means they are unable to generate their own body heat and bearded dragons are no exception. They all need to absorb heat from their surroundings. Of course, babies or juveniles don’t need as large a tank as an adult, but it makes good economic sense to buy the larger tank and all the equipment to start, rather than buy two! There is a wide variety of furnishings to make your bearded dragon feel at home which includes rocks and branches and should be helped to feel secure by adding a hiding place or two. In addition there are the essentials of heating and lighting, thermometers and hydrometers.
Unfortunately, even with all your devoted care, bearded dragons may occasionally get sick or accidently injured so it is important to keep a note close at hand of a vet who specializes in bearded dragon care and as any treatment could get expensive, pet insurance which is very reasonable, should be considered.