why is a bearded dragon called a bearded dragon

Are Bearded Dragons Ideal First Reptile Pets? | Pros and Cons

Are you thinking about bringing home a reptile as your first pet?

Bearded dragons are often regarded as excellent beginner reptiles, but many will argue that bearded dragons may be a bit more difficult for new reptile keepers. Before diving into reptile ownership, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons to ensure they align with your expectations and lifestyle.

Pros of Owning a Bearded Dragon

1. Gentle Temperament

Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature, making them a very handleable and interactive pet. They are less likely to bite, run, and jump when compared to other commonly kept reptile species, making them suitable for novice reptile enthusiasts.

2. Manageable Size

With an average length of 18 to 24 inches, including their tail, bearded dragons are considered medium-sized reptiles. Their manageable size makes them suitable for individuals living in apartments or homes with limited space, as they don’t need incredibly large enclosures.

It is best to offer them a spacious and enriching habitat, like the Zen Habitats 4x2x2 enclosure. (insert affiliate link and photo)

3. Fascinating Behavior

From their distinctive head-bobbing displays, waving their arms, and their ability to change color and puff up their beards, bearded dragons exhibit a range of fascinating behaviors that can keep their owners entertained.

4. Low Maintenance

Compared to some other reptiles, bearded dragons have relatively simple care requirements. They thrive in properly set up enclosures with appropriate lighting, heating, and a balanced diet consisting of both live insects and leafy greens.

5. Long Lifespan

With proper care, bearded dragons can live for 10 to 15 years or more in captivity, providing owners with a long-term companion!

Cons of Owning a Bearded Dragon

1. Initial Setup Costs

Setting up the ideal habitat for a bearded dragon, including purchasing an appropriately sized enclosure, UVB lighting, heating equipment, and decor, can be initially expensive.
Thankfully, even baby bearded dragons can live in their adult setup, and you can opt to purchase an enclosure that can be expanded so you can upgrade their home later in life! (insert affiliate link to extension kits) A well-made enclosure should last your dragon a lifetime, so investing more on a quality product initially can save you hundreds or even thousands over the course of their life!

2. Regular Maintenance

Bearded dragons require daily care when young, including being fed live insects several times per day. Regular spot cleaning is necessary to keep the enclosure clean. Weekly tasks such as deep cleaning

3. Specialized Diet

Bearded dragons’ diet consists of live insects, such as crickets and dubia roaches, as well as a variety of leafy greens and vegetables. Providing a balanced diet, gut loading feeder insects, and dusting feeders with proper calcium and vitamin supplementation are vital for the health of your bearded dragon.

4. Lifelong Commitment

While the bearded dragon’s 10-15+ year lifespan is a pro to those looking for a longer-lived pet, some may not want such a long-term commitment. Owning a bearded dragon requires time, dedication, and financial resources for 10+ years. Potential owners should be prepared for the responsibility of caring for their bearded dragon throughout its lifespan.

If you are interested in owning a bearded dragon but are put off by their long lifespan, you can seek out reptile rescues and owners rehoming older beardies, as there are often plenty of mature adult bearded dragons looking for loving homes.

While bearded dragons can make excellent first pet reptiles for many individuals, it’s essential to consider both the pros and cons before adding one to your family. With proper research, preparation, and commitment to providing quality care, owning a bearded dragon can be a rewarding and enriching experience for reptile enthusiasts of all experience levels!

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