Bearded dragons are generally tame and obedient creatures that are easy to love and adore. If you want a bearded dragon as a pet, you should think it over carefully and consider the amount of care and expense that you can provide.
A lot of bearded dragons are available from pet stores and online from breeders all over, but it is best to know at least the basics knowledge to help you choose the best dragon for you and to help you plan ahead on how to care for your pet.
There are a few elaborate things you need to consider in selecting a bearded dragon for a pet. First off, check out the place or the person where or to whom you will be purchasing your dragon from. Pay attention to where the dragon is kept.
Check for cleanliness and breathing space. If the conditions are poor, then most likely you’ll be getting a dragon with poor health.
Some pet shops don’t really know how to care for these animals and will do and say just anything to make the sale. Their storages are often too crowded and have inadequate nourishment. It is also best to get to know the breeder/s if you plan on purchasing your dragon online or from a bearded dragon lover to get information on the characteristics and personality of the dragon.
Note: Importing wild bearded dragons from their native habitat is illegal. Do not purchase a dragon labeled as wild-caught.
Also, many states deny the possession of non-domesticated exotic animals. So, check your local state laws to determine their status before buying.
You’ll know that a bearded dragon is good and healthy when:
The size is just right.
A six-week baby bearded dragon should be at least 6 inches long. Avoid buying dragons that are shorter than six inches. If a dragon is shorter than 6 inches, this means that it’s not yet ready and they may not be able to handle a new environment once you purchase them.
Moving them to a different cage may stress them out, and they may become ill. To be sure, always look for a dragon at least 8 to 10 inches long. It is better to get a juvenile bearded dragon rather than a hatchling.
The eyes are clear and open.
The dragon’s eyes should be wide, alert, and are attentive to their surroundings. There shouldn’t be any form of excretions or dark circles around the eyes. Most dragons are kept in a clear glass cage and should be looking at you with interest when you see them through the glass. This is a sign that a dragon is in a happy disposition.
The mouth, toes, nose, and nails are in good condition.
There should be no missing parts and make sure that they are walking normally. Sometimes, baby dragons tend to bite each other while fighting over food or simply when their cages are overcrowded. Watch for any sores on the mouth and nose of the dragon. Sores on the mouth or nose usually mean that the bearded dragon is sick and not healthy.
The bearded dragon has ample fat stores at the base of its tail.
According to experts, one can determine the overall health of a bearded dragon only by examining the base of its tail for fat stores. A healthy bearded dragon’s tail would usually be curled up towards its head. Make sure that there are no protruding bones or no tail nips near or at the end of the tail.
The skin looks healthy.
There should be no burns, sores, or cuts on their skins. If a bearded dragon is well hydrated, its skin will look and feel healthy. There should be no patches where the scales have been shed. When you touch and pull up the skin, it should go back into place. Also, check for any depressions in the back of the head since this will tell if the dragon is properly nourished or not.
The dragon is active and basking.
If the dragon is weary and sluggish, chances are it is sick or is unhappy and might be ill. If they look sick to you, then they might be really sick. You wouldn’t want to care for a sick and sad pet, would you?
The parents of the dragon are both happy; healthy and have good characteristics. If they are, chances are the baby will also gain good characteristics. If the pet store owner or the breeder has managed to make the parents healthy and happy, then they will also probably be able to manage to make the babies healthy and happy.
Selecting the right bearded dragon for you may sound easy as the steps listed above, but please bear in mind that these pets have special and specific needs that you have to address in order to keep them healthy and happy beings.
You have to plan their basic needs such as a proper terrarium, food and keep watch on their hygiene, health, and activities that will keep them busy and happy.
It is suggested that you take your time and not rush. Don’t just purchase any dragon that you see. It may take you some time to find the right dragon for you, but if you follow these simple rules and be patient, then you’ll be sure to end up with a bearded dragon just right for you!