You may be thinking about getting a family pet and wondered if a bearded dragon would make a good one. You scrolled through the list and wanted something less conventional than a golden retriever—which led you to think of a bearded dragon.
Does a bearded dragon make a good family pet? A bearded dragon makes a good family pet because it has a docile and submissive temperament. Just like dogs, bearded dragons can live up to 15 years. You can care and handle them easily. Bearded dragons can even express affection.
Keep on reading because we will explore why bearded dragons make a good family pet.
Bearded Dragons and What They Can Teach Your Children
Bearded dragons look like remnants from the era of the dinosaurs. Now, think about how kids love dinosaurs. Because of their dinosaur-like appearance, bearded dragons make an excellent learning opportunity for your child while piquing their curiosity. According to ScienceDirect, learning about dinosaurs help children to develop in-depth information-processing skills, better attention spans and increased persistence and knowledge.
Taking care of bearded dragons teaches kids how to be responsible. For example, a young bearded dragon needs to be fed twice a day. Discuss with your child that bearded dragons require not just food but water and exercise as well. Teaching these simple tasks to your kid at home comes as a character-building exercise in responsibility because a living creature depends on him. A study by the Michigan State University Extension discovered that children ages five and above develop more responsibility for taking care of their pets.
Scheduled feeding and cleaning of the bearded dragon’s vivarium teach kids time management skills. Let’s say the pet bearded dragon needs to be fed at seven in the morning before going to school. Scheduled tasks train children to do things on time.
Keeping pets such as bearded dragons teach kids to respect life. As an example, you and your children went out to the beach. You notice your kid picking up some plastic bottles on the sand. Although you may have been aware of the reasons, you still ask your kids why. Their reason says they don’t want to harm the birds so they pick up the garbage—just like how you clean the bearded dragon’s tank.
Bearded Dragons Have Calm and Great Temperament
Bearded dragons rarely bite. They only bite when provoked such as grabbing them by the tail, or when they’re extremely hungry. Most times, they have a calm and friendly temperament. Not all lizards enjoy human interaction, but bearded dragons generally do. They become very passive and more peaceful as they mature. Because of these traits, they make one of the top picks as the best pet lizard to have.
Socialization makes bearded dragons calm. Exposing bearded dragons to a human at an early age develops familiarity that leads to a calmer personality. Reputable breeders make sure that the bearded dragon’s upbringing involves a lot of socialization to ensure they get used to human presence. This laid-back trait makes them great for kids and adults in your family.
Bearded Dragons Can Live Long Just Like Your Dogs Or Cats
Just like your dogs or cats, the bearded dragon can live a long life. They can have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Others can even live for over 15 years such as Sebastian. Sebastian holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest bearded dragon who lived for 18 years. The owner of Sebastian, Lee-Anne, bought him in the Christmas Eve of 1997. Sebastian died in June 2016.
The life length of bearded dragons varies and is influenced by different factors such as the environment, diet, gender, and space. They live long in captivity compared to in the wild.
Other pet reptile life lengths on average:
- Anole – Six years
- Leopard Gecko – 10 to 20 years
- Tortoise – 50 to 100 years
- Snake – 15 to 35 years
- Water Dragon – 20 years
- Turtle – over 30 years
How do you help your bearded dragon to live longer?
- Provide them the best environment with proper lighting, temperature, enclosure, substrate and climbing structures.
- Give them the best healthy diet that includes a mixture of insects such as Dubia Roaches, Goliath Worms, meal-worms, crickets and vegetables such as broccoli, mustard greens, parsley and kale. They’re omnivores!
- Make sure to offer them love and affection by setting a time to bond with them every day and giving them your full attention during that time.
Taking Care of Bearded Dragons Is Easy
Bearded dragons love daytime as diurnal creatures. It means they won’t trouble you and your family in the middle of your good night’s sleep. During the day, they like to bask in the sun, catch insects or eat some flowers and vegetables.
As omnivores, you won’t have a hard time feeding them. They eat varieties of insects and vegetables so finding them something to eat makes an easy task. If you see them hungry, just chop some broccoli in the kitchen. No problem! Just make sure they get insects in the next feeding time.
Bearded dragons only require feeding at least once per day. If you have younger bearded dragons ages 12 months and under, they may require more food. Thus, you can feed baby bearded dragons up to three times a day.
If you placed a tank or vivarium for them, it only needs full cleaning once a month. You can do a basic and very light cleaning daily to make sure the dirt won’t accumulate. This includes picking up leftovers and scooping the droppings just like you do with a litterbox.
Bearded Dragons Can Show Affection Towards You
Bearded dragons can recognize their owner’s voice and respond to it. For example, it starts running to you when you call its name. This does not merely show intelligence but their capacity to express affection as well. Imagine calling your bearded dragon’s name because he knows it’s cuddle time. Yes, it knows how to cuddle with its owner by climbing to his shoulder and curling itself.
Bearded dragons know how to bond with their owner. As a great example, they take the initiative to come to your lap, lounge and relax for a couple of hours. This gesture applies to mature bearded dragons that age 18 months and over. As they get older, they get more familiar with you. They get calmer and friendlier around you as they age.
Great affection results from the great time that you invest to bond with them. For instance, he comes to meet your hand before you fully extend it to him. They take the proactive role to be petted before you do anything. This shows us the essence of pets with a longer lifespan, the bond you form gets better with age.
Getting their affections requires effort and time. In what ways can you develop their affection towards you?
- Pet your bearded dragon everyday. Run your hand from his head down to his tail. Gently rub his spikes and scratch his beard.
- Treat them with food. They associate their owner’s voice with food—the reason why is that this makes a great way to help them recognize your voice.
- Set a specific time to feed them. This gives them a signal followed by excitement for food.
- Allow them to explore your hands, arms and shoulders. This develops familiarity and closeness between you and your bearded dragon.
A bearded dragon’s way of affection varies depending on his personality. For example, one bearded dragon likes to relax on your lap while others just likes to be rubbed on the head.
Examples below feature the different ways bearded dragon express their affection:
- Relaxing on their owner’s lap for a couple of hours
- Scratching the glass of vivarium upon hearing the arrival of their owner
- Initiative in meeting their owner’s touch
- Confidence to freely climb in their owner’s hands, arms and shoulders
- Stays in the shoulder and curls up
- Walking on a leash with the owner
- Closing their eyes in pleasure when the owner strokes their head
Affection plays a crucial role for bearded dragons. An affectionate bearded dragon means less likelihood of biting a child.
Bearded Dragons Know How to Entertain
Try giving your bearded dragon a bouncy ball or any small ball available. Some bearded dragons will poke it using their snouts, some will push it around the tank. Some may ignore it, but how can we know if we don’t give it a try? It’s worth it. Guaranteed it can give you and your kids entertainment for a few minutes or even an hour—if lucky.
What does a swimming bearded dragon sound like? You can take your bearded dragon for a swim. They love water. Getting your bearded dragon a kiddie pool won’t go in vain. Make sure the water levels are near his knees so he won’t drown. The water should not go below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can put in toys like small rubber balls that your pet bearded dragon can play with.
Even in their simple actions such as running around their tank upon seeing you never gets old watching. They usually do this in anticipation of their mealtime. You can also put them on a leash for a walk around your backyard. This makes a great bonding time together with your family, who in the family—especially kids, don’t want to witness a fun-loving lizard roaming around the house?
To sum it up, bearded dragons make a good family pet. They can teach a lot of things to your kids at home such as being responsible, respecting life and managing their time.
They have a very good temperament and calm personality that developed through a lot of socialization with humans – characteristics that greatly fit with kids or any member of the family.
They also live a long life. It means you and your family get to enjoy and bond more with these incredible creatures for a long time.
Taking care of a bearded dragon doesn’t require much effort. Feeding and cleaning their habitat is straightforward. That’s how easy you can take care of them.
These lizards can express their love to their owner in cute ways. From recognizing and responding to their owner’s voice to curling up to their owner’s shoulder to show that they have feelings too.
Lastly, just like your dogs and cats, bearded dragons make a great source of entertainment. From their simple gesture of running around your house and playing with a ball or even going for a swim, bearded dragons never fail to give a fun show.
If you’re thinking of a great family pet, a bearded dragon may be the perfect choice for you.