Having a great pet comes with so many perks, amongst which includes the fact that your home becomes more lively and entertaining. From dogs to cats to rabbits and interestingly, bearded dragons, you can enjoy a happy and never feel lonely again. There are so many amazing pets, but one tends to stand out from the rest due to its uniqueness, bearded dragons, also known as beardies. These interesting omnivorous reptiles have their name coined from their looks – they possess a dragon appearance equipped with shiny scales for an amour. Their average lifespan ranges from 4 to 10 years, and sizes come between 18 to 22 inches. In terms of weight, bearded dragons weigh from 10 to 18 ounces, making them very easy to carry and move around as compared to other pets like dogs and cats.
Do you know that there are 8 different species of bearded dragons? Yes, there are different bearded dragons, namely, Pogona Barbata, Pogona Henrylawsoni, Pogona Minor Minor, Pogona Microlepidota, Pogona Minor Minima, Pogona vitticeps, Pogona Nullarbor, Pogona Minor Mitchelli. In a short while, we will be discussing the characteristics each of these bearded dragons possesses. Bearded dragons, otherwise referred to as beardies, are peaceful, curious, and energetic during the daytime. Amongst all beardies, one most likely kept as a pet by humans is no other than the Pogona Vitticeps or the Central Bearded Dragon.
In as much as they can be reared as pets, these beardies exist mostly in the wild. Their habitat can be found in most parts of Australia. It will interest you to know that they love warm and dry areas such as savannas, deserts, scrublands, and subtropical woodlands. The export of wild beardies was banned by the Australian Government in the 1960s. Nonetheless, they are still raised as pets in the U.S. – an ongoing practice that has been in existence for decades. These pets are available in a wide range of colour morphs.
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded and depend on heat to increase their body temperatures, making them active. Whereby they are exposed to cold, they become numb and dormant. Although these beardies are drawn to external heat sources, they avoid extremely hot areas by burrowing underground. This act also prevents them from being harmed by predators. Additionally, you can find them on most tree branches and fences.
Understanding Their Diet
Just so you know, bearded dragons are not picky when it comes to meals; they feed on both insects and plants. With their strong jaws, it is easy for them to crush hard-shell insects, rodents, and small lizards. Being omnivorous in nature, they enjoy flowers, leaves, and fruits.
Bearded dragons are territorial – they can be aggressive when defending their boundaries from other males, seeking the attention of their female counterparts, or sourcing for food. Some male beardies are also known to attack females when there are no signs of submissiveness. One of the vital means through which beardies communicate is the beard, which is present in both the males and females. In a threatening situation, a beardie tends to appear bigger with the following features: an opened mouth, raised chin, and puffed beard, followed by a hiss.
Another form of communication is the alteration of beard colour and a head bob. A bearded dragon may signify dominance by bobbing its head quickly, whereas it may show signs of submission by displaying a slow bob and an arm wave. As the season changes, some beardies may undergo a period of hibernation, otherwise known as brumation. During this time, they avoid meals and drink water more often. In such seasons, fall or winter, there is a drop in temperature and brightness.
What Makes Bearded Dragons Great Pets
Beardies are affectionate reptiles when handled and properly cared for. Over time, it is easy for these pets and humans to establish a bond. It doesn’t take a lot to care for them as long as they have the right temperature, lighting, and other features. Here are some reasons you should have a bearded dragon.
It is Less Expensive To Breed
Unlike other pets like dogs and cats that require more money to take care of, beardies are less-expensive to keep. Also, in terms of veterinary care, they don’t rack up many bills like other animals. For example, you may need to pay around $200 to $400 to diagnose and treat a cat suffering from Urinary Tract Infection. For that same amount, your beardie may require full-blown surgery. Establishing a bearded dragon’s habitat can be considered to be an investment which can set you back somewhere between $200 and $600, depending on how far you are willing to go.
Factors you need to consider include installing a well-equipped lighting system, creating a conducive enclosure, and getting a thermometer to read their body temperatures. Cleaning their enclosures is quite easy as well.
They Are Great Pets For Children
Due to their docile and gentle nature, bearded dragons are safe pets for children. Furthermore, they can be cared for easily. Kids can be taught certain values by feeding, maintaining, and taking care of these beardies. One important factor to note is that bearded dragons can get accustomed to a routine. Hence, you have to ensure that you stick to your schedule with the little reptile. In a situation where you miss an activity, your bearded dragon may be affected emotionally.
They Have Long Lifespan
One amazing fact about beardies is that they have the tendency to live long for several years, provided that you keep them happy and healthy. Some of them may be lucky to live up to 15 years, although not commonly witnessed. On average, your bearded dragon may live somewhere between 8 to 12 years.
Beardies Are Affectionate
As controversial as this sounds, many bearded dragon owners have claimed to receive affection from their pets. One thing is certain, you get to bond very well with your beardie when you dedicate your time. They also show signs of affection by snuggling up to their owners for warmth and falling asleep most times. Once a routine has been established between you and your pet, it would always look forward to those moments shared.
If you do not have a pet or you do but would like to get a new one, bearded dragons are a great place to start. You do not need to spend much to take care of them and they can be easily maintained. Besides, they are beautiful creatures to behold. If you would like to know more about these awesome pets, please visit this link: Bearded Dragon Guru.