Actually, I have had a Bearded Dragon as a pet in the past. Technically, he is my "nephew" if you will. I used to live with my brother several years ago who has one, so I took care of him a lot. His name is Mr. Krunk and he's still around but no longer lives with me. He's probably about 7 or 8 years old now.
And I've worked with dozens of Beardies as well in the veterinary hospital, so I'm pretty familiar with them. What is a Bearded Dragon, anyways?
Bearded Dragons are lizards originally from Australia. They get their name because they have some spiky scales on their throat that give them a bearded appearance. They are very mellow and friendly lizards, which is why they make nice pets. They are probably the nicest species of lizard that I've ever met. Many Bearded Dragons enjoy sitting on their person's shoulder and don't mind being handled.
|My daughter and Mr. Krunk, the Beardie.|
But, just because Beardies have an excellent temperament doesn't mean they are "easy" pets. Every reptile is unique and requires very special care. They need special lighting, substrate, food, heating, and more. As with any pet, extensive research should be completed before deciding to welcome a Beardie into your family.
Many of the sick Bearded Dragons we saw at the veterinary hospital were there because they became ill from poor care by their people. It's not that the people were trying to hurt them. They just didn't realize how important proper care and husbandry was for their lizard and weren't well informed. Many of the sick Beardies had calcium and/or mineral deficiencies which made them have weak bones and muscle tremors.
If I were to have a reptile as a pet, my first choice would be a Bearded Dragon. I always enjoy visiting my lizard nephew! Again, they are not "easy" pets by any means but they make awesome pets for first-time reptile owners. Plus, I think they are pretty cute little critters!
How about you? What's your take on reptile pets?