Are Bearded Dragons Easy to Take Care of?

Bearded dragon in tank
Bearded dragons are easier to take care of than many other reptiles. Most beardies have a calm disposition and don't mind being handled by their owners. Since they are active during the day and sleep at night, their owners have plenty of daytime hours to interact with them and take care of their needs. However, bearded dragons require specialized equipment, reptile supplements, and a diet of live insects to thrive. Most people underestimate the cost of owning a bearded dragon. You will need a reptile tank that is at least 40 gallons, a high-quality UVB bulb (tube-style only), a basking light, and an accurate reptile thermometer. You must maintain a proper temperature gradient in your beardie's basking area, or your beardie may become lethargic and stop eating.

You must also buy a basking rock, some terrarium accessories, and a safe substrate, such as slate tile, a nonadhesive shelf liner, a reptile carpet, or even paper towels. If your house gets cooler than 65 F, you will need another specialized bulb called a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). Finally, make sure you're not squeamish about live insects because your beardie needs to eat between 40-60 live roaches, worms, or crickets daily!
 
Pet store employees frequently tell you that bearded dragons are great for beginners. They will sell you a terrarium kit with "everything you need." Unfortunately, these kits' poor-quality compact UVB bulbs, loose substrates, and inaccurate reptile thermometers have harmed many bearded dragons.

Some new bearded dragon owners think they can simplify their lives by giving their beardie dry food, like their dog or cat. Unfortunately, this leads to many health problems and future costly vet visits for the new beardie. Like people, bearded dragons are omnivores, so they need fresh veggies/greens and occasional fruit to stay healthy. Another thing potential beardie owners overlook is the need to dust the insects and/or veggies with specialized reptile supplements regularly to avoid a severe medical condition called metabolic bone disease (MBD).

Beardies can make excellent pets! However, before buying or adopting one, please research their care requirements carefully and understand that bearded dragons require a significant commitment. Beardies also have a life span of 7 to 12 years, so be sure you can provide proper bearded dragon care for many years to come.
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