Congratulations first! The most affable pet lizard is yours to have:
And we dare say that your days are going to be dull and boring. The bearded dragon or the Pogona Vitticeps is an all-time favorite lizard that is tameable and hardy.
As an owner, we cannot even begin to tell you how you are going to enjoy seeing the antics of your bearded dragon, play with it and pet it.
What makes bearded dragons so interesting?
The bearded dragons are among the few lizards that use behavioral gestures of swinging its front limb in a waving motion, bobbing its head and puffing up its beard and gaping from which it also derives its name.
What are the best places to get your pet lizards from?
You can try pet stores across the countries, hop into reptile expos and even surf through breeder’s websites. But that is not all. Bearded dragons are a popular entry on various newspaper classified ads and always head on to craigslist for great offers. And if you are lucky, there is always a rescue animal from a friend or acquaintance that you can pick up for free or as little as nothing!
Why do we say that captive-bred lizards are better than wild-caught?
Pogonas bred in captivity are better suited for pets because
- They are bred well and are hardier/healthier
- They are acclimatized to living in enclosures
How much should you expect to shell out for a Pogona?
The total cost will depend on three parameters:
1. The age
The younger the dragon, the cheaper they will be. You can peg them to be around $30 to $75 on the highest size. The adult Pogonas will cost you anywhere in the range of $100 and $150.
2. The source
If you are buying from pet stores, you can expect to strike a good deal and hope for a better discount than approaching dealers online. Be wary of dealers who ask for money first.
3. The type
The standard bearded dragons are usually priced in the range of $100 and $200. But if they happen to be colorful morphs and the more exotic varieties, then you can be assured that the prices can go through the rooftops. We even saw an ad for Pogona for a whopping $1200! Imagine!!
Apart from the lizard, you will have to have your home ready to welcome it. You will need to invest in a decent size enclosure commiserating with the size of your pet, heat lamps, UVB lights, appropriate flooring, and furniture in the enclosure, food, and other nutritional supplements that you can roughly peg around $80 on the most minimum side.
The enclosure you get must commiserate with its size:
The Pogona will not adjust! They are docile alright, but the minimum that you can give it is an enclosure that has enough room for it to be comfortable. We sincerely think that a 20-gallon enclosure is not enough. Rather invest in an enclosure once that is big enough because a bearded dragon grows big in no time. A hatchling that is 4 to 5 inches long will become a full-grown adult in a matter of six months and reach a full length of 2 feet!
Open cages when it is hot!
Bearded dragons love to bask in the sun, and that is why you must keep them in open cages in the sun when it is hot. Make sure you also provide some shady places and a climbing area in those open cages. The UV radiation from the sun is essential for it to produce Vitamin D3 to synthesize calcium in its body.
Temperature control is a must:
Invest in room temperature to measure its enclosure. Bearded dragons are natives of Australian deserts, and they need a minimum of 100 F for basking. It can be 65F at night time. Apart from the exposure to the sun daily, these lizards need to be kept in a mercury vapor spotlight and a source of UVB lights. You can also install additional heat emitters in their enclosures if you feel the clime to be nippy.
Sand on the floor is avoidable really:
Use sand as flooring only if you have no other choice. There is reptile friendly sand available too if you can procure. Sand can be impactful for these lizards as they can swallow it and have health issues. If you give it food on the floor, avoid placing it directly on the sand. Use a newspaper, carpet, or towel instead.
What you can feed:
The bearded dragon is an omnivorous pet. They can eat most of the things on the food pyramid. The fact that they are not fussy about food will work for you. Consider these for quick bites:
- Insects like crickets
- Veggies like lettuce, carrots cut in small pieces
- Greens like collard and mustard chopped nicely
- Fruits like kiwi and banana again cut into smaller bite-size pieces
- Pinky mice
- Any other manufactured food that your pet store owner will certify safe for the Beardies
The best way to serve it food will be to dust them with vitamin, mineral, and calcium supplements and feed it with your hand for it to get used to you. They will begin associating your touch with food and feel less threatened.
And don’t forget the water:
It’s excellent to mist the beardie and its cage with a water spray bottle. It will lick the water droplets from its cage, rocks, branches, and its own body. Be careful not to overdo the misting, or the place can become too wet and resultantly very humid.
Keep a shallow dish filled with water good enough for the beardie to swim and splish-splosh. Cleaning out this dish and refilling with clean water once in a day will have your beardie thanking you in his heart!
This cutie beardie that you call your own can be your friend and companion for as long as a score of years if you keep it prudently well. Not go all out but be responsible for its wellbeing.
That’s all, folks! We are here in case anything!!