If you’re thinking about getting a pet lizard, there are several points to consider when trying to choose the specific species that’s best for you. Some lizards grow very large and can be aggressive. Others can be expensive to feed and/or to house.
If you want an inexpensive pet lizard that’s easy to feed, easy to care for, and that doesn’t mind being handled, consider a bearded dragon. Don’t let the name fool you – bearded dragons are very friendly and gentle, and they’re fascinating to watch.
They’re also easy to feed. Being omnivores, they’ll readily consume a variety of plants and insects. Some of their favorite vegetable meals include chopped greens, carrots, beans, and peas. They love insects, too, especially mealworms and crickets. Your pet dragon will also need calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.
When properly fed and cared for, a bearded dragon can attain a length of almost two feet and survive for ten years. Bearded dragons are natural climbers, so be sure to include some small limbs or stacked stones in their enclosures, along with a UVB florescent bulb and a daylight bulb.
The reptile tank should be heated from underneath with a heat pad. Sometimes the beardies like some privacy, so be sure to include a hiding place, like a log or a rock crevice.
The bottom of the cage or aquarium should be covered with pebbles, aquarium gravel, sand, reptile carpet, or even paper towels. The cage flooring, food bowls, and water bowls should be cleaned daily.
The bearded dragon is a great choice for a first-time lizard owner. The ones available in the U.S. are bred in captivity.