Bearded dragons are part of the agama lizard family. They are a great lizard to keep as a pet since they are friendly and easy to care for. If you are new to having a bearded dragon as a pet, the following tips will be very useful.
Housing and Lighting
Like all reptiles, bearded dragons need to have the proper housing and lighting to stay healthy and happy. Get a long aquarium for your bearded dragon that is large enough for them to grow inside. If you get your bearded dragon as a baby, don't get the smallest aquarium it will fit inside. They can grow fast and will soon get very uncomfortable. The top of the cage should have a screen lid and the cage should never be covered in wood or glass. They need proper air flow inside the cage.
Lighting needs to be used to keep their cage at the right temperature. You can use a regular lightbulb or a bright white light sold in pet stores. Most pet stores will come with a porcelain dome light fixture to attach to the top of the cage. The heat will keep the cage warm and can also help your bearded dragon digest their food properly. You should never use heat rocks as they will burn the animal.
While bearded dragons are very gentle pets and like being handled, don't do so too much. They like socialization, but there are also times when they prefer to be left alone. Don't lift them from the cage to pet them if they are hiding. They usually hide when they want to be on their own. Respect their privacy and only interact with them when they are out in the open, unless it is urgent. They like to explore, so don't be afraid to let them out to run around a closed-off room in your home for a while.
Also keep in mind that bearded dragons need quiet to sleep properly. Try to keep the television and radio at a low volume when they are sleeping.
Your bearded dragon will need to bathed occasionally to hydrate them. You can use your bathtub or a sink. You are not going to use soap, as you aren't trying to wash them. This just hydrates their skin. Some bearded dragons don't like the water, so you want to keep this a short routine. Make sure they are not submerged in water. Just fill up the sink a couple inches, set them inside to hydrate, then remove them. Make sure you use only warm water.
Lastly, you should know what to feed your bearded dragon. Whenever you give them food, cut it into small pieces. Feed them mostly insects, though they can also eat vegetables and greens. Crickets are the perfect insect for your bearded dragon as they are inexpensive and easy to find at any pet store. They also enjoy small worms as an occasional treat. When feeding vegetables, they enjoy endive, grape leaves, collards, turnip greens, watercress, and mustard greens.
For more information about caring for pets, contact a company like Munster Animal Hospital.