What Should I Know before I Buy a Bearded Dragon?

Meshell Powell

Before you decide to go out and buy a bearded dragon, there are a few things you should know about this popular lizard. This type of pet requires proper housing, which includes enough room for the lizard to move around comfortably, adequate heat and lighting, as well as the proper type of bedding. How to properly feed your pet is another consideration before you buy a bearded dragon, as it is important to meet all of the nutritional needs of the captive lizard. Baby dragons require more specialized care than adults, so this should be taken into consideration as well. It is also a good idea to find a veterinarian who is willing to treat lizards before you buy a bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons enjoy eating collard greens.
Bearded dragons enjoy eating collard greens.

All habitat supplies should be purchased and set up before you buy a bearded dragon. A large aquarium with a screen lid is the most popular type of enclosure, and bigger is generally considered better for this type of pet. A special type of light is needed that supports the use of both fluorescent and incandescent lighting. As lizards are cold-blooded, a heat mat that covers a portion of the bottom of the enclosure is also necessary. Heat rocks should never be used, as they could cause severe damage to the bearded dragon.

Crickets are a staple of the bearded dragon's diet.
Crickets are a staple of the bearded dragon's diet.

Additional habitat requirements that should be considered before you buy a bearded dragon include bedding, hiding spots, and decorations. Paper towels or specially made reptile carpeting are typically recommended bedding, or substrate, materials. Bearded dragons love to climb, so sturdy rocks, branches, or logs should be provided as well as a place to hide when the lizard needs to cool off or just wants to disappear for a while.

Prior to deciding to buy a bearded dragon, careful attention should be given to the nutritional needs of this pet. Chopped vegetables, such as collard greens, carrots, and beans should be provided, although certain foods, such as broccoli and spinach, should be avoided. Bearded dragons should also be fed insects, such as crickets and meal worms. Adult dragons may also eat baby mice or smaller lizards. Specially formulated dietary supplements are also available in many pet stores.

Infections, injuries, and feeding problems are relatively common for these lizards. For this reason, it is wise to choose a veterinarian before you buy a bearded dragon. Not all veterinarians are willing to treat lizards, so this process may take a little research. In order to provide the safest home possible for your new pet, it is a good idea to make all necessary preparations prior to bringing the dragon home.

Bearded dragons need proper housing, as well as lots of heat and light.
Bearded dragons need proper housing, as well as lots of heat and light.

Discussion Comments


Never feed your beardie mealworms, They are an addictive food for all dragons. Superworms, wax worms, redworms, and phoenix worms are a better recommendation. I have had a couple of dragons have to be put on force feeding due to mealworms and their addictive nature. They have a hard exoskeleton that is hard for dragons to digest.

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