Bearded Dragon Lizard
Beaded Dragons as Pets
The bearded dragon makes a fine pet for adults or children. When buying a pet shop dragon be sure to get one that is at least 5 inches long, because they tend to be a little delicate at the smaller size.
Whether at home on a termite mound in the outback or reclining in your home terrarium, the bearded dragon will eat most anything-plant or animal. Their diet in captivity must be varied and balanced with a good vitamin/mineral supplement if they don't have a chance to bask in an outdoor enclosure with native plants, which is the optimum situation for them. At our center, we offer our beardeds five different food items each week: small mice, live crickets, superworms (Zoophobas), mixed greens and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Two days of fasting are given following a meal of mice. They are also happy to take commercially sold bearded dragon pelleted diets, blossoms, wax worms and fruit pieces, which can be offered in a shallow feeding dish or paper plate at one end of their cage.
Housing bearded dragons over 5 inches long is simple and easy for any beginner. At our center, we allow 3 square feet of floor space for each dragon. Indoors, the use of livestock troughs, plastic tubs, glass aquariums work well to house newly acquired dragons. Avoid screen caging, because the lizards get their sharp claws caught easily, which can cause some very serious injuries.
Heat is the key to keeping bearded dragons thriving. A basking spot light is necessary and needs to be directed on a slanted 2-inch diameter tree limb or cage end where the lizard can raise its body temperature to the 95- to 110-degree Fahrenheit range. When a bearded dragon reaches his thermal maximum he will sit with his mouth open. This gapin...