Many people who are interested in owning a bearded dragon may hear many reasons why not to own one as a pet.
There are a bunch of common myths of owning a bearded dragon; some true, some not so true.
Here are seven common myths you may hear about pertaining to owning a bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragons are Smelly
Most pets will begin emitting a foul odor if you do not properly take care of its hygiene and use sanitary practices while raising the animal.
If you neglect to clean out the bearded dragon’s habitat, then yes, it will begin to smell.
All in all, if you keep the enclosure clean, remove fecal matter and left over food pieces, and use common sense when it comes to good husbandry practices, the bearded dragon, and its habitat, will not smell.
As a matter of fact, you will never even notice a smell at all.
Bearded Dragons Carry Diseases
It’s true that some diseases, such as salmonella, can be contracted from bearded dragons and other reptiles. But do not fret, the chances of you becoming ill from a bearded dragon are very slim.
The salmonella bacteria is generally spread through the fecal matter of the bearded dragon.
Imagine this – You are cleaning out your bearded dragon’s home, removing fecal matter. During this time you use your hand and wipe across your nose or mouth.
If the poo contains the salmonella bacteria, it gets on your hand while removing the poo, then gets inside your nose or mouth, you could inadvertently become ill. It’s not particularly a guarantee that you will get sick, but you could get sick. There is a small chance.
The majority of people who have become ill due to salmonella contracted from a reptile most likely got it because they did not use good hygiene and sanitary practices.
ALWAYS thoroughly wash your hands with a good anti-bacterial soap after cleaning the habitat, and any time after handling the bearded dragon. Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, eyes or nostrils, while holding your pet or after touching anything within its home.
As long as you follow good personal hygiene and keep your pet’s home clean you will not have anything to worry about.
Bearded Dragons are Expensive to Keep
As with any pet, there are some costs associated with owning a bearded dragon, but they are much cheaper than a dog or cat.
As a matter of fact, a reptile pet is probably one of the cheapest pets to maintain over the long term.
The largest bulk of the expenses will come initially when purchasing a suitable enclosure, lighting, substrate, and other necessities. Once you have those things covered, there are just routine expenses like food and supplements, but these items are just a few dollars a week at most.
The only other large expense will be routine veterinarian visits and check-ups. Feeding your pet the right foods in the right amounts, and taking good care of it will help tremendously towards these expenses.
There are many things you can do to help reduce costs, such as build your own enclosure, or grow your own leafy greens and vegetables to feed your bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragons are Mean and Aggressive
This myth is far from the truth. Bearded dragons are one of the most docile, well-behaved lizards you will ever find. Their friendly behavior is one of the many traits that have made them a very popular pet in recent years.
All you need to do is spend just a few minutes of time with your bearded dragon each day, and it will be almost like having a dog.
Bearded Dragons Become Too Large
This can really depend on your perception of what too large is, but compared to most pets, bearded dragon are an ideal size.
Most adults range in size from 18 to about 24 inches in length, including the tail. Bearded dragons are not large at all when you compare them to an iguana, which can grow to over six feet in length.
The moderate size of a bearded dragon means it is easier to handle and hold, they take up far less room for housing, and are much easier to care for.
Bearded Dragons are Very Picky Eaters
This myth is actually very far from the truth. The majority of bearded dragons like a large variety of different foods. You may come across an older bearded dragon that may be a little picky, but this is very rare.
It’s important to remember that training your bearded dragon to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and quality feeder insects is important from the moment you bring it home.
If you start out offering different foods it will get accustom to that and actually desire different foods. You always want to offer as wide a variety of foods as possible. Avoid getting in the habit of just offering one or two types of food.
If you acquire an adult bearded dragon, it could be a bit picky at first depending on how the previous owner feed it. With a little patience it will not take long for your new pet to break his picky habits.
Bearded Dragons Should Always Stay In Their Enclosure
This is another false myth. Bearded dragons have one of the most compatible demeanors of any pet lizard available on the market today. Most love attention, and actually like to be held and petted.
Once you bring your new bearded dragon home it is highly encouraged that you begin taking it out of its home and hold it at least once per day once it has acclimated to its new surroundings.
While taking certain precautions, bearded dragons can be taken out of their enclosure and allowed to roam around a room, under watchful supervision.
It’s even a good idea to take your bearded dragon outside on very warm days. This gives the beardie a chance to soak up some natural rays, and enjoy the fresh air.
Just make sure you keep a close eye on your pet while outdoors, and never leave it unattended.