Bearded Dragons as Family Pets: Our Experience with #ReptileCare

Posted on Aug 8 2015 - 10:00am by Susan Bewley

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. I am being compensated to help spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but Budget Earth only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

Considering adding a bearded dragon or other reptile to your family? See our own experience with reptile care & reptile ownership here! #ReptileCare

While it may seem hard for some people to believe – I love being a reptile owner. When we got our first bearded dragon years ago, I never imagined myself being a reptile person, never mind having reptile pets in the household. Now, ten years later, I cannot imagine life without our reptiles. I still remember the first dragon I purchased for my husband as a Christmas gift and the excitement we had over that little ‘bearded dragon’ (we didn’t know it was a water dragon and the mom and pop pet store back him didn’t know any better either!) While that poor little lizard didn’t have the best quality of life due to us attempting to care for the wrong type of reptile, it led to years of pet ownership and research, and us considering ourselves experts in reptile care. What shocked me the most in our journey of owning a bearded dragon and other reptile pets we have owned is how personable reptiles can be – both in and out of their cage.

As some of you know who have followed us over the years, many of our dragons have been therapy dragons for teenagers in my mother-in-laws classroom. Artemis, our first properly cared for bearded dragon, was so full of love. She loved watching TV with us, riding around on our shoulders, and just being out of her cage, hanging out. She would even snuggle up to your neck for warmth, and would happily stay there for hours. Many of our other dragons were the same and a few would even run around the living room! While you obviously couldn’t do this for more than an hour or two, a bearded dragon is perfectly fine for short trips out of their enclosure, especially if they have a cage at the proper temperature, nutritious food, and overall proper reptile care. You see, reptiles who have had this care are very bouncy, happy, and full of energy, making them perfect and lively pets for the entire family.

Considering adding a bearded dragon or other reptile to your family? See our own experience with reptile care & reptile ownership here! #ReptileCare

One of the biggest questions Daniel and I have had over the years is how our bearded dragons interact with other pets. Like most pets, it is all about introducing all animals early. Reya was taught to be gentle with the bearded dragons and most of the time, is happy just to watch them. When they are out, she guards them, making sure they don’t get in trouble and if they are visiting my mother in law, she will constantly check their cages, hoping members of her family have returned. All of our bearded dragons also have been exposed to cats and dogs since they were younger, meaning everyone can hang out together as long as humans are there watching them. That being said, we would NEVER leave any of them alone, just like you would never leave a young child and any pet alone in the room together.

Our bearded dragons especially loved when they could visit the outdoors – climbing on trees with humans’ help and just basking in the summer heat. Our turtles even have outdoor enrichment time, where they bask in a tub of water out in the sun. To us, love is a major part of reptile ownership, and we believe in having that interaction with your pets to let them know there lives are more than just the terrarium where they live.

Considering adding a bearded dragon or other reptile to your family? See our own experience with reptile care & reptile ownership here! #ReptileCare

That being said, we have had our share of sad times with bearded dragons, especially before we learned about proper reptile care. The other downside of reptile ownership is that when reptiles get sick – they go downhill very quickly. We have actually spent more on vet visits for our reptiles than Ivi and Reya COMBINED due to medical conditions and illness, especially respiratory infections (which are very common).  Today, it is much easier than when we started out, to learn about proper reptile care and reptile ownership petMD® Reptile Care Center and the Reptile Purchase Center at PetSmart®.

Is there anything you would personally like to know about reptile ownership or caring for reptiles? We are happy to share our experience and answer any questions you may have about proper reptile care, especailly if you are considering adding a bearded dragon to your own family. Personally, while they are a lot of work, we would recommend these delightful little lizards to any one!

Considering adding a bearded dragon or other reptile to your family? See our own experience with reptile care & reptile ownership here! #ReptileCare

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Disclosure: Budget Earth received monetary compensation for this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

50 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Rosie August 8, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    It isn’t very big, at first I thought it was huge, and so cute in your pocket! My sister had a chamelion for a pet and when it would get loose it would be hard to find b/c it changes colors. Good information about these little creatures!

  2. Sandy Weinstein August 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    never been a fan of these. dont like reptiles at all. my vet in greensboro had one b/c they work with rescues. i dont like snakes, reptiles, etc. when i was young though had a lizard that changed colors until my older brother smashed his head. i know some people love them and they are cute when they are babies but not when they are full grown. also dont think my dogs would like them.

  3. Sarah L August 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    That’s a lovely picture of your bearded dragon.

  4. vickie couturier August 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    well im happy yall are happy with them,,ill stick to my cat and dog,,im not into rats,snakes or lizards,,,nor will i visit anyone who has them so i would love to know in advance before coming to someones house if they have reptiles,,lol

  5. Margot C August 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    My niece would love this. She loves all animals and is fascinated by reptiles.

  6. Sandra Watts August 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    The first picture he is sort of cute but still not for me.

  7. CR Williams August 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I think this would be very hard for my to do. Kind of scary for me and my family.

  8. Danielle Williams August 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    lol love the pics and story but um no thank you 😀

  9. Wes August 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    How cool! We used to have 15 pets, then we had 5 kids. LOL! As they get older, we are thinking about new pets. Thanks for this review. I’m going to “accidentally” share this with the wife.

  10. Dorothy Boucher August 9, 2015 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I think these can be fun I guess to have as a pet , I know one of my daughters did have one as a pet growing up , but no way could I ever do .. I am not a lizard person loll

  11. laurie allen August 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Loved the article. Beardies are the cutest babies ever!! They are so sweet and seem to like attention. I had one for 15 years and had to have him pts when he got very ill. I had a beautiful custom tank built for him. I had many reptiles in the past, but the Bearded Dragon was by far the best cold blooded “pet” I have ever known.

  12. Kristin K August 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I think these little guys are soooo cute!!! The way they puff out when they get scared is wild!

  13. seem August 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    this post is really interesting..
    and very helpful..
    p.s i love these pictures, especially the first one.. it is really cute

  14. Gabrielle August 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    I think it’s wonderful that you are a responsible, loving reptile owner. Thanks for sharing your experience and also offering important links and information. (I had a turtle as a child and loved him dearly. What a wonderful pet he was.)

  15. M.Clark August 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    It’s not hard to believe at all that you love being a reptile owner. If you didn’t love reptiles you would not choose to have one as a pet. I’m sure it’s a lot of work to keep a reptile, but because you enjoy caring for them you don’t see it as work.

  16. V33JG August 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Those fellas are so cute! Thanks for sharing. This post makes me miss my snake, Scarlet I had when I was younger. hehe The picture of one in your pocket is so cute!

  17. Jen S. August 11, 2015 at 10:04 am - Reply

    I have a beardie and she is definitely one of our family members. Everyone that comes over asks to see her and I generally am able to convince them to hold her. She has turned so many people from fearing lizards to adoring them. They are truly sweet animals and they are super smart too.

  18. john hutchens August 11, 2015 at 11:48 am - Reply

    It is a very cute pet. I am not sure how the kids would adapt to a reptile. I think my wife would be upset if I were to get a reptile as a pet.

  19. Judy Bradley August 12, 2015 at 5:52 am - Reply

    One of my adult sons had a pair of bearded dragons. The female laid eggs, hatching babies too! The male became too violent with her during their mating and eventually she died because of it. It was fun to see the babies hatching. The guy at the pet store was thrilled to death when we told him about it.

  20. Meg A August 12, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I must say I’m not comfortable with such pets, though I’ve read about people posting about how to properly take care of them.

  21. rowena hubble August 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    I want a lizard so bad but im afraid the cats would eat it when my husband was alive he wouldnt let me have one or a cat

  22. lisa August 14, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

    I had a couple of lizards about twenty some years ago. I don’t know what possessed me to get them. They’re a lot of work to maintain.

  23. Allyson Ballard Bossie August 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    You are much braver than I. I am NOT a reptile person, and they are not welcome in my home. But I get that they make good pets for others 😀

  24. Kimberly K August 15, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply

    I can’t wait until my son is old enough to have one! Until then I will keep visiting the ones my BIL has.

  25. Jo-Ann Brightman August 15, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Your bearded dragon is a lovely looking reptile. I know very little about reptiles and I found this article to be both interesting and informative,

  26. lisa August 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I’m not an animal lover. Sure, I like dogs and cats but realize that I don’t have the patience to properly care for them.

  27. Julie Simpson August 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    My son has lupus and he can’t be around just any pets. He had zeros his African fat tail lizard for 10 years and they were best friends. Zeros died a couple years ago and it broke my heart to see him so hurt but soon after he started talking about a bearded dragon. They are cute so we have been looking.

  28. Julie Lundstrom August 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Oh I can’t let me son see this or he will want one, They look adorable!!

  29. lisa August 16, 2015 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Lizards are an odd choice of pet. When I was a child I used to like reptiles. I’d go with my brother and we caught snakes and kept them for a while. Today, never!

  30. Donna Quarles August 17, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    My neighbor has one of these & it is so cute.

  31. Robin Abrams August 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I think the bearded dragons are neat. A friend of mine has one. I would get one but I am afraid my cats would not like it and hurt it

  32. John Joseph August 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Interesting selection for pet! I learned something new and appreciated the good info in this article.

  33. Danielle August 18, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Not a fan of reptiles. I only like seeing them in books!!

  34. debbie yoder August 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Interesting, but ill stick with dogs

  35. Lauralee Hensley August 19, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I’m not a reptile fan. If you are I am sure they would be fun to have. Grew up with cats, but when I got married to a man that didn’t like them we got dogs. My step-son did have a couple of frogs for awhile, but they got loose somehow and we didn’t find them. However the man who came to clean our heater vents did find them and they were shriveled up like mummy frogs. Guess somehow they got down the grate over the heater vent in my step-son’s room. Needless to say his Dad never let him have anymore frogs.

  36. Tami Vollenweider August 21, 2015 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I guess to each their own. I’m just the traditional person,love my dogs!!

  37. alicia szemon August 21, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

    How cute! my friend used to own one and they are just adorable

  38. Haley Cook August 23, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I honestly am not a fan of reptiles. This was an interesting post but I’ll stick to cats and dogs !

  39. michelle elizondo August 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Vey coo lizard. I know my kids would want to experience what you have experienced.

  40. Mia August 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    This was so fascinating to read. I have never known of anyone having this type of pet. Seems like a good choice if one knows how to properly care for them.

  41. JIll H August 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    No Thanks, not a reptile person. enjoy them outside to observe and view. Not in my house.

  42. shelleyb August 30, 2015 at 8:32 am - Reply

    My son has wanted one for a pet for years. Thanks for sharing this post. But, I’m still not quite ready this week to change our lives. But, never say never.

  43. denise low August 30, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Thank you for the pictures. Very cute. I know my grandkids would love to have these.

  44. Holly Thomas August 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I am not a big fan of reptiles, but the bearded dragon is pretty cool.

  45. lisa September 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    You have to watch lizards. My iguana was a pretty good size, before he died. They can smack you with their tail if annoyed.

  46. lisa September 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    I think having a lizard as a pet is a novelty item. They really aren’t a cuddly pet.

  47. debbie campbell September 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Reptiles can make fun pets. My daughter has a leopard gecko and just got another one.

  48. Jerry Marquardt September 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I never thought of having a lizard, but it looks great! I used to have a couple of snakes, and I loved them. They just try to get out all the time.

  49. Allyson Bossie September 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    These things are a little tiny bit scary to me. As in I would run screaming if one was out in my house 😀

  50. Lorinda Nassef February 23, 2017 at 3:19 am - Reply

    All of my questions settled-thanks!

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