PETA's undercover investigations have revealed rampant abuse and neglect in businesses that transport and sell “pet bearded dragons” and other reptiles, including a 15-week PETA investigation into Reptiles by Mack, a reptile mill in Xenia, Ohio, who raised and sold bearded dragons and others animals to pet. Bearded dragons need a vivarium that goes from a warmer bright end (38 to 42°C) to a cooler shaded end (22 to 26°C). In addition to this, you will need to provide a 10 to 12% fluorescent UV tube at the hot end, to prevent your bearded man from contracting metabolic bone disease. It's also essential to keep humidity low; use a hygrometer to measure it in the cold end.
Let's look at 11 reasons why you might want to become the owner of a bearded dragon, and then another 8 reasons why you might not want to. Bearded people have a long life expectancy. A bearded dragon in captivity is known to live up to 12 years if properly maintained. Because most bearded dragons are bred in captivity (because Australia hasn't allowed exotic animals to be exported since the 1960s), there is a wide range of colors you can buy.
They can be red, yellow, white or even purple, plus there are many varieties called “morphs” that can be especially interesting. The average bearded dragon costs between 25 and 75 dollars, depending on size and age. This can be more expensive if you're looking for a rarer morph, but otherwise, it's a cheap pet to buy. Bearded dragons generally grow between 12 and 24 inches in length, so they need a spacious tank with all the necessary cage supplies.
Must include UVB lighting and a screened cover. The soil should be covered with a sandy substrate and include a variety of branches, rocks and plants to climb and hide underneath. The tank temperature should be maintained between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to make your dragon feel at home. In addition, there must be a separate area of the cage intended for sunbathing.
This sunbathing area should be maintained between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Many exotic animals will be frightened and stressed by humans, but bearded dragons do very well in captivity. Baby bearded dragons are only 3 to 5 inches long, but most breeders will wait to offer them for sale until they are approximately 6 weeks old. Some caretakers provide water in a standard water dish, but some bearded dragons are reluctant to drink standing water.
Wild bearded dragons are heliothermic lizards (“sun lovers”) that spend a significant part of their day enjoying natural, unfiltered sunlight. The good thing about bearded dragon droppings is that it can be a great indicator of your diet and health. Still, you shouldn't hold your bearded dragon too often, as this can cause your pet a little stress, which can reduce the ability of their immune system to function at maximum efficiency. Australia banned the export of bearded dragons more than 50 years ago, but they are sold in stores and online in the United States thanks to reptile factories that produce bearded dragons and other reptiles and amphibians by the thousands.
Like all other reptiles kept in captivity, bearded dragons have many positive and some negative traits. Once you've read about the challenges and rewards of owning a bearded dragon, you can decide to wait or move on. As noted above, bearded dragons also can't thrive by spending all their time on your couch.