I have been reading a lot of information about bearded dragons lately. What I am seeing is that it is important to get your hands on and read a book or e-book about the care of bearded dragons as pets. This way you will know what you are getting into and will be able to have and enjoy living with a healthy happy lizard in your home. The bearded dragon is a lizard of the Pogona species called Pogona vitticeps. They are seen by many as a favorite for first time “beardie” owners. They are smaller than other domestic reptiles and thus make them perfect for handling with children around.
These lizards come from the semi desert in Australia where it is rocky, dry and open. They love to climb on rocks and branches and bask in the sunlight. They also like to hide and it makes them feel safe when there is a place to craw into or under. They are pretty much loners and do not particularly hang out with other lizards unless they are mating. Yet they are friendly and gentle as pets.
Some things to consider when thinking about getting a pet bearded dragon is their habitat. A vivarium is the best type of enclosure to use for reptiles. It is an enclosed glass container environment, where plants or animals are raised under conditions that are like their natural habitat. Unlike mammals reptiles do not regulate their body temperature automatically. They will need special heating units and UVB type of lighting that will simulate sunlight for basking. Their environment should be dry, meaning low humidity, such as NO water falls. Also they need a place that does not have consistent light 24 hours a day. This will make their environment similar to day and night of wilderness living and ensure healthier pets. They will need a hot space and a cooler space, do not use a heating mat on the floor, as they will get burns on their stomach. They will get the heat they need from the sun lamp and heater unit. You can use a fish tank as a vivarium, but remember you will need to get inside often to clean out poop and give fresh food (Note: if fed properly they hardly ever drink water). There are glass enclosures with side sliding doors that work well. However if you use an aquarium you can put it down lower to the floor where you can reach in easily, that would also work well.
It is suggested to get the vivarium set up about a week before you get your bearded dragon. That way you can play around with the lighting and heating, and get “furniture” ready for them. This would include the flooring material called substrate (I would look up lizard substrate, as there are different things to use that would be safe for them) and hiding and climbing structures.
Food is another other topic. But basically they eat certain bugs, worms, vegetables and plants. Baby lizards will need more protein, but as they get older they eat more planets and vegetables then they will eat bugs and worms. You will have to make sure the size of the food is proper for the age of the lizard. Remember this is just an introduction to bearded dragons. I would suggest learning more about their care so you will have a happy healthy lizard. For many people they make wonderful pets and can even roam around the house and be held.