FAQ: General Care of Bearded Dragons

Bennett Greenberg
by Bennett Greenberg
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Bearded dragons are any species of the genus Pogona and are well known for their calm and friendly nature. Here are some frequently asked questions about the general care of bearded dragons.

Why are they called Bearded Dragons?
Because of their ability to puff out the skin under their chin and turn it dark so it looks like a beard. They are also called Beardies or abbreviated as BD.

How much do Bearded Dragons cost?
I have personally seen them sell for as little as $15 in bulk price to as much as $900 for a colorful adult female. Prices depend on sex, size, color, age and lineage. Just remember that the price of the Bearded Dragon is only the beginning. You still need to buy the cage and all the supplies. That can run about $200+ depending on your choices.

Bearded Dragon

Do they bite?
Any animal with teeth can bite. If they are handled properly they generally do not bite. Their teeth are not sharp and pointy so if they do bite it is more pressure than puncture. Some BDs go through a stage (like children) where they try to push their limits to see how far they can go. They may puff their beard out and posture themselves to see if you are scared of them. That stage usually does not last more than a few weeks to a month.

How big will my Bearded Dragon grow?
It varies due to many factors and they all grow at different rates. With proper husbandry, a Bearded Dragon of good genetic background can grow to between 16"-22"+. Just like people, they grow at different rates and have growth spurts where they grow so fast you can almost see them grow. Some factors that can influence the growth rate of a Bearded Dragon include: Genetic background, cage size, amount and type of food, competition for food, amount of light, type and amount of UV light, proper vitamins and supplements, Being raised indoor or outdoor, stress levels and the general happiness of the animal.

Is it safe to have a Bearded Dragon with a small child?
Keeping any animal with teeth and nails with a small child should only be done under close parental supervision and only after determining the temperament of the animal. Bearded Dragons are generally calm and docile once they reach sub adult size. Once acclimated to being around people and being handled they are for the most part friendly and gentile. My children and their friends have been handling Bearded Dragons since they were only a few years old and never a mishap. It is important to wash hands with an antibacterial soap both before and after handling.

How much attention do they need?
In the wild they can live out their lives alone. They do not need social interaction but I feel they do enjoy it. The more you handle your Bearded Dragon, the more tame he will be. You can walk around the house and watch TV with a Bearded Dragon on your shoulder to keep you company. It is important to feed them and clean their cage daily.

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