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Do Bearded Dragons Make Good First Pets? | Zen Habitats

Do Bearded Dragons Make Good First Pets? | Zen Habitats

Bearded Dragons | The Perfect First Pet Reptile?

Some may say that bearded dragons are ideal first reptiles for new keepers; in reality, there are several points to consider before choosing a bearded dragon as your first reptile. Before getting a bearded dragon, it is important to know what to expect when getting a beardie as your first pet reptile.

Pros of Owning a Bearded Dragon

Gentle Temperament

Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature, making them very handleable when compared to more squirmy reptile species. They are less likely to bite, run, and jump when compared to other frequently kept species, making them suitable for novice reptile keepers.

Manageable Size

Bearded dragons are a medium sized reptile, with an average length of 18 to 24 inches, including their tail. Their manageable size makes them ideal for those in apartments or homes with limited free space, as they don’t need incredibly large enclosures. 

It is best to offer them an enriching habitat that meets or exceeds their basic needs, like the Zen Habitats 4x2x2 enclosure.

bearded dragon enclosures

Entertaining Behavior

From their head-bobbing, waving, and their ability to change color and puff up their beards, bearded dragons exhibit a range of fascinating behaviors that can keep their owners entertained.

Low Maintenance

Compared to some other commonly kept reptiles, bearded dragons have relatively straight forward care requirements. They thrive in properly set up enclosures with appropriate lighting, heating, and a balanced omnivorous diet consisting of both live insects and leafy greens. 

Long Lifespan

With meticulous care, bearded dragons can live for 10-15 years or more in captivity!

baby bearded dragon care

Cons of Owning a Bearded Dragon

Initial Setup Costs

Setting up the ideal habitat for a bearded dragon, including purchasing an appropriately sized enclosure, UVB lighting & heating equipment, and enrichment, can have a substantial upfront cost.

Thankfully, even juvenile bearded dragons can live in their adult setup, and you can opt to purchase an enclosure that can be expanded so you can upgrade their home later in life, such as the Zen Habitats enclosures and expansion kits! A well made enclosure should last the lifetime of your bearded dragon and beyond, so investing more on a quality product can save you hundreds or even thousands in the long run!

zen habitats bearded dragon enclosure with expansion extension kit

Regular Maintenance

Bearded dragons must be fed live insects several times per day. This feeding schedule will taper off quickly, as bearded dragons are fast growers. Regular spot cleaning is necessary to keep the enclosure clean from feces and uneaten food. 

Specialized Diet

Bearded dragons’ diet consists of live insects, such as crickets and dubia roaches, as well as a variety of leafy greens and vegetables. Providing a balanced diet, gutloading feeder insects, and dusting feeders with proper calcium and vitamin supplementation are vital for the health of your bearded dragon.

To learn more about what to expect while feeding a bearded dragon, check out our Bearded Dragon Food Guide here!

bearded dragon eating an apple, diet and food

Lifelong Commitment

While the bearded dragon’s 10-15+ year lifespan is great for someone wanting to own a longer lived pet, some may not be looking for such a long term commitment. Owning a bearded dragon requires the owner to dedicate 10+ years of time and financial commitment to keeping their pet healthy and happy. Aspiring owners should be prepared for the responsibility of caring for a reptile that could easily live over a decade.

If you are interested in owning a bearded dragon but are not looking for a pet with such a long lifespan, you can choose to adopt an older bearded dragon from a rescue or take in an older rehomed beardie instead. 


Bearded dragons can make an ideal choice for first pet reptiles with proper preparation and research. Before bringing home a bearded dragon, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of adding a beardie to your family. With proper research, preparation, and commitment to providing quality care, owning a bearded dragon can be a rewarding experience for novice and experienced reptile owners alike!

If you are an aspiring bearded dragon owner, or already own a beardie and want to take your knowledge and care to the next level - Check out our Bearded Dragon Ultimate Zen Guide! Over 90 pages of curated information on the history, care, and enrichment for the bearded dragon!

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