I know this is Kelley's DOG Blog, but regular visitors will recognize Drogo, our favorite bearded dragon. I have never known a reptile to have so much personality. His permanent grin and agreeable temperament also make it easy to dress him up and take silly pictures. You can see those pictures on his Fashion Dragon page. However, today I'm posting a more dignified picture.
|Drogo's head tilt is just endearing as any dog's|
Both Hubby and Son #1 are reptile enthusiasts and we've had several different species over the years. Bearded dragons are my favorite by far. They are heartier and easier to care for than most. The don't grow as large as iguanas and seem to have a nicer temperament. And unlike snakes, their diet consists of bugs, fruits and vegetables. No mice or rats. I used to have rodents as pets, so it's distressing for me to use them as food. Therefore, this is a snake-free house. Luckily for Drogo, I have no emotional attachment to bugs.
Before you run out and get a Beardie of your own, there are a few things you should consider:
- They need large tanks to be comfortable. Do you have the room for one?
- They need a warm climate. This could require heat lamps in the colder months.
- They need special lighting, both day and night. The bulbs can be expensive. And they get hot, so in the summer you may need to change bulbs to keep the right temperature in the tank.
- Substrate isn't cheap and needs to be cleaned regularly. (We use a special reptile-safe sand.) And it needs to be completely changed periodically.
- Dragons are social creatures. You need to handle them frequently. They also need supervised exercise.
- Fresh fruit, vegetables and live crickets have a short shelf life. You will have to buy and prepare food frequently.
- Crickets stink. We buy 50-75 at a time and keep them in a separate tank, feeding only 8-12 at a time. We still have to go to the pet store at least once a week to buy bugs. Crickets have a high mortality rate. Since we only feed live crickets, many are thrown out.
Still interested in a bearded dragon? Check out The Bearded Dragon. This is the most comprehensive site I've found and all the information is free. And if you have/get a beardie, let me know!
We're joining Ruckus the Eskie and Earl's World in this Sepia Saturday hop. Click around and see what others are sharing today! -- K