Bearded dragons are one of the easiest lizards to look after, and make great pets for older children and adults; they are easy to handle and have lots of character.
Smaller dragons can be delicate so younger children should be supervised when handling them.
These dragons are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, and can live up to 10 years old.
They do not need a great deal of space and their needs can be easily met in any home.
Males are larger than females and if cared for properly, can reach their maximum size of 60cm in one year.
Bearded dragons originate from the hot dry deserts of central Australia.
Like most reptiles, they are normally housed in an enclosed cage with glass doors, known as a vivarium.
They have specific requirements, therefore it’s essential that the environment within the vivarium is controlled precisely and monitored continuously.
A single adult will need a vivarium which is the minimum length of 90cm, pairs or trios should be allowed at least 120cm.
Unlike most reptiles, adult bearded dragons also eat vegetables rather than solely feeding just on a diet of insects.
Fresh foods should be given every day, with insects offered on alternative days.
Like cats and dogs, bearded dragons are prone to obesity.
Unlike most pets, food can be withheld for a day or more without causing harm and may even be beneficial if it is part of a considered management regime.
As long as they are given the correct food, environment, care and attention, bearded dragons are normally problem free.
Humidity and poor ventilation should be avoided at all costs.
A healthy bearded dragon will be bright eyed, have strong legs and be active in searching for food during the day.
It is natural for all lizards to shed their skin which comes off in small pieces rather than all in one like snakes.
Baby dragons may shed their entire skin almost once a month in the first year.
Whilst this is happening they may look a little shabby, but this is nothing to worry about.
All vets have a basic understanding of reptiles but those with a specialist interest are worth seeking out.
If your pet shows any signs of being unwell contact your vet as soon as possible.