Bearded dragons are one of the most popular reptiles to have as pets and for a good reason. Their non-aggressive nature and surprising personalities make them great for kids interested in owning their first reptile. It also takes less effort to care for them compared to a dog or a cat. That said, getting a bearded dragon, or any pet for that matter is a serious commitment. It shouldn't be a decision taken lightly or made on a whim just because it sounds like a cool idea walking around the reptile section of the local pet store. Here are some things that are good to know before buying a bearded dragon.


Bearded Dragon Size

The maximum size that your bearded dragon can potentially grow to is about two feet. However, its size is dependant on a couple of factors, like its species, cage size, and diet. Pogona Vitticeps is the most common species, and these can grow the full two feet. Other species, like the Pogona Henrylawsoni or Pogona Minor Minima, will only reach a max length of a foot. Other species will stay even smaller!

If you want to facilitate the most amount of growth, there are two things you need to do. First, you have to make sure they are in a large cage. If their environment is too small, they won't reach their maximum size potential. Second, you need to continually provide your bearded dragon with an appropriately healthy diet that utilizes plant and animal materials, as well as supplements.

It’s worth mentioning that the size of your lizard will also be determined by its sex. Female dragons are typically smaller than males.

Bearded Dragon Natural Habitat

Bearded Dragons live in dry, sun-baked deserts and woodlands, mostly in the central part of Australia. They require warm rocks or sun touched branches to sunbathe on during the day and dark spots for hiding, sleeping and staying cool. They are excellent climbers and will scale rock faces and trees to find prey. Their hot, dry habitat means they don't require a lot of water or moisture to survive.


Male bearded dragons are territorial and should be kept separate from other dragons. More than one female to a tank is subtle for the most part, but it does require the owner take some precautions. Most problems stem from size differences between lizards. A larger bearded dragon may keep the smaller one away from food and water. Larger bearded dragons will sometimes eat smaller ones, so no babies or juveniles in the same habitat as a full-grown adult


Bearded dragons are safe for people to pick up and hold. It is doubtful that one will ever bite its owner. Bearded dragons will try to flee when threatened, and the only times they bite people is when they are being provoked.


A bearded dragon can live anywhere between seven to twelve years on average, given proper care and diet. They will reach full size in about a year, which is around twenty-two inches long measuring from the tip of their nose to half the length of their tail.


While bearded dragons are safe and clean, it should be noted that all reptiles carry salmonella in their feces. Bearded dragons are clean animals, but let's face facts. They don't exactly flush and wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Anyone who handles a bearded dragon or interacts with their habitat should always wash their hands. Regular cleanings of the habitat will also cut down on the risk of catching salmonella. 

Here are 10 interesting facts about bearded dragons:

  • The Australian Yellow-headed Bearded Dragon is the most common pet species of these reptiles. However, other genera do exist
  • While bearded dragons originate from Australia, pet beardies that you buy today are not from Australia, as it is illegal to export any wildlife from this country

  • The "beard" of bearded dragons (the spikes and scales around their head and neck) is a defense mechanism and expands when the lizard feels threatened

  • They are omnivores and will eat plant materials or insects, smaller lizards, and small mammals

  • In unusually hot weather, they like to burrow

  • They are extremely friendly and non-aggressive towards humans

  • Bearded dragons produce venom! But, don't worry, it is harmless to humans and even most prey

  • Beardies didn’t show up in the United States until the 1990’s, but they became a fast favorite for many pet owners

  • A lot of lizards are known to regenerate body parts, but not bearded dragons

  • You can estimate the age of a young bearded based on how long their tail is!

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