While I was carousing around Reddit the other day, I found a photo of a dog with some kind of lizard on his back. They both looked comfy and completely safe with each other. I was flabbergasted and decided to look more into this lizard which goes by the name of the bearded dragon (or “beadies” as they’re sometimes called).

What in the world is a bearded dragon?

In a nutshell, a bearded dragon is a type of lizard. Eight different species fall under this umbrella. The name comes from a defense mechanism they have when stressed or under attack. They inflate the underside of their head making it look like they have a big reptilian beard.

Where did they come from?

Bearded dragons are from Australia. In the 1990’s they were brought to the United States as pets. Since then the popularity has grown each year. There are a bunch of online communities dedicated to owners.

Why would anyone want one as a pet?

Apparently the bearded dragon is one of the chillest reptiles you can own. They’re easy to handle, have great temperament, and almost never get aggressive. A great exotic pet for the family.

They also seem to be rather easy to take care of. You’ll need the proper UVB and temperatures set for them. But if you can handle that and proper feeding, they are as happy as can be chilling out on their own.

But in my opinion the best reason is how wonderful they look. Each has a unique color and pattern to them. They’re truly a beautiful creature.

What do they eat?

These little guys are omnivores but love their insects. Most owners stick to crickets and dubia roaches for protein. But they can also be sustained on grasshoppers, locusts and different types of worms. The juveniles need a lot of protein to grow.

Upon adulthood they can move toward more leafy greens. Asparagus, parsley, and kale are just a few. For a sweet snack, they’ll even devour a juicy blueberry or grape.

How big do they get?

While the word dragon brings up thoughts of Game of Thrones, these guys don’t get quite as big. At most they’ll grow to a foot in length and under a pound. A 1200mm aquarium is enough and fits perfectly into most homes and apartments.

How long do they live?

It seems most sites state that 8 years is the average, but with proper care they can get up to 15 years in age. So if you do look into purchasing one, they do require some planning.

What do they do all day?

One of the cool things about bearded dragons is that they are all unique. Each has different colors and patterns on their body. And they also tend to differ in personality. Some are more chill while others are adventurous. They like to climb, hang upside down, and even do push-ups. But a lot of the time they’ll bask in the warm glow of their aquarium light. You’ll want to make sure their aquarium has the right accessories to keep them happy and stress-free.

Can you have multiple ones in the same aquarium?

This isn’t advised, especially among males. The males will likely view each other as a threat and fight. A male and a female will….you can use your imagination. But that’s the beauty of the bearded dragon. They are perfectly content being alone.

Are they compatible with dogs?

This seems to depend on the dog. You likely know how your dog reacts to other animals. If they don’t bat an eye at a squirrel, the dog is probably chill enough to live alongside one. But if your dog likes to stir up trouble, I’d pass.

One nice thing is that they don’t have to intermingle. Your bearded dragon can stay in an aquarium that the dog can’t touch. Kind of like with fish. From reading through the forums out there, it seems a lot of people have these pets intermingle.

So should I get one?

If you’re a fan of reptiles, these seem like a nice choice. Good size, easy to care for, and a great personality. This guide calls them the “perfect pet”.

For me, I have enough trouble taking care of a dog by myself. But if I was still a kid, I’d love one of these in my room. Seems like much more fun than the turtle I had.