The Bearded Dragon is becoming increasingly popular in the pet trade. It is one of the only reptiles that is almost naturally tame.
Commonly referred to as "beardies."
Bearded Dragons come from Australia and are named for their "beards" which they puff up to both ward of predators and communicate with each other. They may look a little threatening with their spiked sides and rough-looking skin, but they are normally quite docile and happy to sit on your shoulder and explore your house with your supervision.
You'll often see them at reptile shows just sitting out on the table with no cage. That is how calm and friendly they are.
They reach an adult size of 18-22 inches and are mature at 2 years of age.
Because of their size, Bearded Dragons will need a large terrarium. I house a pair of adults in an 80 gallon tank and would recommend no less than a 40 gallon tank for an adult.
I use sand for substrate, but warn against using this with juveniles because of the risk of impaction. Paper towels or even fleece might be a good choice until they are a larger size.
You will need to set up a basking spot and have branches or hamocks setup for them to get close to their light. This is where they will spend most of their time.
Keep the food and water bowls at the opposite side of the tank and in view from the basking spot so that your beardies can see it.
Beardies are omnivores. Some people feed them primarily on crickets with some veggies and others do the opposite. Some feed them soley on pellets.
When young, dusted crickets should be the primary source of food because they need the protein to grow.
My beardies diet is about half and half. For veggies they get collard greens, kale, some dusted lettuce from time to time, carrots (some of their favorites!), and my boy even eats a cherry or two every now and then.
For insects, crickets are the main food. But they also eat mealworms and waxworms.
They get their share of pellets too. I recommend Fluker's Buffet Blend as it has freeze dried crickets and mealworms mixed in and the site of these will attract them if they're used to getting the live ones.
Bearded dragons should get a nice soak in a tub of water at least once a week. This is not so much for cleanliness as it is for hydration and help with shedding.
If your bearded dragon does get dirty you can use a little soap on an old tooth brush to scrub the really dirty spots. When I got my female she was neglected and I doubt she had ever gotten a bath in her life. She was two years old! She had a sort of "dust" on her that just would not go away with water or soap. Finally I put olive oil in place of the soap. After a few times her skin looked great!