Caring for Your Fledgling Bearded Dragon

A bearded dragon can be a fantastic pet, providing the owner years of satisfying companionship. But how do you care for a bearded dragon that is still in its early months? Here are a few tips for first-time owners.

What to Consider When Buying a Bearded Dragon

First of all, be sure to get your bearded dragon from a reputable source. This is not a difficult animal to care for, but you want one that is healthy and has been treated properly from birth to the time when you take over the role of caregiver. If the bearded dragon is less than a month old, it’s really not ready for you to bring home yet. In fact, buying a full-grown bearded dragon can help ensure that it is a strong and healthy pet.

One thing to keep in mind is that bearded dragons are pretty solitary in the wild. They often interact only for the purpose of mating. So unless you intend to become a breeder, you really don’t want to have more than one in a tank. Even if they grew up in the same tank, you would want separate tanks for your pets as they reach adulthood.

How to Take Care of Your Pet

If you do happen to get a one-month-old bearded dragon, you are going to want your terrarium to be a minimum of 20 gallons. Keep in mind that by six months you will need to upgrade the tank size, so you may want to skip the tiny tank and go straight to an adult-sized tank. Be sure that the substrate of your tank is the right material. Sand mats or slate tile are perfect for bearded dragons.  You can also use paper towels, which are a better option than things like play sand or cedar shavings, commonly mistaken as acceptable substrates.

Other considerations are the need for a light bulb that provides the proper basking temperature; include proper tank structures for both climbing and hiding (remember, these guys are introverts); and have the proper supply of water and food. A young bearded dragon will eat anywhere between 20 and 60 crickets or roaches per day.

Finally, don’t forget to locate a veterinarian in your area who has experience in dealing with reptiles. Most vets are more experienced with cats and dogs, so only take your pet to a vet that knows reptiles.

Is a Guinea Pig the Right Companion Pet for You?

Are you looking for a companion pet, but don’t want something to care for like a cat or dog that requires more time? A guinea pig may be just the pet for you.

Why You Will Love Owning a Guinea Pig

  • Health – Of course, any animal can get sick, and guinea pigs are no exception, but as long as they are well fed and don’t get overheated or dehydrated, this is a hardy
  • Easy – Bedding, water, veggies, and some specially formulated supplements are pretty much all your pet will need. Make sure the cage is big enough. Every day, give the guinea pig some attention. Other than that, the only thing to remember is that guinea pigs become fertile at less than one month of age, so don’t keep males and females together unless you want a litter.
  • Kid-Friendly – They are tougher than rabbits and don’t scare as easily as smaller pets like hamsters. Obviously, you need to keep an eye on your child to ensure he or she plays nice, but these are good pets for a school-aged child.
  • Longevity – Guinea pigs live five to seven years and can get into their teens on occasion. That’s a far cry from the two or three years lifespan you will get from rats, gerbils, or hamsters.
  • Personality – Like with other animals, guinea pigs each have their own unique temperament. It is important to interact with your potential pet before bringing it home to ensure that you are getting what you expected.
  • Human-Friendly – Unlike many small pets that are afraid of humans, guinea pigs not only enjoy the company of people, but will become particularly attached to their owner. They make unique sounds of delight like little squeals or purrs, and they may even respond to the sight of you by trying to climb the side of the cage to get closer. If you want a pet that you can actually hold and pet, this is an excellent choice.

The fact is, a guinea pig is a good choice for just about any pet owner. Ease of care makes them a good pet even if you have no experience in caring for an animal.