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  1. skibunny

    skibunny Bearded Dragon Egg

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    So, after basically promising the kids we would be getting a bearded dragon and even buying a few things I am now seriously starting to reconsider our decision to get a beardie. We are dog people and this would be our first reptile.
    I got hooked in because they really are freakin' cute and many care websites discuss how they are a great starter pet, great for kids, easier than owing a cat or dog, etc. The more I research about them, the more I am realizing their care is very time consuming and expensive!
    I didn't realize bearded dragons need such a varied diet. I have no idea how I would have time to chop up fresh vegetables every morning while also trying to get myself and 3 kids ready for work and school. And I don't mind handling live insects but I had no idea I had to first gut feed the crickets. Sounds like I would have to take care of the crickets like another pet.
    Also, I purchased a 40 gallon breeder which I read is "supposed" to be large enough for an adult. Now I am learning I will need to purchase something bigger. I have no idea where I'm supposed to put such a large enclosure in my house!

    My husband thinks we need to get one since we promised the kids and not getting one would be mean. I already had a discussion with them. Of course they were disappointed. I just don't want to get into such a long commitment of taking care of an animal that is too much for us to handle. Although our dog is healthy and happy, there are days we can't give him the attention he wants/needs. I also am not prepared financially for a beardie. I budgeted for start up costs of setting up a terrarium. I did not plan on the monthly expense for feeding and lighting. My dog is cheap. He eats $30 worth of food every few months, vet visit once a year, and we mostly use neighbors and family to watch him when we go away. Also, I bathe my dog once a month. Less in the winter months. It seems crazy that I would have to bathe a lizard weekly. I do feel bad because my son (age 4) is really into lizards right now. I'm wondering is there another type of lizard that is a little easier to care for? How does everyone on here do this with kids and a full time job?
  2. kaylynangel

    kaylynangel Juvenile Dragon

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    First off you will be doing most of the care for the dragon---- by all means a dragon is not a kids pet--- they are too complex and if your having doubts now please do not get one--- w/ out the proper care and husbandry your dragon will not survive-------------- the lighting for the tank is the most crucial and people dont realize it is spendy --- and yes a 40 gallon tank is not big enough for a adult size dragon--- cats and dogs are not good pets to keep around a dragon as well --- I have heard more horror stories where the cat or dog has gotten a hold of the baby dragon and it did not make it --- so w/ that being said I definitely would reconsider getting one --- you can always sell your tank that would not be an issue--- and please if you do get one do not listen to the pet store people ---------------they do not have a clue on how to take care of a dragon and will sell you all kinds of stuff that you will not need or hurt your dragon in the long run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once a dragon gets sick they are spendy to take to a vet as well --- first off trying to figure out what is wrong w/ them in the first place and second then getting them well ---- so please discuss this w/ your husband --- here is another website you can go to for loads of info on a dragon ------------ you can read the discussion forums to give an insight on issues / problems etc...........
    www.beardeddragon.org
    kaylyn
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  3. skibunny

    skibunny Bearded Dragon Egg

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    Thanks for your response. Yes, I fully recognize I would be taking care of the lizard. I was prepared to take on the responsibility just like I do with our dog but I had no idea what was involved. I was getting all excited and getting the kids excited and then reality slapped me in the face. I have no idea why the internet says bearded dragons are "great for kids" and "easy to care for". I am so happy that this forum exists otherwise I would have had tons of false information and expectations of how easy it was going to be. We were at a friend's house and the kids loved their betta fish so we are thinking of getting each of the kids one of those instead.
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  4. kaylynangel

    kaylynangel Juvenile Dragon

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    They would be easier to take care of than the dragon--- I didnt mean to sound so negative but when some one has second thoughts its easier to make them realize what they would be getting into and really think about it ------------- I love my dragon to death and I am solely committed to taking care of him - and he is time consuming but its my time and I enjoy taking care of him -- he is all I have pretty much to take care of so I can take the time to do it etc........... and its possible the kids would get bored w/ the dragon as often in cases as I have heard where people are getting rid of them cuz the kid has lost interest
    kaylyn
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  5. JumpinJellyfish

    JumpinJellyfish Juvenile Dragon

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    Key words: (age 4) and into lizards *right now* :0)
    I think the bettas are a good idea. Beardies are wonderful, but you definitely have to be ready for the time/care commitment. I'm glad you looked into it and thought it through before getting the pet. Good luck with the fishes!!!
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  6. Prof

    Prof Bearded Dragon Egg

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    To answer the original question, both for the current decision and one in the future:

    1. Proper set up is expensive and time consuming to get the parameters correct, but after that requires little other than replacement bulbs once or twice a year (depending on type) and checking to see that parameters are being maintained.
    2. Food is about $25 every two weeks until the animal is older (estimated using online purchase, shipping, and feeding 75 crickets a day)
    3. Daily time is minimal - I get everything ready the night before to throw in the next morning - total time maybe 5 minutes. Handling time, IMO, is more important until the kids grow old enough to handle it properly. I generally handle all of my reptiles in the evening as I am winding down.
    4. Gut loading is fast and cheap - I always have veggies that didn’t get used before they aren’t great for the family, but they are fine for the crickets! Buy some cricket gel for hydration and you are done. Crickets should also be dusted with calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamins at intervals recommended by your vet.

    I never advocate pet adoption if there is the slightest doubt, but I did want you to hear from someone whose household seems very similar. Happily, my reptile collection (which includes one that was purchased for my resident nephew who rarely interacts with it and does not provide care) is simply part of my admittedly hectic routine. The kids will watch, learn, and gain an appreciation for anything you choose to get. Everything needs proper care and husbandry to thrive, but not all are as complicated nor as expensive as reptiles. Have you considered hermit crabs?
  7. skibunny

    skibunny Bearded Dragon Egg

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    Thank you for your response. It is helpful hearing from someone with a similar lifestyle as mine. I am still going back and forth. I was getting excited myself as I think lizards are pretty cool but the more I researched about them, the more overwhelmed and nervous I was getting. I've always had dogs so this is completely new to me. I feel like this might not be the right time. My heart kind of broke a little telling the kids we wouldn't be doing this. Yesterday my poor son caught a cricket outside and told me he would save it for the bearded dragon. :-( I had to tell him "Sorry Buddy. We might not be getting a bearded dragon."

    My son did ask about hermit crabs the other day after we were at the beach and he found one. I have to do more research on that one as I'm learning that the little metal cages they give you at the boardwalk are not an appropriate home for them at all.

    I've also considered leopard geckos as they seem a little easier in that they don't need to be fed daily and don't need such a large enclosure. I've also considered adopting an adult beardie who has experience being handled by children. It wouldn't be so much work as a baby and not so expensive to feed. I don't know. I think we may stick to betta fish and maybe reconsider when the kids are a little older.
    JasperMoon likes this.
  8. spacedragon

    spacedragon Bearded Dragon Egg

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    Well like the other user said before, you’ll be taking care of it rather than the kids. You really just need to get the cage set up and lighting in tact and you won’t have to purchase much else besides crickets/roaches and a larger tank when he’s almost an adult, it’ll cost anywhere from 200-300 to get everything, tank/decorations/lighting (not including the dragon) then after that you can just chop up some veggies for the week and store them in Tupperware then put a handful in his dish every morning. keep in mind they should have a variety in their diet so you do need to mix it up. You’ll also need to give him crickets 2-5 times a day until he’s an adult. They do require quite a bit of work so if you don’t have time to care for him then i’d suggest some cool neon colored fish, the ones that glow under black light. the kids will love them :)
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  9. mflavin79

    mflavin79 Bearded Dragon Egg

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    Can somebody tell me how I start a conversation on here? Meaning a new one not how to reply
  10. Kenny Hoskins

    Kenny Hoskins Bearded Dragon Egg

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  11. Dolomites Mom

    Dolomites Mom Bearded Dragon Egg

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    i Would recommend waiting until kids are much older. If you don’t have time & don’t handle often then they become isolated. Also, mine currently is 19in long and 9.5in in diameter so they become large fast. Mine just recently go very sick and it was a full time job getting him healthy again including vet bill, new lights, special food etc.

    The group here is awesome and helped me pull him though the sickness so I trust their advice. I would advise waiting especially because school is starting soon and schedules change.
  12. Kenny Hoskins

    Kenny Hoskins Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I have 3 breaded dragons and 3 kids
    And we have time for them it not hard to take care of them . We love bearded dragons there so awesome . We might be getting more soon ..
    They love to loved and held and talked to and love baths also
  13. Ashleybell

    Ashleybell Hatchling Dragon

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    Yes beardies are a lot of money once you have all the essentials and once you have the beardie i love my beardie. My son has been into lizards since he was a toddler and i waited till he is now 9 to get one so he understood all the care involved he goes off and googles everything and always has been into factual info so that helps but he is so good with toothless and he helps me but he much much older than ur children and he knows when i shout him off his xbox and say its toothless bath time or feeding time or cleaning time he comes straight down and helps me out. They need attention they cant just be left in the viv toothless loves coming out and exploring and being cuddled up with us. We both work me and my partner and i have a 2 year old but i devote my mornings before work and after school and work etc to the pets so you have to be willing. Plus when something is wrong they are a worry not joking i have been on here asking advice etc coz i was worried about toothless. We have since took in another beardie dave he is a rescue and is doing great but it is very time consuming and expensive and we have a crested gecko. I think not going ahead you are being sensible and yes the kids may be upset but in time they will see it was right. If your situation changes at least you know what you are taking on in the future. The bugs having to be fed was my omg moment but i got over that and feed them like i do the beardies and gecko they at the end of the day are what is keeping your beardie healthy and happy so they also need to be healthy and happy. X
  14. TorQueSS

    TorQueSS Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I find ours really easy, I pre-make his salad veggies about once a week, he doesn’t eat much so it doesn’t take long, usually when making a salad for dinner I just chop extra, or I buy the premade salads (without spinach) give him a pinch and add the veg on top, shake some calcium and vitamin mix on the salad every 2nd day or so, calcium is sooo important, but it takes no time at all, I do it when I feed my cat in the morning. We made the same mistake about the 40 gal tank and are looking for a bigger one used right now, but until he’s a year old that one will work, the monthly costs (as an adult) are about 6$ Canadian in superworms, I add a vitamin mix to their tub and slices of apple or potato for moisture once a week, which we always have around anyway, the container of bug food-vitamin mix is about 12$ and lasts a month or so, his calcium for his salad is under 10$ and lasts months, his uv light is about 15$ every 6 months, heat lamp about 17$ lasts about 6-8 or more months, he’s my spikey cuddle bum and I’m so glad we got him, I put him on my shoulder when I get home and he does my chores with me so he gets handled every day. I Take him outside a couple times a week to play in the grass for 10-15 min to get him some real sunlight, but I made time for that, for him, AND for me ;) (book in hand) I run the tub with lukewarm water about 1.5 inches and leave him in there for about 10 min while I’m making dinner. But it’s up to you, you know what you have time for, I find mine easy and such an important part of our family as our first lizard, don’t think there’s an easier pet really.
  15. JenB

    JenB Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I have a beardie and I have a job, 3 kiddos at home, one in college and one who lives out of the house but is still my baby :) I have a zoo - 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 birds and 2 toads. The beardies is my BABY and takes a considerable amount of my time and money, and it is absolutely worth it because even though he is young,we are beginning to bond and I am loving being a beardie mom. That said, I am getting some flack from the husband for bringing in a family member that requires so much when we are already spread so thin. I don't regret it for a second, and I know that money wise it will be easier when Puff is a bit older, but it definitely is a commitment unlike the other animals. The roads are quite easy, and they seem to make decent kids pets. My teen has an adorable leopard gecko who is friendly and a lot cheaper to care for than my beardie. If you are concerned about the commitment, you might want to reconsider. My 10-year old love helping with Puff's care, but at 10, I trust them to help me and do it well and safely. Not sure a younger kid would be able to help much. Good luck!!
    Jen
    Puff's mom
  16. HaggridTheBearded

    HaggridTheBearded Hatchling Dragon

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    I totally second what Prof had to say. I joke that I now have a second new hobby, besides caring for a reptile, I have developed an interest in entomology along the way. I am more or less the trying to maintain a vology
  17. KatKuMo

    KatKuMo Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I'm going to agree that this isn't exactly the best pet for children. Some children do have the patience to take on the delicate care that reptiles need, but I know a lot of people who's children ended up killing the dragon, or the dragon became terrified of the noise and it ended up being the parents' pet. Better to back of now rather than take one on and get rid of it later. I have several animals right now that I 100% regret getting, and my daughter won't allow rehoming. One of my dogs, and our two inside cats. Rehoming is hard on the animals, anyway, but that is much harder than changing your mind now.
  18. Natasha Slatter

    Natasha Slatter Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I would really recommend you not getting one if you do not have the time to take good care of them.
    I am the owner of one rescue adult bearded dragon who was hit with a whipersniper and 2 baby bearded dragons. I also have an 11year old step daughter who would love a baby bearded dragon, but we have agreed that she would not put the time and effort into looking after it. When our babies are bigger, we will then reconsider getting an older one for her.
    I don't agree that bearded dragons are good children's pets. Babies are fast and when handling can be lost and end up hurt in your household.
    Feeding is easy, preparing fruit and vegetables twice a week takes up little of my time and I breed my own crickets, so it is not expensive at all. I also have a cat and two dogs, who get a long well with the beardies, but I can see how it can go wrong. My cat sleeps with my rescue and they cuddle a lot. It really depends on your other animals and their personalities.
    I also built my enclosure to match the furniture in our lounge room, so that was a bit expensive but made it easy to sit anywhere and look nice in our house. You can definitely pick them up cheaper second hand.
    Fish are great for children, and I highly recommend over a bearded dragon for a child.
    Although, I'm sad you don't get to enjoy what all of us enjoy on the daily. My bearded dragons are my best friends and I wouldn't change them for the world.
  19. ajones1

    ajones1 Bearded Dragon Egg

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    I have 3 kids and a full time job. I usually get my beard or out when I get home and walk around with him on my shoulder while I get things done. I put him back, we eat dinner, then I feed him and get his cage cleaned up from the day. He is a lot of work, and I didn’t expect the large expense when I got him, but I enjoy having him so much. They are such neat reptiles. He is also a classroom pet, he just hasn’t made it in yet. My student don’t really handle him at all (they are first graders), but they help with the cage and feeding. On occasion when Rex is nice and relaxed I let him sit on a student for just a few moments. They usually don’t want him on themselves very long. I will also walk around with him on me during the day at work, so he is out for a while each day, but he loves his cage as well. i build his cage this summer instead of buying. It took a lot of time, but was cheaper than buying the size we needed. I think that if you’re not sure, then don’t do it. Give yourself time to think it through.
  20. bbbeardie

    bbbeardie Bearded Dragon Egg

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    We just got our beardie and I was nervous too and honestly forums only make it worse. We have two kids and a dog. The beardie is a baby and once his tank was set up properly all the other stuff is not a big deal. He eats fresh veggies that I serve my family and we get dubia roaches, dust them in calcium and put them in the tank. He started off getting baths for a few minutes everyday, but now he's learned to drink out of a dish, so now he just has a shallow dish of water. We got him for our 5 year old son, and of course I take care of him for now, but we wanted to get him now, so that 10 years from now my son will be old enough to handle the death of a pet. Anyway, I just came on here to try to calm some nerves if you decide to get one. It is one more living thing to keep alive, but I don't think it has to be that stressful.