30 Common Bearded Dragon Myths: Oops, I Debunked All

You might have heard about some and at the same time be new to some. Regardless, it's time to expand your knowledge.

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Are you among those who truly believe in the Bearded dragon myths flying around? I have put them all together for you and it’s time to debunk them all.

Ever since bearded dragons became one of the popular pet choices due to their distinct appearance and docile nature, their popularity comes with a multitude of misconceptions.

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Sometimes it is difficult for potential owners to understand these unique creatures’ complex requirements but with our help, this article will debunk at least 30 myths about Bearded Dragons.

So sit back, relax, and let’s embark on this enlightening journey about the lives of Bearded Dragons.

Bearded Dragon Myths You Need To Know

In my well-researched collection of myths, you might have heard about some and at the same time be new to some. Regardless, it’s time to expand your knowledge.

Myth 1: Bearded Dragons are high maintenance

Many people have the misconception that bearded dragons are high-maintenance and difficult to keep. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bearded Dragons are among the easiest reptiles to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners and experienced owners alike.

They have modest needs for lighting, heating, and housing, and their diets are relatively simple, incorporating fresh vegetables, fruits, and feeder insects.

Imagine owning a creature that loves basking under a heat source and snacking on fresh greens—a low-maintenance roommate, so to speak!

Myth 2: Bearded Dragons are aggressive

The term “dragon” itself might prompt this myth. Despite the intents till now, Bearded Dragons are known for their docile and peaceful nature.

Many people think they are hostile or dangerous due to their spiked scales and display of “puffing out” their throats (a characteristic that gives them their ‘bearded’ name).

However, these adorable reptiles are quite gentle and often exhibit sociable behaviors, like ‘waving,’ which is simply an arm rotation acknowledging the presence of another.

So, dismiss the thought of them being the fire-breathing nemesis—Bearded Dragons are more likely to bask under a heat lamp than breathe fire!

Myth 3: Bearded Dragons can live in groups

While the friendly and docile nature of Bearded Dragons leads many to believe that they can cohabitate, the reality is quite the opposite.

Referred to as solitary animals, Bearded Dragons are most content when living alone. Collective living can cause unnecessary stress, competitiveness for resources, and, in some instances, cannibalism.

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So, it’s always better to adopt the ‘one dragon per castle’ rule for these unique reptiles.

Myth 4: Bearded Dragons don’t live for long

The notion that Bearded Dragons have a short lifespan is yet another common yet misguided myth. These animals can live quite a long and happy life when given the necessary care and attention needed.

On average, a properly cared for Bearded Dragon can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and there have been documented cases of Bearded Dragons living into their early twenties.

Age, as cliché wisdom suggests, is indeed just a number!

Myth 5: Bearded Dragons can eat anything

Just because your Bearded Dragon seems willing to munch on anything within reach does not mean that everything is suitable for their diet. Avocados, rhubarb, and fireflies, among other things, are toxic to Bearded Dragons.

Their primary diet should consist of fresh, pesticide-free vegetables, supplemented with feeder insects and occasional treats like dehydrated fruits.

It’s crucial to keep your scaly friends away from anything potentially harmful and stick to a nutritionally balanced diet.

Myth 6: Bearded Dragons are carriers of diseases

It’s important I set this straight — diseases from reptiles, the Bearded Dragon included, are rare. It’s generally Salmonella that worries most people.

However, there’s a greater chance of you contracting Salmonella from undercooked food or poor kitchen hygiene than from a Bearded Dragon.

The key to disease prevention lies in maintaining good hygienic practices, such as regular cleaning and disinfection of the pet’s habitat and washing hands before and after handling these giving Bearded Dragons their much-deserved cuddle.

No, numerous misconceptions surround Bearded Dragons. Beyond the main six myths I’ve explored, several other prevalent misunderstandings are worth addressing too.

Myth 7: Bearded Dragons turn full vegetarian when they age

While it’s true that Bearded Dragons shift towards a more vegetable-centric diet as they grow older, they never turn completely vegetarian.

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Adult Bearded Dragons still need protein, which should make up about 30% of their diet. This protein usually comes from feeder insects such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches.

Myth 8: Bearded Dragons are a threat to native wildlife

This myth revolves around the notion that Bearded Dragons, if released or escaped into the wild, might establish and spread, threatening native wildlife.

However, this belief is incorrect. Bearded Dragons are terrible at surviving cold regions due to their native desert habitats, making it practically impossible for them to breed and form a sustainable population outside their native environments.

Myth 9: Bearded Dragons are slow and sluggish all the time

While Bearded Dragons are perceived as creatures that lounge and bask all day, they can be quite active, especially in the morning and late afternoon.

They love to explore their surroundings, dig in their sandboxes, and occasionally have a burst of energy, demonstrating some impressive speed!

Indeed, there are more Bearded Dragon myths that I can discuss. Here are a few additional ones:

Myth 10: Bearded Dragons can thrive without UVB

Bearded Dragons are native to the dry, desert-like regions of Australia, where they receive abundant UVB radiation from the sun.

UVB is crucial for them, promoting Vitamin D3 synthesis, which helps in the absorption and metabolism of calcium. Insufficient UVB exposure can lead to severe health issues like Metabolic Bone Disease.

Therefore, captive Bearded Dragons require a special UVB bulb in their habitat.

Myth 11: All Bearded Dragons behave the same

Like humans, Bearded Dragons possess individualistic personalities. Some might showcase their curiosity more eagerly, exploring every nook and corner they can find, while others might be more laid-back, penchant more towards lounging under heat lamps.

It’s this diversity in their behaviors and personalities that make Bearded Dragons such charming companions.

Myth 12: Bearded Dragons are suitable pets for toddlers

While Bearded Dragons are friendly and docile, they are not recommended as pets for very young children.

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Their care requires consistent attention, including diet management and habitat maintenance, which toddlers are unable to provide. Also, children might unintentionally mishandle the dragon, resulting in stress or injury to the pet.

Myth 13: Bearded Dragons are cold-blooded, so they don’t need heat during the night

While it’s true that Bearded Dragons, like other reptiles, are cold-blooded, they do need a stable temperature environment to thrive. During the day, their tanks should have a basking spot of around 100-105°F and a cooler aspect at about 80-85°F.

At night, the temperature can fall to about 70-75°F, emulating their natural habitat’s night temperature.

Myth 14: Bearded Dragons can survive on sand alone

While it’s true that these creatures hail from sandy deserts, their captivity setup on sand alone may lead to impaction (intestinal blockage).

This condition can be lethal, especially for baby and juvenile dragons which are more likely to ingest the sand along with their food.

Therefore, it’s recommended to use easy-to-clean, non-particle substrates such as reptile carpets, newspaper, or tiles.

Myth 15: Tap water is unsafe for Bearded Dragons

Many believe that tap water is harmful to Bearded Dragons—a myth mostly co-shared among reptile pet owners. However, this is not entirely true.

The quality and safety of tap water greatly vary from location to location. While it’s always wise to use a reptile-safe water conditioner to eliminate any potentially harmful elements like chlorine or heavy metals, most Bearded Dragons do well with regular clean tap water.

Myth 16: Bearded Dragons must be bathed every day

Regular bathing is beneficial for Bearded Dragons as it helps maintain their hydration and aids in shedding.

However, bathing them every day can disrupt their natural skin oils and make their habitat humid, potentially leading to respiratory problems.

Therefore, a bath once or twice a week is generally recommended.

Myth 17: Bearded Dragons have no emotions or feelings

While Bearded Dragons may not express emotions in the same way mammals do, research indicates they are capable of experiencing basic emotions, such as distress, contentment, and fear.

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Regular and gentling handling can help build a bond between the Bearded Dragon and their caretaker.

Myth 18: Bearded Dragons are nocturnal

Despite their large, captivating eyes, Bearded Dragons are not nighttime creatures but are daily—most active during the daylight hours.

Myth 19: You can determine the gender of a baby Bearded Dragon by its behavior

The gender of a Bearded Dragon cannot be definitively determined by its behavior.

Accurate sexing usually requires a physical examination of the reptile, typically when it is around 4-6 months old.

Myth 20: Bearded Dragons are venomous

While recent research shows that Bearded Dragons do produce mild venom, they pose no threat to humans. The venom is classified as venomoid, meaning it has a negligible effect on humans and pets.

So, rest assured, your bearded buddy won’t be delivering any venomous bites!

Myth 21: Bearded Dragons can regenerate their tails

Unlike some other reptiles, Bearded Dragons do not have this ability. Once damaged or lost, their tails do not grow back.

This increases the importance of handling them correctly and gently, ensuring their safety, and avoiding any injuries.

Myth 22: Bearded Dragons and other pets can live together

A dog or cat’s presence can be highly stressful for a Bearded Dragon and vice versa.

They also have distinct care requirements that don’t align. All pets should have their own separate, species-appropriate environments.

Myth 23: Bearded Dragons don’t grow much

From their hatchling size of 3-4 inches, Bearded Dragons can grow to reach 18-24 inches in length. If cared for correctly, these pets can become a substantial size, requiring a corresponding habitat size increase.

Myth 24: Bearded Dragons can eat dairy products

These reptiles are lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy products like milk or cheese — doing so may cause digestive issues.

Myth 25: Bearded Dragons are easy to breed

Breeding Bearded Dragons can be quite complex and requires significant experience and understanding of their mating behaviors, gestation, and the care of eggs and hatchlings.

Myth 26: Bearded Dragons don’t need vet check-ups

Regular vet check-ups are essential to maintain a Bearded Dragon’s health, as they are skilled at hiding illnesses. Detection of any problems early can vastly improve treatment outcomes.

Myth 27: Bearded Dragons are great pets for classrooms

While they are generally docile and can be handled, Bearded Dragons need consistent care and a controlled environment which can be challenging to provide in a classroom setting.

Myth 28: Bearded Dragons can survive cold temperatures

These reptiles are naturally desert-dwelling, and require heat. Cold temperatures can lead to health issues and even death.

Myth 29: Bearded Dragons can eat insects caught in your garden

While it’s natural to think that wild insects would form a part of their diet, the risks are considerable. Wild insects can be carriers of parasites or come into contact with pesticides, both of which can harm your Bearded Dragon.

Myth 30: Bearded Dragons can live on a fruit-only diet

Fruits make up a small portion of Bearded Dragon’s diet (around 10%) and should not be the main food source due to high sugar content.

My Conclusion

Now you can agree with me that education is key in reptile pet ownership, and I am happy to help you out.

As an owner, getting your information from reliable sources, debunking myths, and understanding the species-specific requirements of your pet will help ensure your Bearded Dragon leads a healthy, happy life.

So, do you have any list of myths that I did not cover? Do not hesitate to share with us in the comment section as I will be happy to learn more with you.

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