My daughter has wanted a pet lizard for years. When she asked about a bearded dragon, I agreed that it would be a good alternative to catching a random lizard outside. But she already had enough to keep up with between school and chores. Plus, we live in a small town with no good exotic pet stores or exotic vet. So, I set some strict requirements for her to earn a bearded dragon.

She did the research end of things and raised enough money to provide for a bearded dragon’s basic needs. But she never did quite meet the strict chore requirements.

Then a friend asked if she could take their bearded dragon when they joined the airforce. How could I say no?

I never knew how much we needed a Bearded Dragon!

To my surprise, Dagger was more cuddly than our cat and dog combined! (Meaning his spikey little self was willing to be held for long periods of time.) And he did not fear our dog. He kept trying to jump on her head so he could get down and go exploring! I am not sure if this is the norm. He had 4 years of being handled by his previous owner.

We were very careful introducing Dagger to Leah, our terrier mix. Within days our dog was obsessed with her new best friend! She gets so excited when somebody asks about her “Little Lizard!”

Kitty Max is curious. But he has more of that hunter instinct, so we haven’t really given him a chance to get his paws on the family dragon.

So what do we do with a bearded dragon?

Dagger joins us for short walks around the neighborhood. I am sure we are a sight: me walking the dog, my daughter with a bearded dragon on her shoulder, and a cat just tagging along.

We set up multiple enclosures for him to bask in the sun. I cut the bottom out of a large kiddie pool, we put up chicken wire, then we eventually figured out that he’s fine if we just put him down in the middle of the yard and keep an eye out for cats & birds.

Feeding time is always fun. He really goes after tomatoes and watermelon, but we don’t give him much. I think he goes back and forth on if he likes his greens. (The dog is always happy to finish any uneaten salad pieces for him!) And he loves his superworms and dubia roaches. (Yes, I allow my daughter to keep feeder roaches in her bedroom. Dubias are supposed to be horrible climbers and super-healthy for bearded dragons.)

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