Dragons As Pets – Everything You Need To Know As Beginner!
When we talk about reptiles and amphibians as pets, the most common animals that come into your mind must be lizards, dragons, snakes, frogs, and turtles. Seasoned pet owners love to challenge themselves and keep snakes as pets or giant tortoises and turtles. However, when it comes to beginner to moderate level expertise, dragon-like pets serve best(no doubt some are quite tricky to handle!). Moreover, dragons always excite people who collect reptiles as a hobby because of their unique behaviors. Having a dragon at home not only adds colors to the whole surrounding but also gives you a chance to have learned a lot more about Nature. With dragons, you will always be making new discoveries about the reptilian class and animal world. Their beautiful colors, patterns, and above all, intelligence make dragons my favorite pet.
Let us talk a bit about the most common species that look like dragons, and you can have them at your home easily. Continue reading till the very end to know all about dragons and their unique behaviors as pets.
Dragons As Pets:
When it comes to being pet, dragons exhibit a variety of behaviors. This is because these animals are more popular only in seasoned pet keepers. However, if you study enough and know how to bond with a dragon, there can be no better pet than a dragon. Let us discuss a few pros and cons of having dragons as pets.
Perks Of Having Dragons As A Pet
Here are some perks you will enjoy when you have a dragon as a pet.
- Dragons(not all) like human interaction and like to cuddle with them, such as bearded dragons.
- They are low maintenance pets that need little grooming.
- Dragons do not develop separation anxiety and know how to enjoy their own company (a few species develop violent behaviors due to some underlying causes).
- Dragons have a lot of variety, from land to water. You can find them everywhere. It is on you now which dragon suits best with your personality.
- Dragons live long lives. If you take care of your dragon correctly, they may last more than two decades.
- Dragons are friendly, calm, and hygienic pets. They may seem hostile but are very docile and loving.
Some dragons can also be trained for multiple tricks and activities, such as potty training.
Cons Of Having Dragons As Pets
Every picture has a dark side. So, when it comes to having dragons at home, you will possibly be facing the following challenges:
- They need particular living conditions and diet. You can’t be mistaken for a well-balanced diet, proper temperature, light, and humidity.
- Dragons usually need large tanks and spaces to live other than those of smaller sizes. So, if you are planning to have a dragon, make sure you have enough space for it to grow, and move when in the adult phase.
- Dragons are usually docile, but some can be aggressive and shy. However, their bite does not hurt a lot.
- Dragons harbor multiple bacterias, especially Salmonella, on their skin which can cause severe food poisoning in humans. Also, their droppings and other secretions contain a lot of microbiota. So, it would be best if you were very careful while handling. It would be best if you avoid having dragons when you have minor children at home.
- Most dragons are omnivores or insectivores (though a few are herbivores). So, it would be best if you were comfortable with live insects when you have them.
- Having dragons is a royal hobby. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly pet, dragons might not be an option for you.
Dragons readily fall prey to several metabolic diseases if you do not take care of them properly. So, you need to have a regular check on them when you have them as pets.
Species Of Dragons
In this section, we are going to discuss the most common animal species that look like dragons and are good to have a pet.
Scientific Name: Pogona
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Bearded dragons are one of the most famous dragons found worldwide. These pets are easy to maintain and handle with their growth up to 18 inches. The bearded dragon is great for anyone who just started to experience the colors of the reptilian class. These cold-blooded animals share many features with humans as their diurnal pattern and omnivore diet. It would help if you were cautious about a bearded dragon’s diet as you need to introduce many variations intelligently. You know entirely about providing a balanced diet to your pet. Better build a diet chart for your bearded dragon considering the macros and forbidden food items and their quantities.
Bearded dragons get their name owing to their slight dinosaur-like appearance and beard. Bearded dragons have got a fair, high intelligence in reptiles. They can be trained to respond to the call by their owners, potty train, or react to different calls. If you want to know more about having bearded dragons as pets, our guide on keeping bearded dragons as pets will be pretty helpful.
Chinese Water Dragon
Scientific Name: Physignathus cocincinus
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Chinese water dragons or Asian water dragons are some of the most beautiful pets when we talk about dragons. However, in order to keep them healthy as pets, you need to maintain certain living conditions and provide balanced food and nutrition. These pets are also omnivores; therefore, you need to introduce both plant and animal food groups in their diet chart. Also, you need to make sure appropriate enclosure requirements as these lizards are deceived by the glass and hurt themselves in a try to escape. As the name indicates, these dragons like waters, so you need a large tank that provides them a chance to swim and climb at the same time. During the whole lifespan, these pets usually grow up to 2-3 feet.
Chinese water dragons are best for people who have a bit of experience with reptilian pets and can provide appropriate living conditions. These creatures are utterly docile for their fellow humans. However, they may have an instinct to fight with their enclosure mates for supremacy.
Dragon Moray Eel
Scientific Name: Enchelycorepardalis
Lifespan: up to 15 years
Dragon Moray Eel is famous among experienced pet owners due to the advanced level of care and handling required to keep this pet healthy at home. These dragons are also renowned as Hawaiian dragons and are pretty expensive around the globe. Usually, it costs more than$1,000, so are typically popular among the elite and people collecting reptile as a hobby.
These pets do not eat a lot. You need to feed it twice or thrice a week. They are primarily carnivores and need alive prey. They grow up to three feet in their lifetime with their eye-catching horns and unique patterns on the skin. These pets are famous for showing off their pointy dragon-like horn by opening their mouth wide open. This posture helps them to threaten their predators. Otherwise, it can also be their resting stage, as they usually rest by handing their mouth outside their hideout. Some eels have such a bighorn which is primarily dentition, that they cannot even close their mouth. These pets require large enclosures to live and prey on. Due to their challenging maintenance requirements, they are not recommended for beginners.
Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Lifespan: 10 to 20 years
With the most amazing colors and patterns, crested geckos shine high with their dragon-like heads, which are always crested. The size of the crest, though, varies from breed to breed. Like most pet dragons, they are omnivores. However, they do not need you to feed them live insects. So, if you cringe out at the thought of feeding live insects to your pet regularly, crested geckos are an option for you. However, you need to know a lot about their diet and habits. It would help if you made a good balance in calcium and other vitamins along with macros.
Crested Geckos are small low maintenance pets that do well in a medium-sized tank furnished with live plants and hideouts. These pets grow up to 9 inches during their whole lifetime. Owing to all these features, Crested Geckos make great pets for beginners.
Scientific Name: Basiliscus plumifrons
Lifespan: up to 10 years
Green Basilisk, a fantasy reptile featured in multiple fantasy plays and movies and also in the legendary Harry Poter series. Do not be afraid by its image in the film as it does not freeze you with a single glance! Basilisk is moderate-sized insectivores dragons. They can grow up to 3 feet in their whole lifetime.
These reptiles have unique features which can stun anyone who is able to observe them from close. Basilisks are also known as Jesus Lizards for their excellent ability to run smoothly on waters. These pets are pretty ticky to maintain and care for, as they do not like much human interaction. To have them at your home, you must have advanced level knowledge about their maintenance and provide them environment close to their natural habitat. Owing to the difficulty in having them at home and hefty price tags, they are usually reserved for seasoned reptile pet owners or those who love to collect exotic pets as a hobby.
Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink
Scientific Name: Tribolonotus gracilis
Lifespan: 10-15 years
These lizards with a dragon-like experience are carnivores in Nature. Maintenance of these pets is a bit tricky as they readily go deficient in vital minerals and vitamins. So, you need to add a balanced amount of supplements, especially calcium, to the diet of your skink. Their distinctive appearance is because of bright and attractive orange rings around their eyes, giving them a sharp appearance. These animals behave well as pets and are docile towards their human fellows.
These dragon-like lizards grow up to 7 inches during their whole lifetime. So, you can easily keep them in a 25-gallon tank which is enough for an adult pair. These are pretty low maintenance pets, so beginners with a bit of guidance and information can handle them well.
Scientific Name: Ambystoma mexicanum
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
These little guys grow up to 12 inches and are omnivores in Nature. These pets need to follow a specific diet schedule which can easily be mastered by learning about these pets. Axolotls are famous for their appearance, which resembles the Chinese Water Dragon with long gills extended around their heads. These pets also have a super resemblance to Flightmares in “How to Train Your Dragon.”
These dragons are amphibians and are pretty easy to keep and maintain in captivity. These pets do well in cooler environments, so they do not need heaters in their aquariums. However, maintaining their natural habitat at 66˚F can become a bit challenging in summers. These dragons do well with beginners and are also loved by kids.
Scientific Name: Iguana iguana
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
These monster-sized lizards can grow up to 7 feet in their adult stage or might be up to the size of your door! These dragon lizards weigh more than 20 pounds. Because of their giant sizes, these reptiles were used to replace giant dinosaurs and dragons in the early days of cinemas. As you see, these pets grow very large, so you need a large captive space for them.
These “dragons” are herbivores in their feeding Nature; therefore, you need to have a large amount of salads ready for them daily. These pets have excellent reptile intelligence and can be trained for multiple activities. In the reptilian world, iguanas behave more close to their mammal ancestors in their intelligence. For most of the time, these pets are entirely docile. However, if they are afraid, they can cause scratches with their long claws. They are usually low maintenance but can be a bit tricky. If you are confident you can take good care of these fantastic reptiles
Scientific Name: Trioceros jacksonii
Lifespan: Male members live up to 10 years, and females mostly live shorter, mostly up to 5 years.
These fantastic small pet lizards grow up to 18 inches. These dragons have impressive horns and can rotate their eyes in 360 degrees, due to which they are famous. They have unusual, beautiful appendages and are popular for their long sticky tongues, which they use for catching prey. These lizards are omnivores and also need an adequate supply of minerals and vitamins, especially calcium. Moreover, you need to mist their enclosure regularly as Chameleons only get water by licking it from their habitat and wet skin.
These pets are known for being shy and are easily stressed out by exotic intrusions, so they need advanced level care requirements to keep them healthy. Therefore, these reptiles are reserved for pro reptile pet keepers.
Scientific Name: Draco volans
Lifespan: not known
Want to have a flying dragon? If yes, then Draco lizards are an option for you. As the name complies, it is a familiar concept that these lizards have wings. However, they are more like squirrels gliding in the air. With their colorful flaps, Draco lizards attract the attention of many.
Draco Lizards are carnivores and feed on ants and termites. However, you can make them eat flies, crickets, and mealworms. These dragons grow up to 8 inches in their whole life. These pets are usually very shy and need specific enclosure requirements. Due to difficult dietary habits and maintenance marks, these are also one of the advanced level pets.
Mexican Alligator Lizard
Scientific Name: Abronia graminea
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
These vibrant, colorful lizards grow up to 12 inches during their whole lifetime. These lizards originated from the cloud forests of South America and Central America. These lizards are tricky to maintain as they respond readily if their environmental elements are not in accordance with their natural habitat. One of the best examples is their change in color upon exposure to UVB light. When Mexican lizards are exposed to bright daily sunlight, they will appear vibrant green. However, if you keep them indoors and expose them to artificial UVB light, they will be more of teal tones. They are insectivores in their dietary habit. However, you need to add a due amount of vitamins and other supplements, including calcium, as part of a balanced diet.
These arboreal dragon lizards are recommended for those who can maintain their living conditions properly. So, only those who have prior experience with reptile pets should have them.
Scientific Name: Ouroborus cataphractus
Lifespan: 8 to 12 years
With pointed plates and the ability to curl up in balls, these dragon-like lizards are excellent pets for beginners. These are small pets and can grow up to 6 to 7 inches in their whole lifetime. These lizards are herbivores but also need a specialized pellet diet. This species is very social and loves to be in groups. They are also low maintenance pets. In short, these lizards are a best choice for beginners in every aspect.
Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
These omnivore pets, with their fabulous features, are pattern are very famous to reptile lovers. One of their distinctive features is their defense mechanism. Frilled dragons in stress expand all the large membranes of their head significantly, more like pufferfish. The response is induced to frighten away the predator. Amazing, right.
Although these pets are omnivores, they need particular vitamins and calcium supplements in their diet regularly. These dragons grow up to 3 feet in their adult stage and have a high activity level in the wild. Therefore, you need a relatively large enclosure to keep them healthy. These reptiles should have a large enclosure to support their relatively high activity level.
Scientific Name: Phrysnosoma
Lifespan: More than five years.
Horned Lizard is another unique, highly dragon-like lizard that attracts many due to its highly unusual behaviors and patterns. One of these features is their ability to shoot a significant amount of blood from their eyes for their protection. These pets are insectivores; however, you need to add multiple vitamin and mineral supplements to their diet to keep them healthy. As these dragons are challenging to care for, they are also reserved for pro pet keepers.
Ready For A Dragon Pet?
No doubt, dragons make great pets and also open new horizons of discoveries. In fact, they can excite any herpetologist. Moreover, they also have great ornamental value. However, make sure to thoroughly research dietary, lightning, temperature, humidity, and other enclosure requirements before having one for you. Moreover, it is better to learn about the most expected pet behaviors in advance.
If you are a beginner, do not go for exotic pets or those that are too giant for you to handle. Begin with low maintenance and small ones, and then you can advance to other amazing pets. For detailed information on the most popular reptile and amphibian pets, you can surf on our website. I hope this article gave you a direction to work on. If you have any queries, Please do contact us. We would be happy to help.
I am a graduate of a veterinary university. Dealing with all the kinds of pets from the dawn to dusk, it’s like understanding their language. That is the best time ever, I must say!
Writing has always been my orphenadrine. I love to share my experience and talk about the most common issues people have been facing with their pets. My writing career began in 2015. I aimed to work for pets to share my experience and make pet humans relation a lot better. I usually talk about the most significant or recurrent cases of the day. During my practice at pet centre, I face a lot of questions by pet owners. Moreover, I also own a variety of pets myself including different species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Therefore, I have decided to educate all the pet owners about their little friends who can’t talk the way we do. Understanding what they are telling us is all we need to do. And most of us fail to perceive.
So, I am here to serve the purpose. Let’s help each other in better understanding the needs, behaviours, and problems of our best friends with the best possible solutions!