After our cat died last year, DH asked if we could get a bearded dragon as he had always wanted one, and eventually I agreed and he bought one and got all the kit and the beardie is set up properly and correctly cared for and appears to be thriving and healthy. DH takes him out every other evening or so and usually once or twice at weekends.
The beardie is very sociable and appears to like being out of his vivarium.
My problem is that I work from home and DH works in an office, and is also away quite often. I work in the same room that the vivarium is in and the beardie is more often than not running around his vivarium scratching at the doors to get out. Now, I don't mind him, but he is a bit scratchy to handle and it's difficult to get him back in the vivarium once he is out. He also tends to run off and it is hard for me to focus on work and be up and down doing things if I have him out. So I tend not to. I only very rarely get him out if it's just me here. DH also worries about him getting too cold out of the viv, eg if he gets down onto the floor.
But I feel that he is not happy and that I should be getting him out when I'm working. I don't like keeping caged animals, but hadn't realised how much until we had this beardie. And I feel a bit resentful because I didn't want to have one in the first place and I feel I should be taking him out while I work for the creature's own sake.
I don't think I have any choice, do I? I just need to get used to working with the beardie on my desk/climbing the curtains.
Anyone with any experience of this - how much do beardies like to be out and about?
Beardies can get quite social and like a lot of space, so, first thing, is his vivarium big enough? It should be at least 4ft long with lots of things to hop on and scurry under. Another thing could be he is seeing his own reflection in the glass, try putting a thick band (3 or so inches) of duct tape or cardboard along the bottom of the glass and see if the scratching improves. When you let him out you could pop him in a play pen like this with a few different toys and a water bottled wrapped in a towel, the should do him for about an hour. Don't let him out if you can't supervise as if he falls from something h could easily break a bone, or chew something he shouldn't. I hope that helps a bit
Thank you - that is helpful. We have discussed getting a playpen like that so we are able to let him out to run around a bit more. I think we will probably get one. I will have think about the reflection thing. The vivarium is big enough, I think - he just want to be out more often. I took some of the extra things in there out yesterday and rearranged the water and food dishes so he had a bit more space just to get up and down between the three levels - I had to re-attach the fluorescent strip light as he had been swinging on it (!) and it had come down. He was very pleased to come out but does want to explore and run. Having seen the speed at which regular lizards run about while we were away on holiday I am not surprised!
I expect he'll calm down if he can have a run about. Beardies are funny, first one I met was a lazy ol' thing, could have sworn he was a statue 99% of the time, then I looked after one when the owners went on holiday and she was a nightmare! Worked out how to open her vivarium and went on a rampage ending up in the cat's water dish! So good luck tiring him out One more thing to check is the readings in the viv, as in is his basking spot is hot enough, his cool area is cool enough and his UV light is strong enough and close enough to him. My MHD gets a bit strange if something is even slightly out so I'm almost paranoid about checking.