Bearded Dragon vs Gecko – What Is The Best For You As A Pet?

There are over 4000 species of lizards, and finding the best one to have as a pet is paramount. So, should you get a Bearded dragon or Gecko?

Lizards are becoming popular pets for humans. Some reptile enthusiasts may prefer to have a Gecko while others would opt to own a bearded dragon. 

The key thing is to understand what is needed when caring for these two lovely lizard pets before you purchase one. We’ll learn about a Bearded dragon vs. Gecko to help you select the one that suits your needs and wants.

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Bearded Dragon vs. Gecko-Which One is a Better Option?

Bearded Dragon or Leopard Gecko
Bearded Dragon or Leopard Gecko

The Beardies and Leopard geckos are harmless, friendly, easy to care for, and can be an excellent option even for the new reptile owners. The main challenge comes in when you don’t know which one to choose between the two. 

Above all things, you need to know why you need a pet and how well you can care for it. The way you would care for a Beardie may be different from a Leo. Probably, it can be more expensive to own a Bearded dragon than a Gecko, but we will find out. 

First, understand all the expenses from each of the pets for you to get only what you need. There are several differences between a Bearded dragon and a Leopard gecko as pets, despite both being lizards. 

Below is a comparison between the two pets. Continue reading to know the one that is suitable for you.

Physical Appearance

Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Appearances
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Appearances

Are you that hobbyist who is much concerned about the beauty of your pet? Let’s learn more about the appearance of the Beardies and Leos. 

Leopard Gecko Look

These fascinating lizards have special movable eyelids which distinguish them from other Gecko species who instead have a clear membrane to safeguard their eyes. They have a thick tail, wide head, soft belly, and bumpy skin on the top. 

Leos have a distinctive appearance; they possess a striking leopard-like look that makes them more beautiful.

There are various morphs of Leos that come in different combinations of colors and patterns. For instance, we have jungle, carrot tailed or topped, blizzard, patternless, supergiant, and tangerine Leopard geckos, among others. 

Bearded Dragon Appearance

The majority of Bearded dragons have small spikes, and they all have a beard under the jaw that can puff up and bristle out when they feel threatened. 

Like Leos, the Beardies exist in different morphs and have a wide range of colors and patterns. Their body can range from yellow, purple/blue, red, white/silver, brown/tar, and orange. 

Which pet to choose between the two will depend on your preference because they are both attractive. 

New to bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about bearded dragons as pets. Check it now!

Personality 

Bearded Dragon and Leopard Gecko Personalities
Bearded Dragon and Leopard Gecko Personalities

Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are friendly, calm, and can get along well with their owners and family members after being around them for quite a long time. 

They are happy pets and appreciate gentle handling. However, they can get stressed out with too much handling and may stop trusting you. 

Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are unique and fun to have lizards; they appreciate being held as well as petted. The beardies are among the counted reptiles that tend to be affectionate. They get attached to the people who are around them and always look forward to their presence. 

They are friendly, even-tempered, and are safe to be handled by children under adult guidance. 

Bearded dragons tend to be more social and have a strong bond with their owners compared to the Leos. 

Space 

Here we will look at the size of the enclosure that is suitable for the Beardies and the Leos. 

Leopard Geckos Tank Size

The good thing you need to know about the Geckos is that they require less space in their tank. Young Geckos can fit well in a 10 to 15-gallon tank; it is an appropriate space where they can live freely. 

The adult Leopard geckos require a tank that is anywhere around 25 to 30-gallon. It helps them to live comfortably and express their normal behavior.

Bearded Dragons Required Tank Size

The Beardies need a tank that is much larger compared to the Geckos. Baby bearded dragons up to two months old require a small tank that is about 15-gallon.

Adult beardies can live comfortably and peacefully in a tank, not less than 55-gallons. You will need a tank that is about 55-70-gallons, depending on the size of your dragon. This is a perfect space and creates a stimulating environment. 

Humidity, Lighting, and Heating

Bearded Dragon

Heat is necessary for a beardie enclosure to help in digestion and to keep them healthy. The most suitable temperature in the warmer side of a bearded dragon’s house ranges between 90-110℉, and the cooler side 75-80℉. 

They require a high output UVB tube, which you may need to replace after a certain period. The need for basking lights makes the beardies more costly. 

Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos can thrive well in a tank without the basking lights, as long as the enclosure is warm. They don’t require specific temperatures or lighting like the dragons. Leos need low humidity, so do bearded dragons.  

Geckos are nocturnal creatures; therefore, they don’t necessarily need UVB tubes as they can stress them. The only important thing that you may provide to these pets is an under-tank heat source to warm their belly; it is necessary for digestion. 

Ability to Live in Groups

Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Group
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Group

Are you looking forward to having more than one lizard of the same king? How freely can they live together? Let’s see.

Leopard Geckos

Gecko pets have no problem living together as long as you provide them with different hides, and they can access food freely. 

However, it is not recommended to keep Leos together, especially when they are feeding on the same spot; they can fight for food and end up hurting each other. 

Bearded Dragons

The beardies should always be housed separately; they are territorial animals and like to protect their place. Housing dragons of the same gender, particularly the males, are even worse because they will always fight and cause injuries. 

The only recommended period to keep the beardies together is during breeding. 

Lifespan 

Gecko Lifespan

Leopard geckos are a perfect option if you are looking for longevity. They can live up to 20 years if they are getting maximum care and protection. 

Typically, a gecko will live between 10-20 years, but they can die as early as seven years under poor management. 

Bearded Dragon Lifespan

A bearded dragon can live for 8-12 years, but they can go up to 15 years under special care. With little or poor care, expect your beardie to live not more than five years.  

New to bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about bearded dragons as pets. Check it now!

Diet

Leopard Gecko

Geckos are exclusively insectivores; they only eat live food. They can feed on a wide range of live food. Generally, live food tends to be somehow expensive, be ready to spend a little more money. 

Geckos need to eat once every two days, but the babies require a single meal each day. These lizards can go for a week without food. 

Bearded Dragons Diet

Bearded dragons are omnivores; they can feed on a wide range of live food, veggies, greens, and fruits. The level of live food and vegetables will depend on the age of the beardie.

Around 80% of the baby’s diet is primarily live food; this is different from the adults whose diet contains 80% vegetables. 

Young beardies need to eat 3-5 times every day while the adult feeds 1-2 times daily. Bearded dragons can go for several weeks, up to a month without food. 

Size and Weight

Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Size and Weight
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon Size and Weight

Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are small lizards. The newborn babies are 3-4 inches long, female adults grow up 7-8 inches, and mature males are between 8-10 inches. 

The babies are born when weighing around 6-8 grams. Mature females are about 45 grams in weight, while males are anywhere between 60-90 grams. 

Bearded Dragons

The beardies are larger than geckos and record a faster growth rate. Baby dragons are about 3-4 inches long when they are newly hatched, and adults can grow up to 24 inches long. 

Some beardies can reach up to 32 inches in length, such as a German giant dragon. In terms of weight, the hatchlings are about 2-3 grams, and the adults can grow up to 750 grams. The minimum weight for healthy adult beardies is 250 grams. 

A German giant dragon can weigh anywhere from 850 to 1000 grams, but they are rare species. 

So, the beardie pets are much bigger than the geckos and are easier to handle. 

Best Option for Beginners 

If you are planning to buy a lizard for the first time, you can choose a bearded dragon or leopard gecko. They are both suitable for beginners. 

Egg-laying 

Leopard Geckos Maturity

The geckos become sexually mature at 12 months. The best time to breed them is when they are about 50 grams in weight. 

Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, attain their maturity when they are between 8-18 months or even two years. Don’t breed them until they are about 400 grams.

Breeding your beardie when it is below 18 months can result in stunted growth and maybe other health problems. 

Can You Keep Bearded Dragons Together with Geckos?

It is a good thing and more exciting to have a bearded dragon and, at the same time, a gecko. One may even be tempted to go ahead and house these beautiful pets together. However, don’t try to mix them, always keep that in mind. 

Bearded dragons differ a lot in their terrarium requirements compared to Leopard geckos, as we have seen above. Also, both pets are carriers of some different parasites, and they can end up falling sick if housed in the same tank. 

Bearded dragons are bigger, and because they are omnivores, they tend to eat the geckos or cause injuries to them. 

Both the beardies and Leos, particularly the males, are territorial creatures; they will not tolerate any animals getting into their place. This can lead to a serious fight whenever the two are kept together. 

Conclusion

So, now you know much of the comparison between bearded dragons vs. geckos. Leopard Geckos tend to be cheap in maintenance because they don’t require special lighting. They are also easy to feed because they only eat once every other day and need less space. 

Bearded dragons are tolerable to children and display more personality than the Leos, but even so, Leopard geckos are superior in maintenance. Because you have all the information with you, what to choose will depend on your preference.

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