Bearded dragons, also known as beardies, are one of the most popular types of lizards for beginners and hobbyists alike. This should come as no surprise. These mid-sized lizards are friendly and generally easy to care for. It making them a great pet! If you are considering bringing a bearded dragon into your life, here is everything you need to know!
Bearded dragons are considered to have the best disposition of any pet lizard. A healthy Bearded dragon will enjoy regular interactions with their owners. It can be brought out of their tank for supervised exploration of your home. They are receptive to handling and enjoy laying on a warm lap or shoulder. With the proper leash and safe outdoor conditions, bearded dragons can even be taken out for walks around the neighborhood.
Overall they are very friendly and docile, which makes them an ideal pet, even for people with children.
Beardies have more to offer than their agreeable personalities. Many owners find them to be as engaging and entertaining as a cat or dog. In their tanks, they often display amusing behaviors like arm waving and head bobbing, and you might catch them watching you from their favorite perch. If you aren’t squeamish, meal time can also be interesting. B
Bearded Dragons are diurnal like humans, meaning they are awake in the day and sleep at night. They gain energy from their lights and heat lamp during the day. While awake, beardies should be moderately active, basking, climbing, eating, or exploring their tank.
Bearded Dragons are territorial animals, while you can keep more than one in the same vivarium, it is not advised as it can cause distress and conflict between the lizards. If you plan on keeping multiple beardies, increase the size of the tank to allow each lizard more space.
Regardless of size, multiple males must never be kept in the same enclosure.
Once you have their environment set up properly, bearded dragons are easy and relatively low maintenance pets to care for. Pay special attention to the lighting and temperatures in their vivarium, keep it clean, and provide them with the proper diet and hydration and your will beardie will be happy and thriving.
Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, but until they reach maturity their diet should consist of 60% greens. It’s important to break up their food into small sized they can bite. So that they do not have digestive problems. They enjoy being hand
As your beardie matures you can introduce more insects into their diet, they enjoy live crickets, mealworms, and locusts, dusted with vitamin enriched calcium powder to help protect them against bone disorders.
SETTING UP THE HABITAT
Before you bring your Bearded dragon home, make sure you have the following supplies:
- Vitamin enriched powdered calcium supplement
- Assorted rocks, branches
- A food dish
- Misting Bottle
- The substrate (Sand for adults, paper towels, shredded paper, or carpeting for juveniles)
- A poop scoop, bags, and reptile safe disinfectant
- A UV light, which must be replaced every 6-12 months and is essential to the good health of your pet.
- A high-quality vivarium made with wood and glass, at least 120cm long to accommodate a full grown beardie. Their tank is not determined the size of your pets A 55 to 75 gallon tank is ideal for a single lizard.
- An appropriate strength heat lamp.
You will need to set up their vivarium, cleaning it, filling it with
Despite popular belief, bearded dragons should not have a heat mat in their environment as it can easily cause burns. Instead, a heat lamp should be placed on one side of the vivarium so that they can enjoy both cool and warmer areas.
To keep your beardie well hydrated, heavily mist the foliage and surroundings in their vivarium with a spray bottle. This allows them to drink as they would in their natural habitat. You may find your bearded dragon also enjoys being gently misted a few times a day, it can help to keep their skin moist. You may provide a bowl of water for your beardie. But they are more likely to sit in it and bathe than to drink from a large water source.
Your bearded dragons habitat will need to be spot cleaned regularly for excrement and shed skin, thorough vivarium cleanings should also be completed on a monthly schedule using reptile safe cleaning products.
HEAT AND LIGHTING
Exposure to proper UVA and UVB radiation through specialized light bulbs designed for reptiles is extremely important to the health and well being of bearded dragons. Your vivarium should be set up in a way that allows your beardie to get within 12 inches of these bulbs to benefit from the UV rays emitted, this distance may vary slightly by the manufacturer so be sure to read the instruction manual. Click here to see products
Bearded Dragons can also benefit from exposure to sunlight, however, time outside should be supervised and provide adequate options for shade and shelter to your pet so they can regulate their body temperature as needed. Do not place your Vivarium near a window, this type of exposure to sunlight can quickly overheat the habitat and seriously harm or kill a reptile.
Bearded dragons generally healthy and low maintenance pets, but it’s important to keep an eye out for conditions that they are predisposed to.
For example, beardies are highly susceptible to an assortment of bone diseases, making vitamin enriched calcium powder a must. One of the most serious ailments this helps to prevent is metabolic bone disease, which causes bones to soften and grow more susceptible to fractures.
Overconsumption of insects like crickets and mealworms can cause digestive impaction and constipation in beardies, due to their chitinous exoskeleton. So moderation is key, especially for juveniles.
Like most other reptiles, bearded dragons are highly susceptible to respiratory infections, which can be serious or even fatal. Watch for warning signs like a build up of mucus around the nose and mouth, or a wheezing sound when your pet breathes. It is important to take your pet to a veterinarian with experience caring for reptiles if they display any of these signs or if they are not regularly active during the day.
Bearded dragons can be expected to live 7 to 15 years in captivity, with the average lifespan being 8+ years. They are safe to adopt out at 3 to 4 months of age. So you can raise your beardie from infancy. You also look forward to spending the next decade with your new pet.
In summary, bearded dragons are wonderful pets for beginners and hobbyists of all ages, offering a unique and rewarding pet experience on par with owning a cat or dog. Anyone interested in owning a lizard should consider getting a bearded dragon.