One of the best things about keeping bearded dragons as pets is that you almost get two pets in one. Your juvenile bearded dragon will change a lot as she matures. Juvenile bearded dragons have different needs regarding diet and enclosure. They are also more sensitive to changes in heat and humidity than adults. Learn everything that you need to know to keep your juvenile bearded dragon healthy and happy into adulthood.
Learn everything that you need to know to take the best possible care of your juvenile bearded dragon and give her a great start in life. Many aspects of care are different for juvenile bearded dragons than for adults, from what to feed how often, to the temperature that should be maintained, to what needs to be done to keep a young bearded dragon hydrated. Juvenile bearded dragons must learn to be comfortable with people. They have different relationships with other dragons than adult dragons do.
Juvenile bearded dragons eat many more insects then veggies and benefit from different sorts of insects than adult bearded dragons. While your juvenile bearded dragon will benefit from the same size cage as an adult bearded dragon, the temperature and humidity that must be maintained are different between juveniles and adults. Learn how to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity for your juvenile bearded dragon.
You will want to get to know your young bearded dragon, but you shouldn’t handle a juvenile bearded dragon in the same way as you would handle an adult. Learn how to tame your juvenile bearded dragon and what you should do to begin handling her.
Juvenile bearded dragons do not feel territorial in the same way that adult dragons do. H
Young bearded dragons are voracious eaters with rapid metabolisms. They will enthusiastically eat any insect they are offered, so it is important that you only provide those insects that are safe for them to consume. Offer insects that are no larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes. Avoid any insects that have hard shells, like mealworms, until your bearded dragon is older.
In general, juvenile bearded dragons benefit from being fed as frequently as possible, up to three or four times a day. If you cannot maintain such a rigorous feeding schedule, your dragon will still thrive on feeding of twice a day. Provide fresh veggies as well as insects, even though it is likely that your young dragon will refuse most veggies for some time.
Offer active insects like crickets to keep your juvenile bearded dragon in good shape and also offer insects that are high in moisture in order to keep your young bearded dragon hydrated. To ensure the best health for your dragon lightly dust foods with a calcium and vitamin supplement designed for reptiles.
Juvenile dragons can be housed in smaller aquariums than adults, as small as 20 gallons. They will need a larger tank very soon. Adult dragons should be housed in nothing smaller than a 55-gallon aquarium. If you intend to use a
Juvenile bearded dragons are very active and will happily use the length of the cage as they scurry after insects. Furthermore, it can be easier to provide proper heat distribution across a longer tank so that your dragon will not overheat.
If you intend to house your adult bearded dragon in a screen or combo screen and acrylic cage, it may be wise to keep your juvenile bearded dragon in a separate aquarium until she is older. It is hard to maintain humidity in screen enclosures, so while they can be great for adult dragons, they are less ideal for juveniles.
While adult bearded dragons can be housed on sand or offered a sandbox with observation, baby dragons shouldn’t have sand since they can so easily become impacted.
Juvenile bearded dragons require the same sort of full spectrum UVA UVB lighting that is required for adult dragons. Their basking needs, however, are slightly different. Adult bearded dragons enjoy basking in temperatures of 120° or more. Juvenile bearded dragons do not have as much body mass to absorb the temperature. They therefore require temperatures no higher than 100° to ensure that they do not accidentally overheat.
Use a reptile thermometer to determine the exact temperature in your juvenile bearded dragon’s basking area. Such thermometers are inexpensive and can make a huge difference in the health of your dragon. It is wise to use two thermometers in your juvenile dragon’s cage. Use one thermometer on the hot side to determine the basking temperature and another on the cool side to make sure it is cool enough to provide a temperature variant. Cages that are too hot can quickly dehydrate your baby dragon.
You may assume that because in the wild bearded dragons are desert animals, they are hardy against dehydration. While bearded dragons certainly do not require as much humidity as many other reptiles that come from more tropical regions, juvenile bearded dragons are very susceptible to dehydration.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of illness and death in young dragons, so it is essential to provide sufficient humidity for your dragon. That said, it is also important not to provide too much humidity as it can cause illness within your dragon’s lungs or cause fungus to grow.
To offer the ideal level of humidity for your dragon, provide a wide, shallow dish of water at all times. Also mist the dragon itself daily with room temperature water. Try to mist your dragon very gently and not startle her. Soon she will realize that she should drink the mist off of her own body and off of her surroundings.
Make as fine a mist as possible. Spray from a distance at first so that she gets the hang of it. It is a good idea to wait until your dragon has had a little bit of time to rest under the heat lamp before you mist her each morning so that she will be alert and warm.
The older your juvenile bearded dragon gets, the less you will have to worry about humidity. As your dragon eats more vegetable and fruit matter, she will require less additional water. When your juvenile dragon is young you can feed insects that are high in moisture to help keep her properly hydrated.
When you get your new bearded dragon home it can be tempting to try to bond with her as soon as possible. Juvenile bearded dragons are adorable and endearing and it is very natural to want to interact with them. Bearded dragons tend to be passive and calm with human handling. It still takes some time for them to become comfortable.
Bearded dragons are not domestic animals like dogs or cats who naturally seek out human contact. Your little dragon will need to learn that you are a source of good things. She must know that you can be trusted before she will feel comfortable with being handled. Don’t interact with your dragon at all until she has established a natural and healthy rhythm with feeding, basking, and sleeping.
Associate yourself with all of the good things in your juvenile dragon’s life. Offer foods by hand or keep your hand in the aquarium while your dragon is feeding. She will associate the pleasant feeling of eating with you. It’s a great idea to train your dragon her name at this time by calling it when you feed her.
As time goes on, your dragon will become comfortable with the presence of your hand. She will scramble onto your hand to get food. Practice picking her up several inches off of the bottom of the terrarium before setting her back down again. Never contain your dragon in your hand or chase her if she runs from you. Always wait for her to come to you and be patient with her. Generally, bearded dragons tame quickly. With practice, your dragon will be sitting on your shoulder by the time she is a little bit bigger.
Juvenile bearded dragons do not have the instinctual drives to establish and maintain territories that adult dragons do. They can, however, still compete over resources. In the wild young bearded dragons with
In captivity, young dragons can fight over food or nip at one another’s feet and tails. Most breeders keep baby dragons together for convenience. As long as plenty of food is provided this is generally not at all problematic. A missing tip of tail or digit is not dangerous to a young dragon’s health.
Young dragons tend to bask on top of one another. Therefore, it is important to provide plenty of basking area for all of your dragons to have room. Also observed baby dragons to make sure that everybody is getting the same amount of food. It is a good idea to take out the largest dragons and establish them in their own cages. This way, weaker dragons will have the ability to get plenty of food and resources.
Juvenile bearded dragons have entirely different lifestyles and behaviors than adult dragons. Enjoy this stage of your dragons life. Take your time and enjoy watching your little dragon learn about her environment and get used to you. Spend plenty of time with your dragon so that you will notice small changes that can tell you what your dragon isn’t feeling well. Make sure that you are aware of your dragon’s temperature and that you keep her hydrated and fed regularly, and you will have a healthy pet for many years to come.