Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
How do I take care of my Bearded Dragon?
Bearded Dragons, or Pogona vitticeps, are hands-down the most popular household reptile enthusiasts around the world keep and care of fondly. These cute animals provide an array of exciting behaviors and are extremely easy for any beginner herp head. Bearded dragons are easily some of the most docile, people friendly, and easy to handle lizards a caretaker can own. The care sheet below details what you need to know to keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy!
Bearded Dragon Behaviors:
The first thing to know about any animal is its behaviors when interacting with the keeper and other animals. For example, beardies are famous for their feeding frenzy and enjoy chasing down insects like Dubia roaches and crickets. These tame lizards may be still at times, but don't be fooled; bearded dragons remain on alert, and when felt threatened, the spiny "beard" will extend and, in some cases, turn dark. However, it is not all are frenzies and puffy beards! The possibly most unique quality these animals possess is their "arm-waving." Females typically display this gesture as a sign of submission, but with those cute smiles, you can't help but believe they are saying "Hello!"
Bearded Dragon Size and Lifespan:
Bearded Dragons begin their life as tiny eggs until 55-75 days later they emerge as 4-inch long hatchlings and can grow up to 2 feet in length by reaching adulthood. While the average household bearded dragons typically live between 6 to 10 years, there have been records of beardies living up to 20 years!
Bearded Dragon Housing and Substrate:
Bearded Dragon hatchlings grow rapidly, so it is best to plan ahead with selecting the proper housing for your newborn pet. It is recommended to start with a 30-40 gallon tank (Dragonhaus Baby Beast) to allow room for growth and move to a 75-100 gallon tank (Dragonhaus 4x2x2) as they outgrow their original. Proper ventilation is must-have, whether it be a screen top or ventilation made into the enclosure. It is also imperative to provide your animal with enrichment by basking rocks, bowls, hides, and more!
Some of the most commonly used substrates in adult bearded dragon keeping are sand; however, it can lead to devastating intestinal issues if juveniles swallow some. Therefore, it is highly suggested that juvenile bearded dragons be kept in any stable substrate like newspaper, reptile carpet, and paper towels. Once a bit larger, beardies can play in loose substrate like CoCo Blocks and have fun hunting for their food within! It is important to note that any use of reptile sand has varying results impacting your animal's health. Please read and follow the manufactures instructions with reptile sand.
Bearded Dragon Heating and Lighting:
Due to these reptiles coming from a hot and arid environment, bearded dragon cages require a temperature range of 75F on the cool end and 100F in the basking areas. Temperature gradients can be accomplished by fixing your basking lamp to one side of the enclosure, providing a pleasant temperature gradient. IMPORTANT!! Always have a thermometer regulating your animal's enclosures to avoid overheating, and include cages over heating elements in terrariums to prevent burns.
In terms of lighting, inland bearded dragons, like most indoor lizards, require full-spectrum ultraviolet lighting to assist the reptile in producing Vitamin D3, aiding the animal in calcium absorption. Bearded Dragons need a T5H0 fixture with a 12% UVB bulb is a must-have for the benefit of your animal and any living plants inside!
Bearded Dragon Diet and Hydration:These marvelous animals are not picky eaters; "just keep it out of the sand, please!" (Miss Lizz Ard, 2022). The omnivorous bearded dragon loves to chomp down on insects, pinky mice, succulents, and even fruits! They have a better diet than humans! On the protein side, crickets, mealworms, Dubai roaches, and pinky mice are excellent choices. You can even spice their insect meals up with a dusting vitamin and mineral supplements mixed with calcium, which can be achieved as quickly as shake 'n... Well, that's it!
The fruit and vegetable selection for your bearded dragon is the one you must look closely at. Most of the fruit and veggie aisle is fair game for the little scaley friend on your shoulder. Still, the following are food items beardies absolutely MUST NOT have: Onion, Chives, Celery, Mushrooms, Lemon, Orange, Iceberg Lettuce, Spinach and Beet tops (very important due to chemicals in both that can cause calcium deficiency), Wild Insects, Fireflys (highly toxic), Avocados (highly toxic, fatal if eaten in a large dose), Rhubarb (contains high levels oxalic acid and can be deadly), Fish, Seafood. That may not seem like a "short list," but knowing is better than not, especially for your pet.
Humidity is typically not a major concern for most bearded dragon owners, as the reptiles thrive in 20-30% humidity. Leaving the animals is a fresh bowl of soaking water, and slightly mist around their enclosure to allow them to drink up the droplets. Just make sure to keep an eye on the humidity levels and don't over mist.
If your or someone you love has or plans to get a bearded dragon, check out our ready-to-go Bearded Dragon Kits, or contact us at email@example.com for more information!