Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

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Bearded Dragon Habitat Setup and Care

Bearded dragons are smart, fun, and curious and are considered the most docile creatures among the lizard world. This makes them extremely popular pets, but it’s important to do your research before bringing your new beardie home. Be sure to have all supplies ahead of time, such as housing, accessories, and food. This will help ensure your pet has an easy and healthy transition to your care.

Quick Facts

● Beardies are omnivorous; they eat both plant and animal matter.

● They get their name from the spiky growths under their necks, which will puff up and turn black when the lizard is excited, resembling a human beard.

● They generally range in size from 16-24 inches, tail included.

● With proper care, beardies can live 10 years or longer.

Enclosure

Bearded dragons are active, so they need plenty of floor space. Your enclosure should be 3 times as long as your dragon. Since they grow quickly, getting a larger tank from the start is a good idea. Make sure to cover it with a vented lid to prevent your beardie from escaping (they can be very skilled escape artists).

Substrate

Avoid using sand and other small loose particle substrates with baby and juvenile bearded dragons. These substrates can lead to impaction. Reptile carpet, newspaper, or porcelain/ceramic tiles are the best options for baby and juvenile beardies and are easiest to maintain. Natural sand is okay for adult beardies.

Accessories

In addition to the basking perch, you can add other accessories to make your beardie feel at home like branches, rocks, or driftwood. Rock dens or “hides” provide shade and give your pet a place to escape to. They can double as a basking perch if strategically placed.

Temperature & Lighting

Bearded dragons require full-spectrum UVB lighting, spread evenly throughout the tank, for 12-14 hours per day as well as a basking bulb positioned over a rock, branch, or reptile hammock. You’ll need two good quality thermometers to maintain a proper temperature gradient. The basking side should be 90-93°F for adults and 95-100°F for juveniles. Keep the cooler side 80-90°F. At night, turn the lights off and allow the temperature to drop to 70-75 degrees F. Humidity should always be kept below 60%.

Diet & Nutrition

Bearded dragons need a varied diet that will normally consist of vegetables, insects, and non-citrus fruit. Baby/juvenile beardies require more live insects than adults because they are growing and need the protein.

Feeder insects should be gut-loaded and no larger than the space between your beardie’s eyes. We recommend dusting insects with calcium and Vitamin D at least once a week. Commercial diets fortified with real crickets are also a good option and can provide your pet with proper balance of essential nutrients.

Provide a food bowl as well as a bowl with fresh dechlorinated water daily. Make sure the water bowl is less than an inch deep. They will not always drink from their water bowl, so keep a spray bottle to mist your beardie several times a day. You’ll notice it lick up the water droplets that drip from its nose.

Handling & Safety

Beardies tolerate handling and interaction with humans well. They will likely spend part of the day in a hiding spot. Male bearded dragons are territorial and should be housed separately. Do not house different reptile species together.

Bearded dragons go through brumation periods, a type of hibernation that often happens in the fall or winter and can last for weeks or months. Your beardie may sleep more often or not wake up at all throughout the entire cycle.

Juvenile beardies will shed as they grow. Adults shed as well, but not as often. When ready to shed, their eyes may appear puffy and skin duller than usual.

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