The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Bearded Dragon Care

Author Clyde Reid

Posted Apr 15, 2023

Reads 7.7K

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Bearded dragon care is a topic that every bearded dragon owner should know about. These fascinating creatures are known for their spiked area on the throat, which can expand based on their mood. They can also change colors to blend in with their surroundings or signal different emotions. When stressed, a bearded dragon's beard typically turns black, indicating that they may not feel safe.

Native to the desert regions of Australia, wild bearded dragons have a dust-colored blending that helps them hide from predators. Since being introduced to the United States as exotic pets, selective breeding has resulted in multiple color types being recognized, including bright yellow and orange variants. There are also smooth-scale variants called leatherbacks that lack sharp spikes and have a smoother texture.

In this ultimate guide to mastering bearded dragon care, we will cover all aspects of proper bearded dragon housing, diet, health maintenance and more. Whether you are an experienced owner or new to the world of reptiles, this guide will provide you with valuable information to ensure your pet thrives in captivity.

Bearded Dragon Housing

When it comes to bearded dragon care, one of the most crucial aspects is housing. While some exotic species pet stores may recommend short-term housing for quick transport, it's advisable generally to invest in a 75-gallon terrarium as the minimum size for adult beardies. Many companies produce items marketed specifically for bearded dragons, but it's important to research product claims before purchasing supplies.

One common mistake that beardie parents make is using directly harmful substrate such as sand or fine gravel. These materials can lead to gastrointestinal impactions and other health issues. Instead, opt for reptile carpet or bio-active substrates that provide a easily sanitized surface while avoiding potential dangers.

When setting up your bearded dragon's terrarium, make sure to consider their snout-to-tail length as they can grow up to 2 feet long or even longer! A full mesh screen top provides proper ventilation and allows for the necessary lighting and heat sources without overheating your beardie. With proper husbandry including diet, lighting, and heat, your bearded dragon will thrive in their new home.

1. Temperature

Temperature is a crucial factor in bearded dragon care. Reptiles like bearded dragons rely heavily on their surroundings to regulate their internal body temperature, which makes proper temperatures in captivity essential. Bearded dragon housing should have a temperature gradient, providing a warm side and cool side. A basking spot with a thermometer 1 inch above the surface should offer warmer end temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, while the cool end should stay around 70 degrees. It's important to monitor basking site daytime temperatures to ensure your bearded dragon stays healthy and happy!

2. Humidity

Humidity is an important factor in bearded dragon care. Beardies live naturally in dry desert environments, so it's important to measure humidity levels and provide sufficient water to avoid dehydration. Bearded dragons need access to fresh water daily, which can be provided through a shallow water bowl that should be rinsed and refilled frequently. Other ways of ensuring increased humidity include giving showers or providing a shallow pan of water for them to soak in. Dehydrated bearded dragons suffer from health problems, including difficulty shedding and digestive issues, so it's essential to ensure they have access to drinking water, creating a healthy environment for them.

3. Enrichment

Enrichment is an important aspect of bearded dragon care. Bearded dragons are adept climbers and require a housing environment that includes thick branches for climbing and hiding areas for privacy. The basking site should be in direct light, but enclosures and hides should also be regularly rotated to prevent boredom. Small treat balls can also provide mental stimulation, however, be wary of potentially toxic live plants and spreading salmonella. Male bearded dragons are typically solitary creatures and fighting results in wounds; males and females should not be allowed unsupervised free roam to prevent chilling trauma or escape ingestion of foreign materials.

Picking the Best Bearded Dragons for Optimal Health

When choosing a bearded dragon, it's important to carefully inspect their body parts for any past wound or future issues. A wound make sure it healed correctly and there is no sign of infection. Check the bearded dragons mouth and eyes to ensure they look healthy. This is especially important if you're looking to purchase a young bearded dragon as they can rapidly outgrow their previous owners.

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One of the easy things you can do to ensure you have a healthy bearded dragon is to catch fast bugs in their enclosure. An active bearded dragon that's moving around its environment 24 hours a day is a clear sign of good health. When choosing between young and older bearded dragons, we generally recommend getting a young adult beardie. They are already mature enough but still have plenty of time left before reaching full maturity.

In conclusion, taking care of your bearded dragon starts with picking the best one possible for optimal health. Carefully inspect them for any past wounds, check their body parts like mouth and eyes to ensure they look healthy, and make sure they're active 24 hours a day. By following these simple tips, first-time bearded dragon owners can ensure that they have a healthy pet that will bring joy for years to come!

Bearded Dragon Cleaning Needs

Keeping your bearded dragon's home clean is essential for its health and well-being. Bearded dragons are known to have a messy living space, which means that their terrarium needs to be spot-cleaned daily, including the removal of bowel movements. Harsh chemicals make the terrarium noxious chemicals that can harm your bearded dragon's respiratory system, so it is important to ensure proper ventilation when cleaning.

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When choosing what type of tiles or reptile carpet to use in your bearded dragon's terrarium, it is crucial to pick an option that can be easily changed based on how dirty it becomes. These types of materials do not harbor bacteria smells as much as other options like newspaper or paper towels, which need to be changed every few weeks. Additionally, using these materials will help reduce the amount of waste produced from your pet's habitat, making for an eco-friendlier choice overall.

Lastly, keeping a clean water dish is vital as it helps prevent bacterial growth and keeps your pet hydrated. The water should be changed daily and the bowl should be thoroughly washed regularly with mild soap and water. By investing time into maintaining a clean environment for your bearded dragon, you're ensuring their overall health and happiness!

Essential Nutrients to Keep Your Bearded Dragon Healthy

As a bearded dragon owner, it is important to know the essential nutrients your pet needs to remain healthy. One of the biggest fears for bearded dragon owners is their beardie receiving toxic levels of various vitamins and minerals. Fortunately, A-vitamins (including beta-carotene) are not typically harmful in excess, as bearded dragons simply excrete any excess amounts. This means that feeding your bearded dragon foods rich in beta-carotene (such as carrots or sweet potatoes) is a safe way to provide important nutrients without risking vitamin toxicity.

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While some people give their bearded dragons multivitamins or synthetic versions of certain vitamins, this can have negative effects on your pet. Swollen eyes or throat can occur if a bearded dragon receives too much synthetic vitamin A. Instead, focus on providing a good amount of vegetables and fruits in your beardie's diet, and consider adding a reptile multivitamin such as Herptivite Multivitamin if needed.

Vitamin D3 is another one of the important vitamins for bearded dragons to develop strong bones and stay healthy overall. Bearded dragons naturally receive vitamin D3 when exposed to direct sunlight or full-spectrum UV light – however, indoor pets may require a vitamin D3 supplement. General estimates show that an average bearded dragon needs about half the amount of vitamin D3 as calcium supplements (in a low phosphorous levels ratio of 2:1 or 3:1), with rep-cal reptile calcium powder being a popular choice among reptile breeders.

Fuel Your Bearded Dragon's Health with a Balanced Diet

Bearded dragons are beloved pets that require proper care and attention to ensure their well-being. One of the most important aspects of bearded dragon care is their diet. Feeding your bearded dragon a balanced diet will not only keep them healthy, but it can also increase their life span.

Adult bearded dragons should be fed insects as their main diet, while younger beardies should also have a daily serving of greens. Owners claim that feeding their younger dragons insects for an entire day can result in overfeeding, so it's best to limit feeding time to a 10-15 minute period. After 15 minutes, remove any uneaten crickets to prevent overeating and obesity.

Insect feedings for adult bearded dragons can range from 20-60 crickets per day, depending on the dragon's size and activity level. While it may seem like a lot of insects, it's actually a lot cheaper than feeding them an unhealthy adult main diet of pellets or canned food. It's important to remember that insects should be gut-loaded before feeding to ensure they are nutritionally valuable for your pet. By providing the right food form for your pet, you'll increase the chances of creating a healthy and happy environment for your pet!

1. Insects for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons need a variety of insects to maintain a healthy diet. It's important to feed bearded dragons bugs that are bred specifically for feeding pets, as those from bait shops or the wild can carry parasites. Popular healthy bugs for bearded dragons include crickets, mealworms, and superworms which can be found at pet stores or insect breeders online. A complete list of bugs bearded dragons can eat is available for both juvenile and adult bearded dragons.

2. Insects & Plants to Avoid

When it comes to feeding bearded dragons, it's important to know which insects and plants to avoid. Some bearded dragon bugs and insects caught in residential areas may not necessarily be dangerous, but their toxicity levels can harm your pet. Also, avoid feeding your bearded dragon spinach as it contains a substance that binds calcium in their body. It's best to review the full list of poisonous plants and house plants before giving them to your bearded dragons.

Selecting the Perfect Bearded Dragon for You!

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Choosing the perfect beardie can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. With thousands of different types out there, selecting the tenth bearded dragon choosing the right one for you might not seem like an easy task. However, with a little research and patience, you'll be able to find a healthy pet that fits your lifestyle! Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in a bearded dragon.

Discovering the Perfect Place to Find Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are becoming increasingly popular in the world of pets, and they are a great addition to any family. If you're looking for a bearded dragon, there are many common locations people find these creatures, such as pet stores or private breeders. Pet stores generally have a variety of bearded dragons available in different colors, but they can often be pricey. Meanwhile, generally breeders built ideal living environments for their bearded dragons, allowing them to produce extremely healthy bearded dragons in exotic colors.

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One of the best places to find bearded dragon enthusiasts is by browsing through classified ads online or in your local newspaper. You can often find good deals on both adult and baby bearded dragons or even complete bearded dragon packages that come with all the necessary supplies such as tank lights and other accessories. Additionally, you might even get lucky enough to find people giving away their bearded dragons at a low price.

If you want to provide a rescued beardie with a new home and give them a second chance at life, reptile rescues might have what you're looking for. Rescued bearded dragons may need extra care since they are fragile due to their potential history, but it's important to remember that adopting from a rescue also provides you with a healthy view on pet ownership. Overall, whether it's from private breeders or rescues, it's essential always to buy supplies before bringing home your new pet.

Maintaining Optimal Health for Your Bearded Dragon

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Maintaining optimal health for your bearded dragon is crucial in ensuring they live long and healthy lives. Bearded dragons are generally healthy animals, but like any other living creature, they can develop health issues. Understanding common bearded dragon behavior and providing a suitable living environment is essential to prevent potential health issues. Regular check-ups with an experienced reptile veterinarian can also aid in detecting and addressing any health concerns that may arise. In this article, we'll cover common bearded dragon behavior, potential health issues, and how to ensure your bearded dragon stays happy and healthy.

1. Common Bearded Dragon Behavior

Common Bearded Dragon Behavior can cause inexperienced owners to immediately assume their pet is sick or dying. Bearded dragons go through a hibernation cycle called brumation, typically in late fall to early winter. During this time, their appetite may decrease, and they may skip countless meals. This brumation cycle is necessary for healthy bearded dragons' weight regulation, and younger bearded dragons who are constantly growing may not participate in this behavior. It's important to learn about the brumation cycle and resist helping your bearded dragon shed its loose skin by using a damp warm washcloth to gently exfoliate the barely attached skin from the body.

2. Unusual Bearded Dragon Behavior

Bearded dragons are unique creatures that can behave differently from one another. This section lists common bearded dragon issues, including minor impaction issues that can be resolved by gently massaging their stomach and providing a warm bath. However, more serious impaction issues or other health concerns like dehydration, kidney issues, or bad diet stress require medical care from a reputable herp vet. If you notice droopy eyes or other signs of illness in your bearded dragon, it's important to immediately contact your local vet so that your bearded dragon receives quick medical care before any conditions become worse.

3. Bearded Dragon Diseases

Bearded dragons are wonderful pets, but like any animal they can be prone to common diseases if not given proper care. Respiratory infection symptoms should be monitored closely, and MBD (metabolic bone disease) can include bumps on the tail or vertical columns. Fortunately, MBD can be treated with a proper diet, temperature, and UV light along with a bearded dragon multi-vitamin. Mouth rot is another issue that can lead to decreased appetite in your bearded dragon. If you suspect mouth rot or any other disease, it's important to take them to a local herp vet for treatment.

Crafting the Perfect Dwelling for Your Bearded Dragon

Crafting the Perfect Dwelling for Your Bearded Dragon is essential to ensure that your pet receives proper care and lives a healthy life. Bearded dragons are desert reptiles; therefore, simulating a hot dry environment similar to their natural habitat is crucial. Building an enclosure with appropriate lighting, heating, and space for your beardie to roam around will create an ideal living environment. Not only will it promote physical health, but it will also make an attractive addition to any home.

1. How Big of a Tank Do You Need?

When it comes to bearded dragon care, the size of the tank is crucial. A large tank is recommended to give your pet enough space to easily move around and avoid any anxiety issues that may arise from a cramped environment. Following general tank-size guidelines can prevent overcrowding, which can negatively affect your pet's behavior and health. Make sure to consider the number of food crickets and worms you'll be keeping in the tank when deciding on its size.

2. What Type of Tank Should You Get?

When it comes to choosing a tank for your bearded dragon, there are a few options to consider. Glass tanks are the most popular bearded dragon tank simply because they are widely available and come in many sizes. However, some owners claim that white boards reflect beardies' color better than glass tanks. For those looking for an expensive good-looking option, melamine board or molded plastic cages with built-in light fixtures can be found by purchasing tanks pre-made online or at your local hardware store. Another option is PVC cages which are easily stackable to save space if you have multiple bearded dragons, making them a favorite among breeders.

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Bearded Dragons

General bearded dragon care is important to keep people bearded dragons healthy and happy. One of the most important aspects of this care is bathing. Bearded dragons should be bathed frequently, at least once a week, and they should be given water to drink in their water dish during each bath. When you bathe your bearded dragons, it's important to remember that they are cold-blooded animals, so warm water is ideal. The water temperature should be between 90-100°F (32-38°C) which is the same as morning dew - the nature bearded dragons receive moisture from.

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The location where you bathe your bearded dragon is also important. You can use a bathtub or sink, or even a large Tupperware container if you don't have access to a tub or sink. The water should ideally cover your dragon up to its front legs and should be about 1-2 inches deep depending on how much space your bathing location allows for. During the bath, you can let your dragon swim around for 10-30 minutes in warm water that feels comfortable to them.

After bathing your bearded dragon, it's important to dry them off with a soft towel or cloth. If there are any problem areas such as toes, feet or tail that need quick cleaning then gently rub them with a soft brush while bathing. Once out of the bath, place your bearded dragon on a soft dry towel and wrap them up loosely until they are completely dry. Following these tips will help maintain good hygiene for your beardie's tank and keep your bearded dragon healthy! If you want more information on how to clean bearded dragon back or learn common health issues for beardies make sure to do some research online so that you can keep your beloved pet happy and healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my bearded dragon does not eat?

If your bearded dragon is not eating, it may be a sign of illness or stress. Take it to a reptile veterinarian to rule out any health issues and ensure it is being fed the proper diet and habitat conditions.

What is bearded dragon care?

Bearded dragon care is the process of providing proper food, shelter, and attention to ensure that your pet bearded dragon is healthy and happy. This includes maintaining an appropriate temperature and lighting environment, offering a balanced diet, providing regular veterinary check-ups, and creating a comfortable living space.

How much sunlight does a bearded dragon need?

Bearded dragons need at least 12 hours of sunlight per day. This can be achieved through a combination of natural sunlight and artificial UVB lighting.

How to choose a bearded dragon?

When choosing a bearded dragon, look for one that is alert, active, and has clear eyes and skin. Also consider their age, size, and temperament to ensure a good fit for your lifestyle.

Clyde Reid

Clyde Reid

Writer at Nahf

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Clyde Reid is a writer and blogger whose work explores a range of topics, from technology to travel. With years of experience in content creation, Clyde has honed his skills as a storyteller, weaving together narratives that are both informative and engaging. His writing style is accessible and relatable, making it easy for readers to connect with his ideas and perspectives.

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