Any bearded dragon owner will tell you that it's not as easy to properly care for them as it is with a dog or cat.
It's understandable why so many new pet owners find themselves stressed out with a sick or unhappy new pet—they have highly precise lighting and temperature requirements, strange behaviour, and rigorous nutritional demands!
Fortunately, I made the decision to create a thorough Bearded Dragon Care Guide for Beginners, which ought to help alleviate at least part of the stress associated with caring for your new little friend. Check out our reptizoo, bearded dragon tank.
So, if you'd want to learn more about how to care for a bearded dragon... just continue reading!
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Wondering what a bearded dragon is?
Pogona vitticeps, a reptile that resembles a dinosaur, with intriguing skin colours and patterns and prickly scales is otherwise known as the bearded dragon.
Their beard-like, spiky collars around their necks, which they expand to frighten off rival Dragons, or when they're feeling anxious or in love, gave them their name (nice, right?).
Australia is where bearded dragons, sometimes known as "Beardies," originated. They came into being in the 1990s and quickly took over the reptile pet industry.
It's interesting to note that beardies have grown to be so well-liked that they contributed to reptiles overtaking dogs and cats as the most popular pets in the UK in 2008!
There are eight distinct kinds of dragons, all of which are indigenous to Australia, but the Central or Inland Bearded Dragon is the one that most of us are familiar with.
Pogona vitticeps is its official scientific name. It is a member of the Pogona genus and the Reptilia class (common group). Its particular species is referred to as vitticeps.
Different varieties of bearded dragons may be found in subtropical, oceanic, forest, and shrubland regions.
Due to its origins in the dry desert region of the Australian continent, Pogona Vitticeps thrives under intense heat and light.
Beardies, like other reptiles, are cold-blooded or ectothermic, which means that external heat and cold control their body temperature.
They are diurnal, which means they spend the majority of their time awake during the warm part of the day and sleeping during the colder part of the night, exactly like their human caregivers.
1. Provide a balanced meal for your bearded dragon.
Making sure they have a diverse diet of the proper meals and water is essential to the finest bearded dragon care for their health and pleasure.
These reptiles are omnivores, which means they are happy to eat both plants and insects for food. Dragons like eating brown crickets because they are simple to capture and digest.
Try mealworms, cockroaches, or waxworms for something a little meatier if you feel like indulging your lizard sometimes.
Leafy greens like kale are favourites of bearded dragons, and bright veggies like peppers and carrots may enhance the flavour of a salad. Grating veggies may also give them various textures.
A large bowl of water should constantly be present in their vivarium, and acidic foods like onions should be avoided since they might upset the stomach. Water and food should be stored on the tank's cool side.
2. Buy a good vivarium for your bearded dragon
It's essential to spend as much money as possible on a vivarium since bearded dragons need a very specialized habitat to be comfortable.
The RSPCA states that an adult dragon should be at least 120 cm long by 60 cm tall by 60 cm broad.
Either a wooden or a plastic vivarium is an option. Plastic is often simpler to clean and effectively reflects light within the tank.
If you have a young dragon, don't worry about starting off with a huge vivarium since they develop rapidly. A lot more decorations, like wood, should be included.
To simulate its natural environment, it must be secure, adequately ventilated, and have both a hot end and a cold end.
It is advised to keep the warm end between 38 and 42 degrees Celsius and the cold end between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius. There should be both light and dark sections in the vivarium.
To keep your bearded dragon healthy, a UV tube lamp is also necessary at 10-12% on the hotter part of the vivarium. They could have a metabolic bone disease without it, which would drastically reduce their lives.
3. At night, turn off the lights.
Having a well-defined regimen for your reptile is an essential component of bearded dragon care.
Your beardie will better comprehend the cycle of day and night if you turn off the lights at night. In contrast, they would often stay warm at night in their native environment.
Even if your bearded dragon doesn't need need to stay warm at night, if your house is cold, it's worthwhile to get a ceramic heat emitter(opens in new tab), which releases just heat and no light.
Measure the vivarium's temperature with a thermometer and make the necessary adjustments.
4. Avoid crowding your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons are lonely animals who value privacy. To ensure they have ample area to roam about, it's crucial to provide them with a large tank from an early age and to remove accessories as they become bigger.
More than one bearded dragon shouldn't be kept in a vivarium, according to standard advice.
Always be careful while handling your bearded dragon. They like some attention, but be careful not to pick them up by the tail and hold their weight firmly (that should go without saying).
Avoid staring them in the eyes or making rapid motions as you are ready to pick up your reptile since doing so can make them feel intimidated.
Additionally, it's best to avoid removing them from the vivarium at busy times or when there are other pets around since this might stress them out.
5. Find a cosy place for your bearded dragon tank.
Bearded dragons are sensitive to variations in temperature. When you enter a room with intense air conditioning after being outdoors on a warm summer day, you could shout that you are "freezing to death," but that is just an exaggeration.
But for tiny reptiles, such minute temperature variations might really make the difference between life and death! Choosing the appropriate heat sources is crucial for keeping your bearded friend cosy and healthy.
SETUP FOR THE BEARDED DRAGON TANK: SUITABLE LIGHTS, HEAT, AND HUMIDITY
Dragons are indigenous to the Australian desert and are cold-blooded animals. Since they cannot produce their own body heat, they must have enough warmth and lighting that resembles their native environment in order to thrive.
Metabolic bone disease, an extremely deadly disorder that warps your dragon's skeletal structure and prevents digestion and food absorption, may be brought on by inadequate illumination or heat.
If neglected, the metabolic bone disease may cripple and kill your dragon. However, glass reptile terrariums made by REPTIZOO are hygienic and simple to clean, and they are suited for wet and humid environments.
Tips on how to set up your bearded dragon tank.
- Since the sun gives out heat and UV rays, reptiles are ideally adapted for sunbathing.
- Make sure the heater in the space where your bearded dragon lives can reach temperatures higher than 95 degrees Fahrenheit (and a nearby rock to lounge on).
- Your bearded dragon tank will stay warm with a heat lamp, but it won't get the essential UV rays. The health advantages of a sunny day may be guaranteed for your bearded dragon with the use of a UV bulb (which emits both UVA and UVB rays).
- Your bearded dragon tank, like you, requires total blackness to obtain a good night's sleep. Your buddy will need a separate nighttime heat source (one that doesn't have a bright light) if the temperature in your home drops below 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Additionally, your bearded dragon needs warm, shaded areas to rest in and cool down away from the heat source.