This bearded dragon care sheet will hopefully help you better understand and care for your Bearded Dragon
I want to stress the importance of knowing what a bearded dragon needs to be healthy and happy, BEFORE you purchase one!
Healthy Looking Bearded Dragon:
Whether you decide to purchase your bearded dragon from a breeder or pet store there are certain things you must look for before you purchase your beardie.
They should be alert and active. They should be watching you with interest and curiosity. Their eyes should be clear and bright, you shouldn’t be able to see any puss or anything in the eyes.
When looking at their bodies you should look for any sores or infections of any kind, especially if the beardie is housed with other beardies. Male beardies will fight!
Make sure that where ever you purchase your beardie you have a reasonable time frame to return him if you need to. usually 14 days to a month is good, and that you take him to your Vet as soon as you can and have him checked over carefully.
Bearded Dragon Habitat
The bearded dragon needs room to run around, not climb too much. These pets are from Australia and are use to being able to roam free in the desert area. The best enclosure for beardies in my opinion is a glass aquarium. The aquarium should be big enough for them to run back and forth, but not that big they can not catch their crickets.
Beardies 3 to 7 inches can be kept in a 10 gal. aquarium while 7 to 12 in. beardies can be kept in a 20 gal. tank. Beardies over a foot long, which is 12 in., should be kept in a 40 gal. tank.
Make sure you have a Basking Lamp and a UV Bulb. The uv/uvb rays provide vitamin D which helps with the body’s ability to adsorb calcium. The temp should be around 90 degrees and 100 degrees during the day, and during the night the temp shouldn’t go below 70 degrees at all during the night, however if it does your beardie can survive one night if it drops that low then you should invest in a night heating light.
Make sure your beardie has a cool side and a basking side in his tank. Beardies love to bask during the day but you need to keep his food and water on the cool side
The best way to heat a glass aquarium is to use what is called under-the-tank heating pad, you can get one of these at most all pet stores. You do not, I repeat, do not want to use any kind of heating rocks or fixtures in the tank your beardie can reach.
Now this is a very tricky section, why? Because each dragon is different and it seems to depend on your region. I recommend reptile carpet because its easy to clean, its inexpensive, and it comes in variety of colors and sizes.
With young beardies try to use the felt type carpets, other types have loops that their nails will catch and can harm them.
Bearded dragons need access to water all day and all night. Their natural habitat in Australia provides water for them from the dew on the plant leaves and ground. They are use to drinking this way and a lot of beardies do not drink from any type of water dish.
It is important to make sure they are misted regularly with a misting spray bottle. For babies and juveniles mist them daily and also mist their perch and the sides of the glass aquarium. You should put enough mist on their heads until they no longer drink it or run off.
Also, your beardie needs to absorb moisture their the skin pores, so they should be bathed in a tub of water that comes no higher than their elbows for at least 15 to 20 minutes. You should do this daily for babies and juveniles and weekly for adults.
Proper Diet for a Bearded Dragon:
Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, this simply means they eat both meat and vegetables. Now they can not eat just anything, they have a very special diet you must follow to keep them happy and healthy.
The size of their food should no bigger than the space between their eyes, if given too big of food it can cause impaction and other health issues, so be careful on the size of food, any food items, you feed your beardie.
One thing some new owners don’t seem to realize is that baby beardies and juvenile beardies need to eat 2 to 3 times a day! Not just once a day.