Bearded Dragons as Exotic Pets - Care Sheet About Bearded Dragons

Baby Bearded Dragons are excellent Exotic Pets available from Predators of Shipley

Baby Bearded Dragons are excellent Exotic Pets available from Predators of Shipley

Bearded Dragons are generally considered to be good pets even for beginner reptile owners.  Dragons are are very social & easily tamed & show fascinating behaviors .  You'll lose hours watching your Dragon.

Bearded Dragons do have a complex diet but once you are used to this you will have no trouble looking after your Dragon.  In the wild, bearded dragons are omnivores, eating a mixture of invertebrate and vertebrate prey (such as insects and smaller animals) as well as plant material. In captivity, they should be fed a combination of insects (mostly crickets, with a variety of other cultured insect prey) and greens and vegetables.

PLEASE NOTE:  THIS CARESHEET SHOULD BE USED AS A GUIDELINE ONLY.  IT IS BASED ON OUR EXPERIENCE AND IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION. WE CAN NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER WITH YOUR PET. 
If you are unsure, please contact us so we can answer your questions.

About Bearded Dragon Size

Bearded Dragons grow to approx 20 24 inches, the bulk of this growth being in the first 12 months.

Bearded Dragon Temperament

Very friendly and active. Excellent for a first reptile or for children to handle. They are diurnal so are awake and active during the day and sleep at night.

Bearded Dragon Vivarium Setup

Minimum size required 36"x18"x18". Recommended size 48" 18"x18" or 48"x24"x24".

DO NOT spray water in or around the tank as humidity is bad for their lungs they require a dry environment inside their viv. You can give your beardy a warm shallow bath occasionally but you should dry them thoroughly before putting them back in their viv and make sure you don't use any soaps or cleaning agents on your animal.

Temperature Control

Bearded Dragons are exothermic so their vivs require a hot end and a cool end to enable them to regulate their temperature. The hot end should be around 35?C (95?F) and the cool end around 28?C (80?F) during the day. The temperature at night should not drop lower than 22?C (70?F).

Heating / Lighting

Use a flat sided reflector bulb in the hot end of the viv to regulate the temperature this is your main heat source in your viv so needs to be replaced as soon as the bulb goes the bulb should be on 10 to 12 hours a day and switched off at night.

A heat mat no longer than the length of the viv should also be placed in the hot end of the vivarium and can be left on all the time to provide some heat during the night.

UV lighting is essential for the health and wellbeing of your Bearded Dragon Your viv should have a 10% UV tube along the length of the viv. The UV light should be on 10 to 12 hours a day and switched off at night. The UV light should be replaced every 10 months to ensure it is still emitting UV.

Vitamins

A calcium and multi-vitamin supplement (such as Nutrobol) should be used on both live food and veg every other day to ensure the health and long life of your animal.

Substrate

Bearded dragons require a dry substrate. Recommended substrates would be either beech chippings, Ground Walnut Shells or Calci-Sand which is fully digestible if swallowed

WARNING: NEVER USE STANDARD BUILDING OR PLAY SAND AS IT CAN CAUSE AN IMPACTED GUT WHICH COULD BE FATAL

Feeding / Water

Feed every day. They require both live food (crickets, locus etc if unsure what size to feed please ask for advice) as well as vegetables/salad you should avoid iceberg lettuce and spinach and NEVER feed rhubarb, leek or onions as these are poisonous to your beardy and could be deadly. The veg should be chopped up fine for baby's to make sure they don't struggle to eat it.

They should always have access to clean, fresh water although you may not see them drink very often. Keep their water in the cold end of the tank and change daily or every other day.

Cleaning

Spot clean every day and remove any mess, give them a full clean out every 3 weeks or more regularly if required. Do NOT use any household or domestic cleaners in or around the vivarium as they contain harmful and potentially lethal chemicals. Reptile disinfectant can be used in the tank and as a glass cleaner.

It is good practice to wash your hands before and after handling your animal and especially after cleaning your tank or removing waste.

Bearded Dragon Vital Stats

  • Experience:  NOVICE - An excellent Lizard as your first Exotic Pet.
  • Life span:  The average Bearded Dragon will live for around 10 years with the appropriate care.
  • Size:  Bearded Dragons reach a mature size of 20 - 24 inches in about 2 years.
  • Price:   The Bearded Dragon is a relatively inexpensive snake.
  • Enclousures:  Baby Bearded Dragons (36" x 15" x 15"), Mature Bearded Dragon(48" x 24" x 24") or (72" x 18" x 18") with both larger enclousures being suitable to house 2 mature Bearded Dragons.
  • Feeding:  Bearded Dragons are Omnivors and eat a variety of insects and smaller prey as well as plant material.
  • Legal issues:  There are no legal issues when keeping a Bearded Dragon as a pet in the UK at the time of writing this article.

Choosing your Bearded Dragon:  The overall look of the lizard should be well proportioned and have no grey or black spots or any yellow around the mouth or gray or black discoloration to the skin.

The Dragon should not be thin or have bones showing in the upper part of its back.

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