Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles on the planet. Create a healthy environment to give your beardie a long and comfortable life. Bearded dragons are adorable and popular reptile pets. In captivity, they can survive for up to 10 to 15 years. It is vital to create an environment that is representative of their native habitat. Here’s how you can.
Do’s and don’ts when caring for your bearded dragon
❌Don’t make a bearded dragon’s environment too humid
Bearded dragons come from an Aird environment and do not need 99% humidity. They are more used to hot temperatures with low or no humidity. Too much can cause respiratory issues. In an enclosed environment like a tank or cage, you can accidentally make it way too humid by having a disproportionate size water bowl under a heat lamp or heating pad. Yes, water is vital, but do not add additional water elements that will increase humidity.
✅Do create a hot, dry living condition
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded which means they rely on the sun and the outside temperature to heat their body, which means we must recreate a similar environment to their natural habitat within an enclosed space. Temperatures for a bearded dragon should vary between 100 to 70 degrees, mimicking the outdoor environment of day and night.
❌Don’t leave water sitting in water bowls
Leaving water in your bearded dragon’s enclosure will increase humidity and possibly lead to a respiratory infection. See the following three tips on giving your bearded dragon enough water without creating an unhealthy environment.
✅Do spray them with water
By gently spraying your bearded dragon on the tip of its nose with water, it can drink the runoff like it would off leaves in their natural environments. This may not be the best option for younger dragons as we want to limit the amount of handling
✅Do spray greens and leaves with water before feeding
Bearded dragons are used to water intake from rainwater of natural plants during feeding time. Soaking its leaves in water will mimic a natural environment and can act as its daily hydration.
✅Do consistently remove the water bowl if it’s in the beardie’s cage
Be sure to remove the water bowl if you can’t find an alternative way to give your bearded dragon water. This will ensure the enclosure humidity stays low as the temperature rises.
❌Don’t handle your bearded dragon right away
Let your bearded dragon acclimate itself to the new environment. Transferring homes is very similar to a human moving. It’s stressful. It’s tough. And it takes time to get comfortable. It’s tempting to handle and bond with your beardie right away, but wait until its appetite is back and is fully comfortable.
Types of Bearded Dragons
There are eight different species of bearded dragons. Bearded dragon species differ from one another in terms of morphology, size, color, and behavior. Bearded dragons can be grouped according to their color and shape as well. However, a bearded dragon cannot be classified as a separate species solely based on its coloring. Here is a list of the various bearded dragon species, each of which differs from the others in a variety of ways.
- Pogona barbata
- Pogona vitticeps
- Pogona minor minor
- Pogona minor minima
- Pogona microlepidota
- Pogona minor mitchelli
- Pogona nullarbor
- Pogona henrylawsoni
Size, Appearance, Color
|Pogona barbata||22 – 24 inches||Gray or red|
|Pogona vitticeps||23 – 24 inches||Yellow or red|
|Pogona minor minor||15 – 18 inches||Brown|
|Pogona minor minima||10 – 13 inches||Tan or brown|
|Pogona microlepidota||4 – 6 inches||Brownish or red|
|Pogona minor mitchelli||16 – 18 inches||Tan or red|
|Pogona nullarbor||12 – 14 inches||Tan or brown|
|Pogona henrylawsoni||10 – 12 inches||Brown or yellow|
Species & habitat information
|Species||Habitat and Location|
|Pogona barbata||Eastern Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona vitticeps||Central Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona minor minor||Western and Central Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona minor minima||Abrolhos Islands (Land)|
|Pogona microlepidota||Northern Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona minor mitchelli||Northwestern Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona nullarbor||Southern Australia (terrestrial)|
|Pogona henrylawsoni||Western and central Australia (terrestrial)|
Do Bearded Dragons Make Good Pets?
Bearded dragons make wonderful pets since they are cute and friendly. They are fantastic for kids and are easily manageable. To lead a healthy life, they only need a good diet and environment. Once they are attached to you, they are not hostile and love to have you around. As smart creatures, bearded dragons can identify their owners. When you approach to feed them, you can observe their excitement.
What we like about Beardies as pets
Indeed, owning a pet has both pros and cons. Thus, having a bearded dragon as a pet has both pros and cons. Here are a few well-known benefits of bearded dragons.
- Bearded dragons are social and adapt well to humans
- Live long lives
- Love to be handled by their caretakers
- Enjoy human company
- Easy to carry and play with
- They are beautiful and come in a variety of colors
- Bearded dragons do not smell
- They can be trained
- Easy to feed
What to be aware of before caring for a bearded dragon
Bearded dragons need a specific environment to live a healthy life. Therefore, you must create a suitable habitat and enclosure for them before owning a bearded dragon.
- Need a balanced diet of vegetables, insects, and fruits
- Need plenty of space
- They are sensitive to temperature
- You need to maintain their tank/enclosure regularly
- They are little and fragile
- Wash hands after handling them
- It can be costly to maintain an environment for bearded dragons
Ideal enclosure vs natural habitat
Bearded dragons are terrestrial animals that live in rocky, dry and other environments with little vegetation. When the weather is unsuitable, they hide in the wild under small trees and rocks.
However, bearded dragons kept in captivity rely on their owners to provide a well-kept environment. The tank temperature must be between 70 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit and between 30 and 40% humid. To live a healthy life, adult bearded dragons require a tank that is 75 to 120 gallons.
Tank Size for Bearded Dragons
The size and age of the bearded dragon determine the appropriate tank size. However, a tank’s typical size is 40 gallons. Bearded dragons can become stressed if their tanks are too small and if they have little space.
|Bearded dragon||Size||Tank size|
|Babies||Under 10 inches||20 gallons|
|Juvenile||10 – 16 inches||40 gallons|
|Adults||16 – 20 inches||50 to 75 gallons|
|Adults||Over 20 inches||75 to 120 gallons|
Bearded dragons require a light source to sustain their behavior. They benefit from light for their ability to move, reproduce, and make vitamin D3. Natural light in the wild is a source of heat and UV rays. The UVA and UVB lights must therefore be placed within the enclosure. In the bearded dragon’s tank, mercury vapor and fluorescent bulbs are commonly employed.
Due to their cold-blooded nature, bearded dragons require assistance from outside sources to keep their body temperatures stable. Put the heat source in one corner and keep the other somewhat cooler. The area should be between 104- and 107 degrees Fahrenheit near the heat source and between 71 and 77 degrees in the cool corner.
Keeping Your Bearded Dragon Healthy
Maintaining optimal conditions and a healthy diet is the greatest approach to keeping bearded dragons in good health. You must keep the enclosure at the appropriate heat, humidity, and space levels. Following this, you must provide the right combination of veggies and insects in the diet.
Common Health Issues
- Metabolic bone disease
- Upper respiratory infection
- Infectious stomatitis
- Mouth rot
- Retained shed
- Yellow fungus
Are Bearded Dragons Friendly?
Yes, bearded dragons are the finest family pets since they are calm and friendly. Once they become attached to their owners, they become affectionate and enjoy being handled. They are not naturally aggressive, but when they sense a threat, they puff up to appear larger. Bearded dragons adore being held by their keepers and are always content to sit in their laps. To defend their territory, adult bearded dragons may become aggressive toward other male bearded dragons.
Shedding & Brumation
Bearded dragons naturally remove their old skin through a process called shedding. A new layer of skin appears underneath the old one once they begin to shed. Bearded dragons that are young shed once every week, whereas adults shed in patches. Bearded dragons also shed to get rid of their damaged skin.
Brumation helps bearded dragons to survive in cold weather. They cannot adjust their body temperature to the environment because they are cold-blooded. Bearded dragons eat a lot to boost their nutritional reserves prior to brumation. So, when it’s extremely cold outside, they brumate and use their body’s energy reserves.
How Much Do Bearded Dragons Cost?
Bearded dragon prices might vary depending on their genetics, color, and availability. However, a bearded dragon without a specialty color might cost between $40 and $80 from a breeder and between $60 and $100 from any pet store. A bearded dragon of a specific color can cost between $400 and $900.
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