Learn all about bearded dragons care tips. Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps), also commonly referred to as “Beardies” are a very poplar species of reptile, especially among children. This is in part due to their calm nature, relatively easy care, and easy availability. In this instructable we will go over all aspects of bearded dragon care, from hatchlings to large adults.
When the autumn months begin to edge closer to those cold winter months it is time to begin thinking about making sure your bearded dragon stays warm and comfortable. Since bearded dragons are from the hot, dry areas of Australia they are not accustom to the cold winters of North America and Europe.
Feeding is very different for a Juvenile Dragon than that of an adult. A young Dragon needs lots of protein in order to grow. Typical feeding mix for young Bearded Dragons is 80/20 means 80% protein 20% vegetable. A great way to liven up your bearded dragon habitat is by adding plants, decor, and furnishings. It is very important to add the right types of plants and decor to ensure your bearded dragon is safe and happy. Here are some plants and decor for a bearded dragon habitat to give it a more realistic feel and provide your pet a few things to improve its quality of life. Wood Branches Sandblasted pieces of driftwood make a fantastic climbing perch for your bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragons are large reptiles, and need plenty of room to move. In addition you will need room to establish a temperature gradient. This does not mean that a hatchling dragon needs a huge tank, as this can make it hard for him to find food.
While a hatchling dragon could live in a 20-gallon aquarium for a short time, it will quickly need a larger enclosure. A 75-gallon aquarium or equal-sized enclosure is OK for one or two adult dragons. Screening should be used for proper ventilation, whether as a top on an aquarium enclosure or in the construction of a custom enclosure. During warm weather bearded dragons can be kept in outdoor cages. Be sure the outdoor enclosure provides both sunny basking areas and shady retreats, as well as shelter from rain. Having access to the sun outdoors provides healthy UV. Bearded dragons like to climb, so some sturdy branches are welcome in their enclosures.
Bearded Dragon Care for beginners
Some tips for the care for beginners are as under;
- Create a suitable habitat in a large vivarium.
- Ensure that it gets the right amount of heat and light.
- Feed your beardie an appropriate diet for its life stage. Give it fresh water daily.
- Give it weekly baths and keep its environment clean.
- Handle it at least once a day. Wash your hands before and after handling.
- Trim its claws every few weeks and take it to the vet once a year.
Bearded Dragon Care Feeding
Bearded Dragon is an omnivore, meaning that he needs a balanced diet of meat and vegetable matter. A hatchling dragon will eat mostly small insects. As your dragon grows, he will start to eat more vegetable matter. The diet of a juvenile dragon (2-4 months of age) will consist of approximately 80% insects and 20% greens. Young dragons should be fed 2-3 times daily. If insufficient food is fed, young dragons may nip at the tails and toes of their cage mates.
Meat food sources for Bearded Dragon can include pinky mice (for adults) and insects such as:
- Crickets; pinhead crickets for juveniles
- Wax worms – high in fat, so feed sparingly
- King worms
Freshly molted insects are easier for Bearded Dragon to digest. You should coat feeder insects with a calcium supplement (powdered calcium carbonate or calcium gluconate) 3-5 times per week for adults; every day for juveniles. Feeder insects should also be “gut-loaded,” which means the insects are fed nutritious and vitamin-rich foods before they are given to the dragon. Feed your feeder insects food such as: ground legumes, corn meal, carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, apples, oranges, cereals, and rolled oats. Several commercial products, formulated to be rich in calcium and vitamins, may also be used to gut-load feeder insects. Insects may be purchased or wild-caught (without the use of pesticides).
Bearded Dragon Care Cages for beginners
A bearded dragon will need space. The bare minimum size is 36″ x 12″ x 18″ for one lizard. Bigger is always better and much bigger is essential if you house more than one dragon in a cage. Height is important because bearded dragons like to climb and sit on top of logs and branches. An aquarium or a terrarium fitted with a screened top can make a nice home for your pet. The Zoo Med Reptile Habitat Bearded Dragon Kit is a great starter kit for the beginner parent.
It comes with everything you’ll need to get your terrarium from the start. Cages should be simple in design to facilitate easy, thorough cleaning. If you use a cage made of wood, seal it with polyurethane or a similar waterproofing agent, and caulk joints to enable cleaning and disinfection. Allow polyurethane or other sealant to dry several days, and air the cage out thoroughly prior to putting your pet in it to prevent toxicity