Bearded dragons are very easy to look after providing you have the right set up for them to live in.
Here are some simple tips for looking after a bearded dragon that has worked well to keep ours healthy at PB Animal Adventures.
These are the questions we often get asked by our customers when at birthday parties and other events.
How big do bearded dragons get?
Bearded dragons generally grow between 40 to 60cms in length.
How long do they live?
With good care bearded dragons can live for up to 6 – 10 years in captivity.
Do bearded dragons mind being handled?
With regular handling bearded dragons become accustomed to their owner. Our bearded dragon will sit on any of our handlers for a long time quite contently while we are on the computers etc.
What type of housing does the bearded dragon need?
This very much depends on how many you get. We don’t advise two male beardys live together as they can fight, so if you want more than one a male and female would be suggested.
Most recommend a vivarium with a minimum size of 4ft x 2ft x 2ft for one bearded dragon. It would be suggested the more space the better and if you have more than one you will definitely need a bigger vivarium than that.
Bearded dragons like a place to hide and places to climb, so you will need to provide both in the vivarium also.
You can also decorate with plastic plants to make the vivarium more attractive.
We use beach chip substrate as it is easy to identify any unwanted mess (poo) to remove it and does no harm to the beardy.
How do I keep my Bearded Dragon warm?
Bearded Dragons are not able to maintain their own body temperature so we have to help them with this in captivity.
It is important to provide a heated part of the vivarium and a cooler part, to enable the bearded dragon to choose what it wants.
We use a basking lamp on a thermostat linked to a temperature gage that sits within the vivarium to maintain a good temperature.
Most people recommend a temperature of around 45°c for the basking area and around 30°c for the cooler end of the vivarium.
Night time temperatures should be around 26°c.
What lighting will I need?
Bearded dragons require UV light and therefore you will need a UV light in the vivarium. These need to be changed every 6-8 months as although the light still works the UV coming from the light dulls over time.
The UV light is really important to help prevent metabolic bone disease.
How do I provide water to my bearded dragon?
It is important to provide your dragon with fresh water every day, in a shallow bowl. Although bearded dragons are from arid regions of Australia they are prone to dehydration. To prevent this, it is important to spray your dragon with water as this is how they would normally drink in the wild. You can also give a warm water bath once or twice weekly/as required. Don’t spray your beardy more than once a day as this will raise the humidity and can cause respiratory problems.
What do I feed my bearded dragon?
Juvenile beardys under a year old require more protein so their diet will consist of around 80% bugs and insects such a crickets, locusts, meal worms and grubs (As a treat) and 20% leafy greens / salads. Adult beardys require the opposite of 20% bugs and insects and 80% leafy greens / salads.
We use regular supplements of vitamin/mineral to help prevent metabolic bone disease.
What happens when bearded dragons shed?
Bearded dragons shed several times throughout the year. This will be noticed when the scales on the beardy become greyish.
Although it is tempting, you must not peel the skin of for the beardy as this could do damage to the new skin that is forming.
Shedding can be irritating for the bearded dragon so as you can imagine they can become a bit grumpy and may go off their food during this time.
You can help your beardy by bathing them in water as this not only helps them to feel better but helps the skin to come off of its own accord.
So there we are our suggestions on how to keep a Bearded Dragon. We hope this has been helpful to you. If you decide keeping a pet isn’t suitable right now why not book an encounter with our animals at PB Animal Adventures.