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Pogona Vitticeps (inland bearded dragon) Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Bearded Dragons

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.14    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 09/27/2006

Main Category:

Lizards

Sub Category:

Bearded Dragons

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

A plus reptiles

Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years

Species:

Pogona Vitticeps (inland bearded dragon)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Pogona Barbata

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males have large distinct pores on the inner thigh of each leg, along with bumps right behind the cloaca. These bumps form an hourglass shape. The males have larger spikes, more triangular heads, and black beards (although they may not stay black and females can sometimes also have black beards). Females have very little pores, a flat under-tail, and usually more rounded bodies.

Mostly Active During:

Day

Substrate and Water Needs:

Best substrate to use is paper towels or newspaper. This is especially important for babies and juveniles, who would be likely to ingest while trying to catch a bug.
Baby bearded dragons should get a daily bath, with chest high warm water (not hot!) and adults should get a bath weekly. Misting the bath water will often prompt them to drink.

Lighting and UVB:

UV lighting is essential for growth and absorbing calcium. I recommend the Mega Ray bulbs (provides same amount of UV as natural sunlight at the equator!). They provide both heat and UV in one bulb. Otherwise, you will need a Reptisun 10.0 (strip light) and a heat light (wattage depends on the size of the cage). ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE UV!

Temperatures and Humidity:

Basking temps 110-115 are perfect for all dragons. Ambient temps 85-90 are good, with a cool side in the lower 80ís. Night time temps can drop into the upper 60ís, any lower and you should get an under heat pad or a space heater for night time.
Bearded Dragons are prone to respiratory infections and therefore need low humidity. Having a small, shallow dish just big enough for your dragon to fit in (on cool side of cage) is fine. Be sure to change the water daily, they often like to eliminate in it!

Heating and Equipment:

You need:
Heat light and fixture
UV light and fixture
Possibly heat pad or space heater for cold nights.

Caging Provided:

We house our babies in 10 gallon tanks (max 5 per cage) and all adults are housed by themselves in custom 40 gallon enclosures.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

Bearded dragons need a lot of variety in their diet to be happy. The best feeder insect for dragons are roaches (discoid, hissers, lobsters, etc. not from a house!) Other good feeders are: silkworms (excellent), wax worms (moderation its like candy), butter worms, phoenix worms (high in calcium), meal worms, super worms and horn worms... all of appropriate sizes (space between eyes determines how large prey item should be).
Dragons also need vegetable matter. Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens (from store!), turnip greens, endive, escarole, and red leaf lettuce are all good greens for dragons. They also like squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, green beans, bean sprouts, and some fruit. Do NOT feed your dragon spinach, broccoli, or kale because they contain oxalic acids which inhibit the absorption of calcium and vitamin D3 by bonding to the hemoglobin in the red blood cells.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Baby dragons should get calcium dusted insects daily. Adults only need it 2 times a week. Other recommended supplements are: Nutribac (pro-biotic) and Parazap (parasite preventative).

Maintenance:

Change water daily. Pick up feces immediately. Remove uneaten bugs at the end of every day. Hungry bugs come out at night and can make a feast of your dragon! Be sure to disinfect your cage weekly if using paper towels. Once a month is fine for other substrates.

Some Words on this Species:

Bearded dragons make great pets! They are a very docile, medium sized lizard. They have personality all of their own and genuinely respond to handling and conversation.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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