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Care Sheet for Bearded Dragons

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.40    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 02/26/2004

Main Category:


Sub Category:

Bearded Dragons

 Care Sheet Submitted By:


Years Experience:

1 to 2 Years


Bearded Dragon

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

I currently keep bearded dragons and a three toed box turtle, this care sheet will only cover bearded dragons however

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males have two hemipenes just past the vent. These are visible by gently lifting the tail up with the dragon in the palm of your hand, facing away from you. If you see two bumps (one on each side) and a dimple in the middle, you are looking at a male. Males also tend to have larger heads, larger fat deposits behind the head, and thicker tails at the base. They also tend to be larger in general.
Females are harder to sex, as sometimes you think you are looking at a female (again, dragon in the palm of your hand, lift tail up) and she will appear to have one or no bumps. Sometimes this may be an immature male whose sex organs have not developed yet. Females heads also tend to not be as large, and their beards while they will turn black, generally do not turn as black as the males. Their tails also may not be quite as thick at the base as the male.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

My recommendations for substrates are as follows: Paper towels or newspaper for babies or sick dragons as it is much easier to clean. As juveniles and adults, I recommend either wheat bran (looks alot like sand, and is more easily digested if ingested) or Reptile carpet. Reptile carpet should be replaced as soon as it looks frayed as you donít want your dragonís claws getting caught on it. I have used a water dish in my enclosures, but that is not always needed. If your dragon is eating well, and getting a bath or spraying regularly, they should be fine. They get a lot of moisture from the food they eat. If they are sick and/or not eating, fluids may need to be given more aggressively.

Lighting and UVB:

I currently use Mercury Vapor bulbs in 2 of my cages, and a regular 100watt household buld and ReptiSun 5.0 UVA/UVB strip light in the other. My tanks that I use the Mercury Vapor are 65 gallon (160watt), with a regular incandescent striip light on the cool side just for more light, a 20 gallon (for my baby) I am using a 100watt Mercury Vapor Bulb. For my female, she is in a 40 gallon breeder with a 100 watt regular household bulb and Reptisun 5.0 strip light

Temperatures and Humidity:

The basking spot should be somewhere between 100-105 degrees, babies sometimes like it higher. The temps on my warm side are roughly 90-95, and the cool side is a constant 80 degrees.

Heating and Equipment:

Enclosure, for babies, best to start off with something small like a 10 or 20 gallon tank, or if you get a larger tank, make sure you can section it off. Too big of a tank for a baby can be stressful to them. For one adult, I would recommend at least 4 x 2 x 2. If housing more than one (two females, never two males), then at least 6 ft in length, and a bit wider also. You will need basking spots for the number of animals that you are keeping, ceramic fixture domes, UVB/UVA lighting, timers, thermometers (I recommend spending the $$ on a decent one as I have gone through many cheapos). Substrate, again, my opinion no kind of sand whatsoever, no matter if the manufacturer/pet store says it is safe , it is not. Reptile carpet, feeding dish, separate feeding tank, basking logs (I use fake, just because if there were to be a parasite infection, they are easier to clean). Sandblasted grapevines hidey places such as a cave, or half log.

Caging Provided:

Repeating myself here.
I have one 65 gallon long acrylic terrarium
1 40 gallon breeder tank (glass)
1 20 gallon tank (glass) for my baby



Description of Diet:

I feed a staple of crickets and silkworms. I dust at least once a day with calcium. I rotate my greens, veggies, and fruit between, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, escarole, dandelion greens, watercress, carrots, sweet potato, raspberries, blueberrie, mango and apple (fruits are only on occasion). Now my dragons are not quite full grown yet. As they grow, they should be eating more greens. I leave fresh greens in their tank all day, and feed their live prey at night. I give about 10 silkworms, and 6 crickets or so, sometimes a little more. My baby I feed morning and night, pretty much as many 1/4" crickets as she will eat. I also mist her daily, and bathe her often.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Calcium (no D3, no phospor), one time a day, multivitamin (such as Herptivite one time per week. I would only offer a D3 supplement if there was a problem with the UVB lighting, or some other bone disease going on.


I find that my dragons do require a bit of care, but less than a dog or cat. You just have to know what you are doing, and be well informed of their different care requirements before purchasing one. Just as a dog or cat, yearly exams should be done by a good reptile vet, and upon purchase of any new dragon, at least a fecal sample should be taken in, and they should be quaranteened from other animals for 3 months and 2-3 clean fecals to avoid spreading parasites to your healthy animals, and monitor your new aquisitionís health properly.

Some Words on this Species:

I love these animals. With much handling, and lots of attention, they make wonderful pets. They are quite docile, I have never been bit, and my three year old son loves to hold them. Their personalities are quite interesting, especially when they do come in contact with one another, but they do not need companions, as long as you spoil them, you should be enough for them!
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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 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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