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Care Sheet for Bearded Dragons

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 0    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 06/09/2008

Main Category:

Lizards

Sub Category:

Bearded Dragons

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Herbivorous Herper

Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years

Species:

Bearded Dragon

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

N/A

Sexing and Characteristics:

Lift the tail gently upward, and look at the base of the tail. Males will have two "bumps" or hemipenal bulges. A female will have one bump close to the cloaca. Males tend to do more head bobbing, and get larger heads and tails, but this isn’t true for all bearded dragons.

Mostly Active During:

Day

Substrate and Water Needs:

The only acceptable substrates are solid. Any loose bedding can and most certainly will eventually lead to impaction and possibly death. Good substrates include: rough ceramic tile, reptile carpet, non-adhesive shelf liner, paper towels, and newspaper.

Lighting and UVB:

UVB is a must to avoid a disease called MBD. Save yourself the hassle and buy a Reptisun 10.0. It can be purchased cheapest off a website. Reptiglo 8.0 is also acceptable. You are also going to need a basking bulb. Wattage depends on the cage. A mercury vapor bulb can also be used. Be sure to read the label carefully and have a screen under it. They’ve been known to shatter.

All UVBs’s must be replaced every six months, they loose their strength. Mercury bulbs every year.

Temperatures and Humidity:

A baby will need a basking spot of 105-110 degrees F. Adults need a basking spot of 100-105 degrees. Ambient air temperature on the cool side should be 80-85 degrees to allow them to thermo-regulate. You will see your dragon opening its mouth while basking, not to worry, they do this to avoid overheating. Just as dogs pant, dragons gape.

Heating and Equipment:

Just a note, never ever use heat rocks. I’ve seen horrible results of them. They quickly malfunction and can burn, and in severe cases, actually melt your lizard to the rock. Do not use an under tank heater either. They don’t absorb belly heat, therefore it will go to waste. If your night temps go below 65 F, you will need to get a ceramic heat emitter to keep temps up.

Caging Provided:

Babies can be kept in no smaller then a twenty gallon. They grow extremely fast, and will need to be upgraded to a 40 gallon breeder or larger. Once they hit ten inches, you need to upgrade. If you do not, the beardie will be stunted and stay small all its life. You can just save money and start out with a forty gallon. Just be sure to have a lot of hides so they feel secure.

Have some logs for climbing, and some sort of basking area whether it be wood or a brick or two. A hide should be provided that they can fit into.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

Babies do good on a diet of 50% insects and 50% vegetables. Adults do best on veggies everyday and insects two days a week. Too much protein can give an adult liver disease.
Acceptable vegetables include- collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, escarole, peppers, green beans. Carrots are okay on occasion, but are bad for their eyes. Don’t ever feed tomatoes or avocado, these are deadly to them.

Good staple insects (never feed wild insects, they carry parasites and diseases) include: crickets, silkworms, roaches, locust. Treat bugs include: waxies (very fatty), superworms (high in phosphorous), butter worms, horn worms. Don’t feed meal worms, they have little nutrition and a hard exoskeleton.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Dust baby’s food with calcium (no d3) powder daily. And multivitamin 2-3 times a week.

Dust adult’s food with calcium (no d3) 4-5 times a week. Multivitamin 2-3 times a week.

They will get rid of excess calcium, but cannot do the same with vitamin D3. Its best to never even use it.

Maintenance:

Bathe them at least three times a week- warm water, shoulder high- so they can rehydrate. They also enjoy playing in the water.

Remove poop as soon as you see it, it stinks and is unhealthy for them to live in it.

Some Words on this Species:

They are a great beginner species, although more demanding then a snake, they are worth it. They will sit on your shoulder while you’re on the computer (as mine is now) or watching TV. And some even learn to do tricks! If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.
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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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