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Care Sheet for Bearded Dragons

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.40    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 07/23/2004

Main Category:

Lizards

Sub Category:

Bearded Dragons

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Mecadog

Years Experience:

10 to 15 Years

Species:

Bearded Dragons

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

None

Sexing and Characteristics:

Sexing Bearded Dragons is Fairly easy, all you have to do is lift up the tail and look at the number of "bumps" it has just above its rectum. If it is one then it is a female, if there are two then its male. Sexing with young Bearded Dragons is very difficult one of mine "changed" sexes quite often as a hatchling.

Mostly Active During:

Day

Substrate and Water Needs:

Substrates: Play sand is a good choice as long as you sift through it and take all the pebbles out. Also Repti-carpet is good but you have to replace it every once in a while.
I personally use Calci-sand just because it looks good, I am aware that it is known to cause impaction but I have never had a problem with it. furthermore most pet stores use potting soil and I’m pretty sure that Calci-sand is safer then that.

Water: A water bowl that they can climb in would be best, I have only caught my newest Bearded Dragon drinking out of the water bowl once. For supplement I use Exo Terra Aquatize and Exo Terra Electrolize (Electrolize is only used for the first month you have the Dragon).
Also you will need to have a spray bottle and spray the Dragons face with it just enough so some drops will roll down to its mouth were it can get a drink. Do this until the Dragon will drink no more. If you feel your Beardie is not getting enough to drink go ahead and spray its entire body every other day. You will need water supplements for the spray bottle too.

Lighting and UVB:

Yes they require a UVA/UVB light or else they WILL get MBD.
They need about a 13-14 hour day and 10-11 hour night. A timer really helps a lot I have mine set to turn on an hour before I get up for feeding reasons.
Day: During the day I have a basking light and a 8% UVA/UVB light.
Night: I give no nighttime lighting my house does not drop to low enough temp.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Temp: For the basking area anywhere from 90-100 degrees F(mine sits at 96) check the temp. once a week. For ambient temps. about 70-75 degrees F. Nighttime Temp. can drop to 60 degrees F without worry.

Humidity: Because they are a desert reptile little or better no humidity is necessary.

Heating and Equipment:

For Heating I use a Halogen light from Walmart, which works just as well if not better then a reptile brand, for the basking area. And an undertank heater in case something happens to the lights or at night it gets cold.
In the basking area I have rocks they are perfect for basking they reach about 8 in. I also have a log which seems to be my Beardies favorite spot. She switches between the rocks and log between the day.

Caging Provided:

If you go to some sites by "experienced" beareded Dragons keepers they will tell you the only way to go is to have a 6’ enclosure, that’s not true.
My cage is 18hx18wx36l (in in.). My beardie very happy with this cage size and gets stressed when put in anything bigger. My cage is equal to a 50.5 gallon.
For hatchlings to juveniles you can have a 20-30 gallon tank but I wouldn’t recommend this. Its cheaper and better to go for a 50 gallon right away or do what all true lizard lovers do and build your own cage.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

FIREFLIES ARE A BIG NO NO there as only been one report of a Beardie eating a firefly and living and that was with extreme veterinary procedures!
I keep half a food bowl full of commercial Bearded Dragon food in the cage at all times, I have had to buy maybe 10 bottles in my entire experience with Beardies because they are well fed.
Hatchlings will eat mostly crickets, with very few veggies.
For hatchlings ( cricket size small to mediums) this is what I do: 2 crickets in the morning, unlimited veggies around 3:00 Pm, 2 crickets in the evening and occasionally some fruit flys (fruit flys are very good for you beardie because of they exercise they give you can feed them to your beardie as often as you like).
note: Hatchlings will most likely not take to veggies very well, you may have to wave your hand around crazily with the veggies before they take it (my hatchlings will not eat it unless its moving)
For Juveniles (cricket size medium to large) same as hatchlings except now you can introduce waxworms and other various worms.
Adults eat mainly veggies about 60% I give them extra large crickets every other day about 2. You can also give them worms and pinkies. I give one pinkie a month as a special treat. I only give Pinkies to my 18 monthers.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I dust and gut load all live food. For food supplements I place half a teaspoon of Repcal Multivitamin and and Herpcare calcium and vitamin D3 supplement in a Ziploc bag, then place the live food in and shake up the bag. Then I feed one at a time to the beardie.
For gutlaoding I use for all my insects commercial cricket gutlaod because it cost $10 and last me 2 years a jar.

Maintenance:

Clean up Feces when you first catch sight of it, and do a complete scrub down of the cage every other week. I clean mine every week. Change the water everyday and take left over fruits and veggies out at midday.

Some Words on this Species:

Bearded Dragons are among the most docile lizards there are, they are good with handling and rarely if every bite during there entire life. A perfect pet for the beginning hobbyist. Beardeds live about 10 years and get about 2 feet. For all your reptile needs go to www.reptiledepot.com they have the best prices ever. An entire setup with the beardie can cost anywhere from 250-500 dollars.
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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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