Bearded Dragon Care Guide

Posted on July 13, 2020

The Bearded Dragon can be found in areas of Australia. Dependent upon species can range from 20cm (8 inches) to 45 – 50cm (18 – 20 inches) in total length.

DIET

Bearded dragons are mainly omnivorous animals. Foods eaten consist of arthropods, frogs, small lizards and birds, mealworms, wax worms, black field crickets, locusts, brown crickets, earthworms, pink mice, snails and some fruit and plant matter. The food items should be dusted with Calcium powder prior to feeding.

REQUIREMENTS

Heat Source:- This should be a guarded reflector spot bulb (either red, green or blue) or conical ceramic heater. Heat mats may also be used as an additional source of heat. UV Light Source:- Require a Reptisun 5.0% UVB lamp. This should be left on for 8 to 12 hours a day and replaced every 6 months unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. This will create a day and night time effect as well as give your lizard sufficient levels of UV. Housing:- This should consist of wooden vivarium with glass frontage and adequate ventilation. Males are notoriously aggressive and should not be kept with other males. Hatchlings should be kept in a smaller container which can be housed in their future vivarium. Thermostat:- An essential part of any vivarium and is required to regulate the internal temperatures of the vivarium and to prevent your pet from becoming too hot or too cold. Wire Mesh Guards:- These should be fitted over all heat sources used in order to prevent thermal burns. Thermometers:- One should be placed at each end of the vivarium in order to give an accurate reading of the temperatures within the enclosure. Never go by the temperature on the thermostat as these are often inaccurate. Hides:- These are essential to prevent stress and allow your pet to hide away from the outside world. Artificial plants, boxes, plant pots, caves etc. all make excellent hides.

WATER

These animals require a small, shallow water bowl. This must be changed daily.

TEMPERATURES

A basking area of 32 – 36°C (88 – 97°F) is required at one end of the vivarium. The background temperature should range from 19 – 28°C (68 – 84°F).

LONGEVITY

Bearded dragons can live for 7 – 10 years in captivity.

SUBSTRATE

Calci sand is the preferred substrate for these animals as they will be able to digest any sand which they ingest. It should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent contamination from disease.

SALMONELLA

Many reptiles carry the naturally forming bacteria Salmonella. It must be stated that salmonella bacteria can only be contracted by ingestion (via the mouth). Good hygiene is therefore very important when keeping any animal. Remember, you are just as likely to contract salmonella from your Sunday lunch, cream cake or dog so don’t automatically assume that your lizard is the only suspect!

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