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Beginners Guide to Owning Bearded Dragons

Do you want to own a pet without having to take them for walks? Bearded Dragons are, without a doubt, an excellent lizard to own for any novice or beginner lizard owners. They are commonly bred in captivity, are widely available, grow to only 18 to 24 inches, enjoy regular handling, and eat a wide dietary range.

Habitat

Choosing a habitat for your “beardie” is relatively straightforward, just remember to not put two male bearded dragons together. They will most like try to fight and could end up injuring each other.

You’ll need a terrarium for your new pet. Find a well ventilated, 40 gal (151 L) or larger glass terrarium.  You’ll want to make their environment as much like its natural desert habitat as possible.

Make sure to include a basking area close to the heat source. Typically, a basking spot lamp will create a temperature of around 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Also add a wood or rock hiding place in the cool area of their home.

In terms of other temperatures, it’s best to maintain a daytime temperature between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Area around the basking lamp will be hotter, so keep a thermometer at each end of the tank to ensure a cool and hot zone are being maintained.

For lighting, use a daytime UVA/UVB fluorescent bulb for approximately 12 hours of light per day. This will help your bearded dragon process calcium.

On the floor of the tank, for younger bearded dragons use newspaper or reptile carpet. For adults, use calcium sand, and be sure to clean out waste weekly and change bedding at least once a month.

Feeding Your Beardie

Your bearded dragon wants and needs variety in their diet. Between fruits, vegetables, and insects, a healthy balance will ensure a happy bearded dragon. Be sure to have a shallow water dish, or if they aren’t drinking right away, try misting vegetables or fruit. You can even mist your bearded dragon, for this is how they obtain water in the wild!

In terms of insects, Bearded Dragons eat live insects like crickets, mealworms, or waxworms. Young beardie’s should eat once a day, and adults can eat daily or every other day. Try to feed them at the end of the day.

For vegetables, use kale, collard and mustard greens, zucchini and shredded carrots. Vegetables should be at least half of your pet’s diet.

Bearded Dragons & Kids

Bearded Dragons are great pets for kids. There are some basic sanitary rules to follow, like consistent hand washing before and after handling, but bearded dragons can live up to 10 years old and have lots of personality.

If you are interested in finding out more about Bearded Dragons, contact your local pet store for more in-depth information! Or for any help taking care of your new scaled friend, contact Calgary reptile clinic Dewinton Pet Hospital!