Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragons have bags of personality and make excellent beginner pets. They’re also at their liveliest during the day, which makes them perfect for handling and playtime. Striking to look at, Bearded Dragons come in a range of colours and patterns that complement their beards of spikes.

Bearded Dragon

Overview

  • Behaviour: Diurnal (active during the day)
  • Diet: Insects and greens
  • Ease of care: Beginner
  • Handling: Beginner
  • Humidity: 50% to 60%
  • Life span: 10+ years
  • Origin: Australia
  • Potential adult size: 18-22” (46-56cm)
  • Scientific name: Pogona vitticeps

Top Tips

  • Bearded Dragons like to bask in a warm spot
  • These pets love their food so make sure you provide plenty of tasty things to eat
  • Mix up your bearded dragon's diet to prevent boredom and create a balanced diet
  • Spot clean with a sand scoop

Housing

In the wild, Bearded Dragons live in an arid environment, which is very dry and doesn’t have a lot of plants. This means that they need to live in a vivarium, a special enclosure that you can adapt to imitate their natural home.

This vivarium will need to be heated to 23-30℃ (73-86℉) with a toasty basking spot at one end, which should be 38℃ (100℉). At night-time, the temperature should dip to 18℃ (64℉).

To keep your vivarium at a nice warm temperature, you will need to put in an overhead heat lamp, which should run through a dimming thermostat. The dimming thermostat will help you to control the temperature. This should be checked regularly to make sure your Bearded Dragon doesn’t overheat or get too chilly.

Your Bearded Dragon will also appreciate good lighting. In the designated basking end of your vivarium, set up your Arcadia Pro T5 Kit. This will create an area of low to zero UV (ultraviolet light) in the opposite, cooler end of your enclosure. The cool end of your tank is also a good place to pop a small water bowl for your dragon. This should not be so big that your dragon can lie in it.

When it comes to decorating your vivarium, you can get a bit creative! We recommend lining the base with HabiStat Bearded Dragon Bedding or Arcadia EarthMix Arid, but you can then add some branches and wood for your dragon to climb on. Artificial and natural plants will provide a bit of interest as well as some shade for your Bearded Dragon to hide in. Just be careful if you choose fake plants – Bearded Dragons have big appetites and could try to eat them if they get hungry!

Care

Once your vivarium is set up, you will need to keep it nice and clean. Every day you will need to give your dragon fresh water, do a quick spot clean of the enclosure and check that its vents aren’t blocked. Once a week, wipe down the glass and walls, and clean the water bowl using a reptile-safe disinfectant. It’s also important to remove dirty bedding and give the remainder a bit of a shake-up. This will help to prevent the build-up of nasty bacteria.

Around once a month, you’ll need to do a deeper clean. Wipe everything down with a safe disinfectant, remove all of the bedding and replace it with a nice fresh layer. This will keep your Bearded Dragon healthy and happy.

Remember: always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with water and disinfectant once you have finished cleaning, feeding or handling your dragon.

Equipment Needed

  • Monkfield Vivarium (minimum 48 x 24 x 24” / 122 x 61 x 61cm)
  • Arcadia Pro Ceramic Lamp Holder & Bracket
  • HabiStat Heat Bulb
  • High Range HabiStat Dimming Thermostat
  • Arcadia Pro T5 Kit 39 Watt 14% (or 12% equivalent)
  • Bearded Dragon Bedding with Arcadia Earth Mix Arid
  • A small water bowl

Diet

Bearded Dragons absolutely love their food! Live insects are particularly tasty and can be fed to hatchlings and adults. However, a baby dragon won’t want to eat a huge insect, so you will need to match the size of the bugs with the size of your dragon.

As a general rule of thumb, take a look at the distance between your Bearded Dragon’s eyes. This will give you a rough idea of how large the insects you feed should be.

Bearded Dragons also love to munch shredded, leafy greens such as kale, rocket, watercress, dandelions, and white or red dead nettles. Give all the greens a good wash first and choose organic versions when you can. If you’re picking anything from the wild, make sure that it is away from roads and unlikely to have been coated with pesticides.

To keep your Bearded Dragon in tip-top condition, you will need to feed some calcium and multivitamin supplements. A good choice is Arcadia Earth Pro-A and Arcadia Earth Pro Calcium Mg. Make sure you read the instructions carefully so that you know how much your pet needs.

Additional Information

Bearded Dragons shed their skin. When they are young, this can happen every few weeks! This will happen in patches and it can take about a week for your dragon to completely shed its skin. When your pet is about to start shedding, its skin will start to look a bit dull and washed out, so don’t worry if you spot this!

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