Bearded Dragon

CARE SHEET

Bearded dragons are a medium sized lizard originating in Australia. They are generally very tame lizards who enjoy human interaction

Bearded dragons are very fertile breeders and the females can lay around 30 eggs several times a year. They breed so many due to their likeliness to get eaten by predators in the wild

Bearded dragons come in many colours and patterns known as ‘morphs’. Some of the morphs even change the amount and size of the scales which a dragon has. There are now many designer morphs which create full white, black and grey dragons

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pets due to their friendly attitude. They do live a long time, and sadly dragons are one of the most re-homed species. We advise that customers consider how they will provide for a full life of care for their dragon before purchasing

HOUSING YOUR DRAGON

Bearded dragons enjoy a large terrestrial vivarium where they have lots of space to exhibit the behaviours which they would in the wild.

The minimum enclosure size for a baby dragon is a 3ft vivarium and the minimum for an adult is a 4ft vivarium although we advise a 4ft terrestrial vivarium which allows for extra depth giving your dragon even more space.

Dragons require a high percentage UVB and a hot heat lamp for basking, this mimics the level of UVB and heat which they would receive in the wild. We always recommend using a heat cage to prevent your dragon from being able to touch the bulb and burn itself. UVB tubes need replacing every 6-8 months as the light may continue to shine but the UVB runs out. Do not use a compact UVB with a dragon as they will not receive the correct amount of UVB which can cause significant health issues.

Provide a hide on the hot and cold side of the tank along with some décor, be careful with placing any live plants in the enclosure as the dragon will eat them. Use wood /bark/slate to create an elevation under the heat bulb so that they can bask. We recommend using a thermostat with all heat sources, especially with dragons as they require a large heat bulb and the thermostat will prevent the bulb from delivering too much heat.

Use a sand or desert substrate for your dragon, there are many options available including bio-active substrates. Provide cork, rocks and other décor for your dragon to climb on. Provide a water bowl and a bowl for veg/salad leaves.

HANDLING YOUR DRAGON:

Bearded dragons are known to be one of the tamest species of lizard available on the market. However, we should treat all animals gently, especially with a new pet. We recommend you handle your dragon inside the enclosure if small to avoid it from running away if it runs out of your hand. Once the dragon is used to you and you have a routine established, you can begin bringing the dragon out. We recommend handling your dragon 2-3 times a week at the same time. Due to their need for high temperatures, we recommend keeping a dragon out of its enclosure for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Try not to handle your dragon when it is full of food as this can be uncomfortable for your dragon and it may poo on you. Dragons love a bath, this can be a great opportunity for bonding between pet and owner.

GENERAL CARE

Genus, Species Pogona vitticeps
Adult Size 18-20 inches
Habitat Desert
Lifespan 10-15+ Years
Diet Insects dusted with calcium powder every other day, Veg daily
Ambient Temp (f) 82-88
Basking Temp (f) 95-110
Humidity (%) 30-40
Locality Australian Difficulty 2
Breeding Age 18 months old
Social Structure Live alone except breeding times

SHOPPING LIST

SEXING YOUR DRAGON:

Bearded dragons can be hard to sex for the first 3 –6 months until their genitals grow and become visual.


Like many lizards, dragons can be sexed by looking between their legs. Males will have large waxy pores in a V shape and presence of the hemipenes can usually be seen at the bottom of the tail behind the vent.

Gently secure your dragon and turn upside down to see between the back legs. Female bearded dragons also display pores meaning that it can be difficult to sex your dragon until it is larger and the pores become more visible.  Take care not to grab the tail when sexing your dragon.

HEALTH CHECK

Eyes- Eyes are clear with no sign of puss, inflammation or milky appearance. Eyes are free of black spots in corners which could signify mites.

Skin- The skin is clear of shed and there are no cuts or scrapes on the dragons skin. Occasionally locusts or crickets can nip the skin of the dragon. Always remove live food that is not eaten after the dragons meal to prevent further bites and stress which can stop your dragon eating.

Limbs- All the limbs are moving correctly and the dragon is able to walk and move normally. Dragons can suffer from a condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease). This occurs when dragons do not have enough calcium D3 and causes their bones to grow abnormally, eventually restricting their movements. MBD cannot be reversed so always dust livefood with calcium at least twice a week to avoid MBD occurring.

Weight- Many dragons in captivity are overweight which is generally a result of the dragon being fed on worms alone or fed too often. Feed your dragon a mixed diet of locusts, crickets and mealworms as a treat.

advice for life