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Oct 20, 2014 at 05:30 PM
 
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Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

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The Bearded Dragon (Pagona vitticeps), is quite possibly one of the easiest and most interesting lizard to keep for a beginner. The Bearded Dragon is named for this animal's unique ability to rapidly enlarge and darken the pigment of a flap of skin under their lower jaw when threatened. As hatchlings, this animal is about 4 inches, as adults, the animal can reach lengths of 18 to 24 inches.

 

Housing: A Bearded Dragon should be kept in an enclosure of appropriate size. Hatchings require a 10 gallon aquarium or slightly larger, where as a single adult would do better in a 30 gallon long or 40 gallon breeder aquarium. Larger habitats are required for breeder groups of adult beardies.


Substrate: can be a variety of items. The most often used in the hobby is sand. When choosing a sand, make sure to select a sand with a very small grain size. Large grain sizes if ingested, may inpact the animal, which can be fatal. This is true with both Calcium or Silica sand. The other option is to use Aspen Bedding. Aspen if ingested often is passed and does not lead to impaction. The main downfall to Aspen is simply that crickets and worms can easily hide from the animal under the shavings.


Furnishings: A good option for decoration and practical use is a branch, as it can be both aesthetically pleasing and the animal will readily utilize the branch to bask on. A shallow water dish should also be offered.

 

Temperature: Bearded Dragons are desert dwellers, which means that they require a strong, bright basking light, along with some kind of ultraviolet light. Beardies require temperatures between 95 and 105 degrees for basking, with access to a cooler area, perhaps between 75 and 85 degrees. One could easily accomplish this by having the basking bulbs on one side of the enclosure with multiple thermometers to monitor the temperature.

 

Lighting: Bearded Dragons require Ultraviolet B light. These lights can be found at any specialty pet shop.


Feeding: These animals' diet consist of both meaty foods and vegetation. As hatchings, a diet of about 30% vegetation and 70% crickets is required. As adults, the ratio is closer to 50/50. Recommended vegetation includes dark, leafy greens such as: Kale, Mustard Greens, and Turnip Greens. Detour away from lettuces and spinach. When feeding any meaty foods, always choose a prey in relation to the animal's body. As hatchings, only offer crickets, many other insects have an exoskeleton to rigid for the hatchings to fully chew. As the animal matures, different prey items may be offered, such as wax worms, meal worms, and eventually even pinkie mice. NEVER FEED YOUR ANIMALS FIRE FLIES! When feeding, add a Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplement to the food on a regular basis.

 

Watering: is very important to younger Bearded Dragons, as they can easily become dehydrated. On a daily basis, hatchling beardies must be misted. They rarely drink from standing water, so the must be directly sprayed with water. Once sprayed, they will readily begin lapping up all of the water that they come in contact with around them. As the animal matures, they acquire more moisture from the vegetation which they eat, and watering becomes less necessary.

With the proper husbandry, Bearded Dragons make an excellent animals for anybody in the hobby, regardless of their experience level. The animals can live for excess of 15 years, and are extremely easy to care for.


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