Beginners Guide to Owning Bearded Dragons

Just because other pets aren’t as popular as dogs and cats doesn’t mean they are any less of a pet. Everyone’s free to have any pet they want as long as it is approved in their country or region. If your government allows you to keep a 13-foot alligator as a pet, then why not. What matters is that you’re happy taking responsibility for its wellbeing.

Some people keep pets they don’t really care about just because everyone has one. If you feel more attached and fascinated about a particular animal, don’t pass on having one just because other people think it’s weird. For beardies lovers like us, we should care less about what others think and more about what we want.

If you’re reading this article, there’s a big chance you’re thinking of getting a bearded dragon or that you already have one. If you fall into the former, you’ll find this piece helpful and if you already have one, you just might learn a thing or two that will help you connect better with your pet.

Before you bring in your beardie, there are a few things you should know. Unlike dogs and cats that many people already understand, not many people understand dragon keepers. So, you may want to pay close attention to what we’ll go over in this article. You may also want to check out sites like http://www.beardeddragonguidance.com that are dedicated to bearded dragons and bearded dragon lovers.

Space and Habitat

Most beardie keepers initially think a regular-sized aquarium would be enough to house their pet until they realize later how wrong they were. Their assumption is understandable as adult dragons usually max out at 56 cm in length; one would easily assume they won’t need much space.

But these lovely creatures require space, enough of it. In fact, the more the better. As important as space is, so is the “habitat”. You should get a vivarium that’s specially made for these reptiles. For it to stay lively, the vivarium must be spacious and resemble its natural habitat. It should be well ventilated and include accessories like rocks and branches it can climb on.

There are different types of furnishings for beardies. If you’ll use one that includes sand, you’d want to make sure the sand is reptile friendly. For instance, calci sand is dangerous for beardies and reptiles in general if they accidentally eat it.

Temperature and Lighting

Unlike dogs and cats that are fine with the normal temperature of their owner’s home, beardies require lower temperatures to be comfortable. You should factor this in when building its home. The temperature inside the vivarium should be between 75- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit to keep your pet nice and comfy.

Another important thing you’ll need to install is a UVB lighting. This protects reptiles from bone and growth deformities. UVB light allows your dragon to naturally regulate its own Vitamin D levels. This enables it to properly absorb calcium. Click here to learn more about how UVB light is important to reptiles.

A Temperature Gun is a Must

For us humans, slight changes in temperature may not mean much but to bearded dragons, it could spell disaster. New parents often rely on regular wall thermometers, but these aren’t as reliable as a temperature gun. With the latter, you can take more accurate readings like when preparing your pet’s bathing water. A decent temperature gun from a good manufacturer will do, no need to go overboard when shopping for this.

Beginners Guide to Owning Bearded Dragons

Feeding

Like having a kid, it’s your responsibility to feed your pet and ensure it receives all the nutrition it needs to live out its full life cycle. Depending on how well they are looked after, bearded dragons can live for up to 12 years. So, you’ll need to be prepared to feed and look after it for this long.

Beardies are omnivores, which means they require a blend of both insect food and vegetables. According to experts, its diet should be made up of about 60% plant foods and 40% insects. The insect part is where you get to decide if raising this calm creature is something you really want to do.

In ensuring their pet gets all the nutrients it needs from insects, some beardie caretakers end up rearing insects like roaches. Not everyone is willing to do this, and this is what really separates the true bearded dragon lovers from the fake. When feeding the insects to your dragon, make sure they aren’t larger than the width of its mouth to avoid any intestinal blockages or digestion problems.

Tank Maintenance

Setting up a nice vivarium isn’t the end of the job when it comes to your pet’s home. To keep your dragon healthy, you’ll need to clean out its tank regularly. You’ll need to disinfect the walls and every other thing it walks on to get rid of any bacteria. Its food and water bowls must be cleaned every single day to prevent any infections.

If you’ll be rearing the insects that you feed it with, you’ll also want to make sure where they live is cleaned out regularly as well. Many owners carry out this cleaning every 3 to 4 months so you could also work with that time frame. Overall, just be as hygienic as possible with all your beardie’s stuff and yours too.

Regular Vet Visits

Your dragon also has to pay regular visits to a vet. People think as long as you feed them well and clean their tank regularly, all the work is done. But just as dogs and cats need regular checkups, so do bearded dragons, perhaps even more frequently than you think.

With most other pets, it’s quite easy to tell when something’s not right with them, however, this isn’t the case with bearded dragons. To be sure your pet is always healthy, make regular visits to a vet so that any developing health condition is detected and dealt with early.

Beardies Like Attention

Contrary to what most non-beardie parents think, these amazingly docile creatures enjoy human attention. Many owners say overtime, after their dragon got used to them, they enjoyed their company more and more.

Granted, there are days when they’ll be all grumpy and want to be left alone but these become less frequent the more time you spend with them. Now, you don’t have to spend hours petting and playing with them, a few minutes several times a day will do just fine. But never think, your dragon always wants to be left alone, they are more social than you think. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58SMGDv61hk to learn more about bonding with beardies.

Final thoughts

Caring for bearded dragons isn’t as easy as most people think. You really have to be intentional about it as they are much more fragile than cats and dogs. You’ll probably even spend more looking after them than you normally would looking after other pets. This is because many vets aren’t used to these creatures and those that are usually cost more. You’d have to take all of these into consideration before bringing one home.

Leave a Comment