The Ultimate Guide to Bearded Dragons

Explore their history, habits, diet, behavior, and expert care tips

If you’ve ever wished for a PET DRAGON that’s dashing, handsome, friendly, social and doesn’t breathe real fire, Bearded Dragon is worth considering.

Bearded dragons fall in the reptile family, a scale-covered lizard that is commonly sold as pets at stores. Bearded Dragons have a low and wide profile to hug the surface which enables them to climb. With the help of a long tail, they maintain balance. So, what about the beard? It’s not hairy, but rather some loose, moveable skin that hangs below the chin and gives the effect of a beard. The common colors of this pet are dusty yellow, gray-brown, and rusty red.

Here’s everything you need to know about Bearded Dragons as a pet owner:

A Brief History of the Bearded Dragon, From Where They Come?
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live? The life span of a Bearded Dragon.
Why Bearded Dragons Are Worthy Pets? What makes them Good Pets?
Making the Ideal Tank for a Bearded Dragon. What should be included?
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? Bearded Dragon Diet.
How Do I Handle a Bearded Dragon according to their behavior and habits?
Constant Care Guide & Tips for Bearded Dragons?

The most common species to have as a pet among beard dragons is the Central bearded Dragon or Pogona Vitticeps (Scientific Name: Bearded Dragon) also known as inland bearded dragon or western bearded dragon.
In the wild, bearded dragons are naturally found in Australia in warm, arid areas like deserts, subtropical woodlands/ forests, scrublands, grasslands, and savannas. Australia banned the export of dragons in 1960 but they are easily available in the US as they are bred for the pet trade. They come in a variety of colors “morphs” which are not commonly found in nature.

They are a warm atmosphere habitat and it’s very important or let us say crucial for bearded dragons. They rely on external heat to raise their body temperature as they are cold-blooded and unable to maintain their temperature. They relax their body in the sun and burrow underground in the presence of any predators. They can be found on fence posts and trees as they are semi-arboreal.

In the wild, where the threat of predators and the severity of the environment is on them, beardies typically enjoy a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, so they’re quite a commitment.

As pets, where veterinary care is more and lives without any threats, their life span increases up to 20 years in captivity.
Because of their longer lifespan, it’s necessary to have multiple members of the same house to learn about the pet’s care, diet, and needs. For example, if your teenage son owns a beardie, and then goes off to college or university, another fellow should step in to take over as focal caretaker.

To know more, you need to read more: How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?

Bearded Dragon make good pets as they are social, friendly, energetic, docile, gentle, and have easygoing personalities and strong sturdy structures. They are very easy to tame and very responsive to their owners. They enjoy human company, are not weak, and are quick to adjust to new home environments and locations. They love to climb and they are really fun to watch.

Bearded Dragons like to live solo in warm environments, so there’s no need to get a companion for them.

Set up the pet’s habitat and make sure it’s comfortable for them, then bring the bearded dragon home. Setting up the environment includes the heating arrangement, lighting, décor of the tank, and necessary food arrangements. Details are already shared in other articles, for starters, you need the following supplies:

  • Enclosure or tank
  • UVB light to maintain temperature
  • Heating element, thermometer, and hygrometer so that heat, temperature, and humidity can be controlled
  • Basking rock or log for tank
  • Flooring for tank
  • Some shallow dishes for water and food in the tank
  • Suitable space in your home 

You can learn about complete tank setup in “A Complete Guide to Bearded Dragon Tank Setup” Article.

Omnivores are animals that can eat plants as well as animals. The term originates from the Latin word Omnis, meaning “All or everything”, and Voeare meaning “to devour or eat”.

As bearded dragons are omnivores, they eat plants and animals. Their strong jaws allow them to eat hard-shelled insects, lizards, and rodents and they can also go for leaves, fruits, flowers, etc. They enjoy altering feasts between insects like worms, crickets, roaches, and mealworms and plants like vegetables & and fruits, etc.

For greens, Keep a stock of dandelion greens, mustard greens, and collard greens in your home refrigerator. They also go for mixed vegetables including peas, carrots, beans, and salads.
If we talk about insects your pet, be careful that they are no bigger than half the width of the beardie’s head. For example, if your pet is three (3) inches wide from eye to eye, choose insects that are no longer than 1.5 inches long. 

For drinking, Tap water is safe and always offers a shallow dish of water. However, be mindful of the high content of sodium in case you have a water softener. Beardies have a low tolerance for sodium and it affects them especially if they have a health condition. In that case, It’s best to use bottled water instead.

For more details, read following article:

These little dragons enjoy belly rubs and found head massage. They require handling with gentle touch especially when they are sitting. And when they jump or climb, don’t be afraid, they will not fall they are Dragon Lizards and they know what they are doing. When it’s playtime, relax them on a soft surface like a couch or bed, etc. In the end, all pets are different so work slowly and give them time to learn what type of touch is most enjoyable to them.

Do you want to have more fun? Think of building creative obstacle courses for your pet to climb and maneuver. Children’s building blocks or cardboard boxes from the recycling bin are good to use for this purpose.

Like any other pet, your little bearded dragon also needs daily care to stay healthy. You may also take notes of physical changes or shifts in their behavior and habits that may indicate illness or disease.

Supply clean water to avoid behavioral issues, constipation, dehydration, gout, kidney disease, and problems shedding. A good diet and proper heating arrangements will also save them from bone diseases. An annual visit to a vet is also recommended to check the bone health.

Additional health issues affecting beardies include dental diseases, viruses, and fungal infections. To learn more about possible health conditions affecting bearded dragons, review this detailed list from our website.

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