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Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

All the information you need to know about having a Bearded Dragon as a pet!

Do note climates may differ due to the different regions of the world. This Care Sheet is written based on the tropical climate we are living in.

You will gain general knowledge on the basic care and the needs of a bearded dragon through this article.

Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons are one of the more popular lizard pets here in the sunny tropical island. These lizards are calm yet alert and not forgetting extremely cute animals! Always having a voracious appetite and being extremely excited and responsive when it comes to feeding! They will lay quietly by on your chest while you surf your phone or watch the TV keeping you the best company you can ever have! Oh yes, and the reason why they are called Bearded Dragon is because of their ability to puff up their spiky beard (which is not very spiky to the touch by the way so there's nothing to worry!).

Bearded Dragons generally lives approximately 6 to 10 years and according to the care you give them, they may live even longer than that!

Adulthood / Sexual Maturity
They reach adulthood or sexually mature at around 1 and a half years (18 months).

Bearded Dragons are solitary animals in the wild. So whenever possible, keep them separate in their own tanks. Male Bearded Dragons cannot be kept together as they will fight over territories. You can, however, house ONE Male and Females together BUT it is HIGHLY NOT recommended unless you want to breed them. Do not house male and female Bearded Dragons together until the female is at least 2 years old.

They live in desert environment so you'd have to try and mimic your enclosure or lightings as close to the desert as possible.

Arboreal / Terrestrial
Bearded Dragons are terrestrial lizards and live on ground level. However, they may require a basking platform that could be as simple as a piece of driftwood so they are able to get nearer to the source of heat and light.

They start off their lives at slightly less than 4 inches (10cm) after hatching and grows to as large as 24 inches (2ft / 60cm) in length! Their length is inclusive of their pretty long tail so it's not actually considered very big! They are medium sized lizards. Male Bearded Dragons are generally slightly larger than their female counterparts.

Enclosure Type
You may consider normal glass aquariums that are used for fishes or you could also purchase a terrarium for enhanced aesthetic purposes. They are Non-Arboreal (lives on ground / terrestrial) and thus, does not need high enclosures.

Enclosure Size
2ft - 4ft Tanks (60cm - 120cm)
When they are small, they can start off with smallers tanks as small as 2ft (60cm) and will require larger tanks as they grow. Do note that they grow very quickly! A tank of 4ft (120cm) would be ideal for when they are in their adulthood but a 3ft (90cm) tank will suffice (3ft is the minimum).

Bearded Dragons are diurnal animals and this means they are active in the day and sleeps at night just like us humans do! They are required to bask in the sun to receive adequate amount of UVA, UVB and Heat. Read "Extra Information" below to find out more about UVA, UVB and Heat.

Extra Information:
UVA - Helps reptiles to stay healthy and allows them to have better appetite
UVB - Helps reptiles to metabolise Vitamin D3 and Calcium (to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease)
Heat - Reptiles are cold blooded animals and are unable to regulate their body temperature so they would have to make use of their surrounding to thermo-regulate.

A light you can consider would be the Exo Terra Solar Glo which is a 3-in-1 light that provides everything your basking reptile requires. The adequate amount of UVA, UVB and Heat. Pair it up with an Exo Terra Dome and a Exo Terra Light Bracket and you are good to go!

To know if the light is placed in the correct position for their thermo-regulation (not too far or not too close), place your hand on the basking area and switch on the light. It must feel warm for you and if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for the reptile.

Heating Element
The temperate here in the sunny tropical island suits that of a Bearded Dragon and they do not require any heating elements. HOWEVER, if you are housing them in a cold environment, you may wish to purchase a heat mat to warm up the entire enclosure. During the night when they are asleep, you can keep the heat mat running or have a hot spot by using a Exo Terra Ceramic Heater.

A Bearded Dragon will shed their skin as they grow bigger and bigger over time. The younger they are the more often they will shed. Young Bearded Dragons can shed every 2 to 4 weeks while adult Bearded Dragon can shed once in months. Shedding period varies from Dragons to Dragons as they all grow at different speed and have different eating habits.

When they are in shed, you may give them baths or soak them in lukewarm water to make it easier for them during the shedding process. You can soak them for approximately 30 minutes. DO NOT overfill the tub you are going to soak them in or you may end up drowning them. For babies and young Bearded Dragons, approximately half an inch of water will suffice. For adults, approximately 1 to 3 inches of water will do the job according to the size of your Bearded Dragon. DO NOT peel off the shedding skin as it may be painful. Let it do so themselves naturally.

You may also mist your Bearded Dragon's skin during the shedding process to help facilitate and expedite the process. It makes it easier for them to shed.

If you happen to have a cave in your enclosure and it just so happens that your Bearded Dragon likes to hide in the cave, you could place some moist substrate such as cocopeat or forest moss to bump up the humidity within the cave which will in turn, facilitate the shedding process.

Do also note that after majority or all of the shed have come off, make sure you check through thoroughly that there is no stuck shed especially on their feets and tails. This is important because if the stuck shed doesn't come off, it may constrict and restrain blood flow to the specific area can cause it fall off due to the living cells dying from lack of blood circulation that carries oxygen.

People often think that because Bearded Dragons come from the desert, they will require sand as a substrate. However, as safe as you may think of sand to be, it is not actually very wise to use sand as substrate as it may cause impaction when they ingest the sand when eating.

If it is mandatory for you to use sand as a substrate, do consider to either take the Bearded Dragons out to feed them or place their food in a shallow dish where the food will not escape and it is easy for them to reach in.

You may use substrate like the trusty old newspaper you have lying around or kitchen / paper towels or Exo Terra Sand Mat. Try not to use smooth surface substrates as it makes it more difficult for them to maneuver around and also, rougher surfaces can help them in removing their shed in an easier fashion.

Being an omnivore (able to eat and digest plant and animal matter), this allows them to be able to eat a diverse range of food. From insects to vegetables to fruits, you name it!

Food (Insects)
Mealworms, Superworms, Crickets, Wax Worms, Silk worms, Phoenix worms, Hornworms, Earthworms, Butterworms, Grasshoppers, Dubia Cockroaches, Turkestan Cockroaches and many more.
(However, mealworms are high in fat and low in protein and calcium, so we would advise against feeding mealworms IF you can. Although mealworms, are readily available in pet stores, try to find for other source of proteins such as Crickets / Dubia Cockroaches / Turkestan Cockroaches)

Food (Fruits)
Apples, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Grapes, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Strawberries, Watermelons,
(Chop them to bite size)

Food (Vegetables)
Cucumbers, Corns, Peas, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Kale, Parsley, Brocolli, Okra (Ladies Finger), Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Asparagus
(Chop them to bite size)

Spinach (binds with calcium and may cause metabolic bone disease)
Lettuce (Try not to unless you do not have a choice, they offer no nutritional value to Bearded Dragons)
Avocados (High in oxalic acid which can be fatal to Bearded Dragons)
Rhubarb (Extremely toxic)
Beet Tops (binds with calcium and may cause metabolic bone disease)

Place a water dish in the enclosure so they could drink out of it and also soak themselves for the shedding process. Please make sure the water level is not too deep for the Bearded Dragons and have steps inbuilt in the water dish for them to climb out. You may consider purchasing the Exo Terra Water Dish for this purpose.

You can occasionally mist their enclosure as they will drink the water droplets that are on the enclosure walls, decorations or cave. They also get their hydration from the vegetables and fruit you give them.

Bearded Dragons are generally very calm animals and that you should be able to handle them without any issues. As mentioned above, you could chill out with them on your chest or shoulder and they would not try to escape!

Rearing Difficulty
Easy. Great for Beginners

Do all the necessary research BEFORE purchasing your very own Bearded Dragon. If you have any queries, feel free to drop us a message and we will try to answer to the best of our knowledge and experience.

ITEMS CHECKLIST (Make sure you have them all ready before you get your first Bearded Dragon)

2ft to 4ft (in length) Enclosure

Exo Terra Solar Glo 80W / 125W / 160W
Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot (25W / 50W / 75W / 100W / 150W)
Exo Terra UVB 150 (13W / 25W)

Light Holder / Lamp Fixtures:
Exo Terra Reptile Dome (Large)
Exo Terra Bracket (for hanging the lights)
Exo Terra Glow Light (Medium / Large)
Repti Zoo Dual Dome (up to 150 watts per socket)
Exo Terra Bracket (for hanging the lights)
Zoo Med Mini Dual Dome Combo (up to 100 watts per socket)
Exo Terra Bracket (for hanging the lights)

Heating Element:
Heat Mat (if your environment is cold, you may need to bump the enclosure temperature up)
Exo Terra Ceramic Heater

Exo Terra Sand Mat (Optional)
Kitchen / Paper Towels

Shedding Assistance:
Coco Peat
Exo Terra Forest Moss

Feeding / Water Dishes:
Exo Terra Water Dish
Exo Terra Feeding Dish

Decorations / Caves:
Exo Terra Caves (Optional)
Exo Terra Wet Rocks (Optional)
Drift Wood (Good for them to climb up to get closer to light source to bask)

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