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Bearded Dragons Care 101

I remember my first bearded dragon I had to care for while pet sitting. I had such a fascination with them thus I wanted to share this article for both my fellow pet sitters as well as those thinking of owning a beardie. I would love your comments. I agree with Jennifer about this being a great lizard to care for if it is your first lizard. Perhaps that is why it was such a pleasure to pet sit for. Perhaps in the near future I will have my own beardie. This is a great Bearded Dragons Care 101 article written by Jennifer Cosculluela.

A great choice of pet for beginning lizard enthusiasts and reptile hobbyists who are more experienced, bearded dragons do require special care. Pet beardies are docile reptiles that breed well in captivity. This is a great choice for pet owners that are thinking of adopting a bearded dragon.

Dragons that are properly cared for can live for up to twelve years. If you are a new bearded dragon pet owner, you need to learn how to care for your pet properly. Properly caring for your bearded dragon includes giving him the proper enclosure, substrate, food, water, lighting and temperature.

Diet

The proper diet is very important for properly caring for your bearded dragon. They are omnivorous which means that they eat insects, vegetables and fruit. You can purchase or catch the insects yourself, although it may be safer to buy insects since the ones you catch yourself may have been exposed to poisonous insecticides. Other insects include cockroaches, earthworms, wax worms, king worms and mealworms. You can feed him all the crickets he can eat in ten minutes and do this for three times daily. Fresh vegetables need to be administered every day.

You can put a pinch of calcium dusting on his food, since he needs this to grow as well. Your beardie cannot recognize standing water, and misting his food with mineral-rich water will keep him hydrated. He also recognizes water dripping down leaves, so you can spray plastic plants with water as well. Keep in mind that too much water is harmful for your bearded dragon, however, since they originate from the dessert.

Housing

For your beardie’s housing, provide him with the biggest enclosure that you are able to afford and accommodate. For hatchlings, aquarium-type tanks that are between ten and fifteen gallons are good enough. Adult bearded dragons, however, need a terrarium that is between fifty and fifty-five gallons large. Being semi-arboreal, enclosures need to be rectangular, which means that they need to longer rather than taller.

Make sure that the housing you provide has a screen lid rather than using wood, glass or Plexiglas, which hinder air circulation. For the flooring or the substrate of your enclosure, do not put sand if your beardie is under the age of six months old, since they tend to eat sand at this age. The best flooring substrate would be paper towels, vinyl or tiles.

Lighting

Proper lighting is one more aspect of bearded dragon care that you need to take into consideration. Aside from a bright daytime light bulb, your lizard requires a special UVB light to manufacture the vitamin D3 it needs to metabolize calcium. To properly care for your bearded dragon, you need to provide it with fourteen hours of very bright light and ten hours of darkness.

Temperature

Gradient temperature in the enclosure of your pet also needs to be provided. Bearded dragons are cold blooded and move from one side of his cage to another in order to keep his temperature even. One side of his space needs to be between ninety-five and one hundred degrees Fahrenheit for basking, while the other side needs to be between seventy-five and eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. In the evenings, the temperature needs to be lower than seventy degrees Fahrenheit. The area for basking needs to be between one hundred and one hundred-five degrees Fahrenheit.

Brumation

Dragons do not hibernate but do tend to slow down during the wintertime. This means that they may take a few weeks off and barely touch their food and hide away. This only applies to adult bearded dragons since younger ones under eighteen months of age need to eat regularly.
Jennifer Cosculluela is a freelance writer and author of several publications both online and off.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jennifer_Cosculluela

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