Bearded Dragon Care Sheet UK form Serpentia Reptile Supplies

Care Sheet Contents

Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

 

Bearded Dragon - Pogona vitticeps - Care Sheet

Serpentia’s Bearded Dragon Care Sheet and guide is intended to provide you with broad but fairly comprehensive information on this fantastic species. We cannot hope to tell you absolutely everything in this format and this is already quite a lengthy care sheet as we do aim to ensure you embark on your Bearded Dragon ownership journey fully aware of what you need to provide for the welfare of the animal in your care.

We do dwell and elaborate on certain areas where we have found keepers struggle the most, such as heating and lighting so if you are looking for a  Bearded Dragon Care sheet that tells you what to do in a few words this isn’t it.

This is a very popular and very commonly kept lizard due their docile temperament and tolerance to handling. This is especially true of adults that have spent their entire lives in captivity. Of course there are always exceptions and you may come across the odd grumpy Bearded Dragon but it is the exception.

They are affectionately called Beardies and in captivity they are more than capable of living up to 10 years with proper care.

Deciding to own one is not a decision to be undertaken lightly.

Animal Welfare - The Five Freedoms

If you are thinking about owning a Bearded Dragon then you are responsible for it and for providing for all of its needs and welfare.  This is not only what any animal lover would do and what is morally right, it is the law.

Section 9 of The Animal Welfare Act 2006 places a duty of care on people keeping animals and for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

So what does this mean for you as a keeper?

Well, these needs also referred to as the five freedoms, include the need for:

  • Providing a suitable environment (place to live)
  • The need for a suitable diet
  • Exhibiting normal behaviour patterns
  • To be housed with, or apart from, other animals  (read further to find out how this relates specifically to Bearded Dragons)
  • To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.

View the full Animal Welfare Act Legislation

Do not take on the ownership and care of a Bearded Dragon lightly or if you do not think you will have adequate resources and time to properly provide for its welfare.

They are not pets that are cheap to care for either in terms of initial set up and equipment or the ongoing costs of properly providing for them. The initial set up of equipment, vivarium, lighting and heating, thermostats,  substates feeding dishes and decor is going to run to hundreds of pounds.

We are regularly contacted by owners that are seeking our help in advising what equipment they need and are often shocked to find out that what they do need costs significantly more than the Bearded Dragon itself. 

It may seem blunt but if you cannot afford to properly provide for your Bearded Dragons welfare and needs then don’t buy or own one!

What is a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded Dragons are quite a heavily bodied, yet a relatively small species of Agamid lizard of the genus Pogona.  The Pogona genus actually comprises 8 lizards but the one that is most widely seen and kept is captivity is Pogona vitticeps also referred to as the Central Bearded Dragon or Inland Bearded Dragon or just simply Bearded Dragon.

They acquire their name as upon maturity they have a noticeable ‘beard’ in the form of protruding throat scales.  Bearded Dragons will make these more prominent if they become angry or excited.   Generally they are either a beige, tan or greyish in colour but over the years captive breeding has created a wide range of colour morphs.

Bearded Dragons generally grow to between 40cm to 60cm in total length (snout to tail tip) and can live up to 10 years with appropriate and proper care.

Native to Australia Bearded Dragons are generally a terrestrial species, they spend the majority of their life on the ground, but are also partly arboreal so occasionally do venture into the trees. Their natural habitat includes arid and semi-arid desert and bushland which are both dry and sandy. They are a heat tolerant species and can often be seen in elevated, rocky positions basking in the sun.  Bearded Dragons like it hot!

They are highly inquisitive and lively lizards who are diurnal which means they are active in the day.  They are relatively easy to care for and they can become quite tame with regular handling and interaction with their keeper.

They are a communal species so they can be kept in groups but males that are housed together may well fight so it is best to keep just one male with a female or multiple females. Keeping bearded dragons in a group would mean that you would need a larger vivarium and plenty of hides to ensure that all your bearded dragons have room to move around and have many places to feel safe.

When Bearded Dragons feel threatened they will inflate their beards to warn off predators. This along with the head bobbing gesture, that is common during mating and territorial displays, make them an interesting and quite endearing species which goes some way to accounting for their immense popularity.

Before your Bearded Dragon arrives

Make sure you set up your enclosure and environment properly before acquiring your Beardie.  This may seem obvious be we are often asked for advice for a Bearded Dragon that has been purchased before the correct enclosure and equipment are even thought of.   So it’s worth us stressing again, set up your enclosure, test it and make sure everything is perfect BEFORE acquiring the animal.  It will be less stressful for you as a keeper knowing that you have everything ready well in advance of your Bearded Dragon arriving and it will certainly be better for your new Beardie to move into a new home that is completely set up and ready for their arrival.

Setting up your enclosure

Vivarium Size

Bearded Dragons are quite lively and active and will appreciate a large vivarium. An adult Beardies vivarium should be at least 4ft long but the more space you can provide for them the better so providing them with a 5ft vivarium would be better! This is the size vivarium for housing a single Bearded Dragon so if you are planning on housing more than 1 together then you will need to provide even more space.

Lets talk Bearded Dragon Heating and Lighting equipment

Bearded Dragons like it hot and bright in the day and dark and cooler at night.  Your aim is to replicate their wild like environment in your enclosure.  Spend some time getting it right before your Beardie arrives.

A reminder – Bearded Dragons are native to central Australia in Dry Savannah and Desert environments. This is the environment we are aiming to recreate.

Thermal Gradients, The Light and Shade Method

Providing and maintaining a higher temperature at one end of the vivarium whilst providing and maintaining a lower temperature at the opposite end of the vivarium is a fundamental basic of reptile care.  This is called a thermal gradient and allows your reptile to seek the temperature that they choose and require.

Providing the proper thermal gradient for your reptile has long be understood but husbandry and understanding has evolved and progressed and we should also provide the correct intensity of UV light and full spectrum light as part of this gradient.

This is called The Light and Shade method and thanks to the clever people at Arcadia Reptile who spend their time helping us to understand and improve the husbandry and welfare of animals in our care.

Simply put we are aiming to provide a gradient of both a usable heat and light zone as well as a usable cool and shaded zone.

In the natural environment your Bearded Dragon receives its visible light, UV and Infrared from the sun. This is a single source of energy.  It is therefore important that when we are trying replicate this energy in our captive enclosure that we do not split up our heat and light systems but instead group them safely close together so that heat and light are projected onto the basking zone together. This allows our Bearded Dragon to utilise this energy naturally and self regulating its own exposure as it needs.

In doing this we separate the hotter and brighter basking zone from the cooler and shaded zone at the other end of the enclosure.

This zoning will allow your Bearded Dragon to select the zone and regulate its level of exposure within its own biological cycles just as it would in a wild environment.

Bearded Dragon Care sheet Light and Shade Method

With the light and shade method you should provide plenty of hiding places for your Beardie who will then be able to alter its position within the vivarium and choose where to bask.  You do not need to position your lighting and heating solutions from front to back as shown in the diagram and you can orientate them sideways if your vivarium space allows but what you are aiming to achieve is grouping them safely together so as to produce the light and bright basking zone at one end of the vivarium and a cooler shaded zone at the other.

So lets now proceed to build our optimum heating and lighting configuration for our Bearded Dragons enclosure.

Temperatures and Heating

When it comes to temperature Bearded Dragons like it hot.

Depending on the age of your Bearded Dragon they will require slightly different temperatures with babies needing it a bit hotter than juveniles or adults.

For babies we are aiming for a basking temperature in the range of 36 Deg C – 43 Deg C with the optimum temp for you to aim for at their basking spot to be 40 Deg C.

For adults we can lower that basking temperature to be within the range 32 Deg C to 36 Deg C

The vivariums ambient temperature, that is the general air temp in the vivarium needs to be in the range 26 Deg C – 29 Deg C range.

Selecting the correct position of your vivarium is therefore something to consider and spend time thinking about. Don’t place it in an area that has extreme swings of temperature either too hot or too cold.  It will make setting up your vivarium correctly difficult to impossible if you are constantly fighting against ambient room conditions to either extreme.  Locate your vivarium in a room and place where temperature is stable and neither too hot or cold and well away from and protected from any drafts.  If you cannot do this then you are going to be look at additional heating systems for your vivarium.

Setting up and achieving these relatively high temperatures takes a bit of thought, planning and of course the right equipment.

Firstly it goes without saying you need to select a heat source that is capable of achieving this temperature.  Don’t think a cheap low wattage ceramic is going to achieve that and be able to project the infrared 30-35cm into the enclosure for you as it won’t. 

Ceramic lamps are not all created equally,  make sure you get a quality ceramic heater lamp. We recommend using the Arcadia Ceramic Lamp Heater for a heating source or the Arcadia Deep Heat Projector. 

Now remember that you cannot conjure heat from a heat source that isn’t capable of producing it that is to say don’t pick an underrated low wattage heat source that isn’t capable of delivering the desired heat temperature.  So it’s best to over specify your heat source rather than under specify it.  You cannot add heat that isn’t there and we often get screams for help that the hot spot can’t be reached and it’s almost always due to the heat source not being up to the job and capable of producing the required heat at the required distance.

Generally as a guide if the distance from your basking spot to the heat source is 30-35cm you should selected a 150 watt Ceramic Heater Lamp or an 80 watt Deep Heat Projector.  But research it,  part of the pleasure of being a keeper should be understanding and providing the optimum captive husbandry conditions. Know the distance you are expecting to project the IR heat over and achieve 40 Deg C at the basking spot and ask if you are not sure.

A word on safety.  These heat sources can get very hot.  Do not try to run them in a plastic light fitting designed for incandescent light bulbs, it will likely melt and is a fire risk.  Install them in a correctly rated porcelain holder that has been designed to cope with the high heat that Ceramic Lamps and Deep Heat projectors can achieve.  We recommend the Arcadia Ceramic Holder and Bracket Pro. And never run a heat source without a quality thermostat to regulate it, ever!

So now a word to those that installed a lower rated heat source than you should have and arrived here trying to figure out what to do next.

Well firstly never lower the heat source towards the basking spot but raise the basking spot towards the heat source.  And if there is any chance whatsoever that your animal can contact the heat source no matter how remotely you think the chances of this are make sure it is properly guarded.  If the temperature at the basking zone still cannot be reached then you will have to upgrade your heat source.

For the night time temperature you can drop the temperature to be within the range 18-23 Deg C. 

So that’s our heat source covered so moving on to lighting.

 

UV Lighting

Your Bearded Dragon absolutely 100% needs UV Light and it’s essential you select and provide the correct UV Lighting solution to keep them healthy. 

Your Beardie needs UVA light as it promotes social behaviour, reproduction, activity levels, digestion, feeding and basking.

A lack of UVA light leads to physiological, behavioural and health issues as it impairs the reptile’s ability to interact with their environment causing stress. 

UVB light is required to maintain vitamin D3 and calcium levels. When your Beardie is exposed to UVB light it is able to start synthesising vitamin D3 in the skin.  Vitamin D3 allows them to metabolise calcium, regulate the immune system and promote organ development. Without the correct amount of UVB your Beardie may suffer from calcium deficiency or develop painful diseases such as metabolic bone disease.  

You can read more about the D3 Cycle here

A 12 Hour photo period is ideal,  You provide light for 12 hours in a 24 hour cycle. No light is needed at night,  in fact your Bearded Dragon wants and wil benefit form it being dark.  There is no need for you to provide a night light.  Keep it dark.

So for daytime UV lighting what is needed?

Well first of all it will depend upon the distance for the mounting point of your  UV light to the Bearded Dragon.

We are aiming for a UV Index of 4-6 measured at the animal itself when basking.

Take a look at these graphics we have lovingly prepared for you:

Bearded Dragon UV Lighting Arcadia ProT5 UVB Desert 12% UVB
Bearded Dragon UV Lighting Arcadia ProT5 UVB Dragon 14% UVB

If you ask 10 Beardie owners what they recommend for UV lighting you will likely get several answers as there are several products and configurations from different manufacturers that you can choose.  Some are adequate, some not so much.  We only recommend products that we trust, have experience of and would choose and use ourselves for our own animals and hence can offer advice and support for.

In the case of the UV lighting for Bearded Dragons enclosure we recommend either the Arcadia ProT5 14% UVB Dragon or the Arcadia ProT5 12% UVB Desert.  Which system will depend upon the distance from your Bearded Dragon to the UV Lamp.

UV Lighting degrades over time and become less and less effective until it doesn’t provide any UV at all.  How much time depends upon the manufacturer and the quality of the UV tubes/bulbs.  Some will need to be replaced every 6 months.  You will need to replace your Arcadia UV T5 tubes ever 12 months.

 

Full Spectrum Lighting

Once the UV is sorted that is when we see many keepers consider the job done and stop.  This is not correct, your Bearded Dragon will benefit immensely from full spectrum lighting in fact we say your enclosure is not complete without it.

Picture for a moment if you will, your Bearded Dragon sat in their natural environment atop a rock basking in all the suns glory in their native homeland.  They are taking in the Infrared heat and UV from the sun and full spectrum visible light.  So far we have provided a source of rich high quality IR and UV but we are yet to address and provide the equally important full spectrum visible lighting.

Why should we provide full spectrum lighting? Well here is the science bit:

Almost all invertebrates including our Bearded Dragon have a small endocrine gland located in the epithalamus near the centre of their brain.  This gland is called the pineal gland and derives its name for the shape of the gland which resembles a pine cone.  The pineal gland produces melatonin which is a serotonin derived hormone and which modulates sleeps patterns amongst other things as well as regulating a number of bodily and brain functions.  The pineal gland is a kind of photoreceptor and in many species of reptile and amphibian the epithalamus is linked to a light sensing organ known as the parietal eye, also called the pineal eye or sometimes referred to as the third eye.

So the bottom line is the provision of full spectrum visible light to our Beardie will inspire their natural basking behaviour and help them to regulate functions in their body and brain.

Our optimum heating and lighting set up shouldn’t be without a full spectrum light source..

When it comes to full spectrum lighting we consider Jungle Dawn Full Spectrum Lighting second to none. So thats what we use and that’s what we recommend.

The Jungle Dawn LED Bars can be connected via the link cables provided in each kit to your ProT5 UVB Kit to provide the most complete lighting solution for your Beardie.

This lighting configuration can then be controlled from one timed circuit to completely automate your daily photoperiod.

 

Thermostats

You will need to control your heat source with a Thermostat.  Which thermostat depends on which heat source you decide to opt for.  If you are using a Ceramic Heater Lamp you need a High Range Pulse Proportional Thermostat.  If you are using a Deep Heat Projector you will need a High Range Dimming Thermostat.  As you are trying to achieve a high temperature then it will be the High Range model that you need to use and not the Standard models.  Alternatively and the option we would ourselves use is a Digital Dimming Thermostat for either heat source and this has the added advantage that you can run different Day time and Night time temperatures for your heat source and control your UV Lighting + Full Spectrum LED Bar on its timed lighting circuit.  The range on a Digital Dimming Thermostat is up to 50 Deg C so well able to cope with the temperature that you are aiming for at the hotspot of 40 Deg C.  High Range Dimming and Pulse thermostats have a range of 26 Deg C to an upper range of 40 Deg C so our required temperature is right at the top of the range these thermostats are designed to control.

Here is the link to our Thermostats Selection Guide.

When we are asked ‘’We want the best for our Beardie so what would you set up for your Bearded Dragons light and heat’’ this is our answer:

For a 4ft-5ft vivarium. 

Arcadia Deep Heat Projector 80 watt

Arcadia Ceramic Lamp Holder and Bracket Pro

Arcadia ProT5 12% UVB Kit Desert OR ProT5 14% UVB Dragon

Arcadia Jungle Dawn Full Spectrum LED Bar

HabiStat Digital Dimming Thermostat with Day and Night and Timers

If we are then asked how can we do it as cheap as possible our answer doesn’t change!

Summary – With our recommended Heat, Light and Thermostat configuration you are able to provide your Beardie with Infrared heat at the correct level over a 24 hour cycle and with separate day time and night time temperatures, create a basking heat and light zone and a cool and shade zone, provide the correct UV and Full Spectrum Light and photoperiod on a timed circuit.  

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What do I feed my Bearded Dragon?

Get comfy, this is a long section.

Bearded Dragons are omnivorous meaning they eat vegetable, insects, fruit and plant.  You should be feeding your Beardie with a varied diet of both appropriately sized Gutloaded insects and chopped fresh vegetables and fruit.

The correct ratio of fruit and vegetables to insects is dependant upon the age of your Bearded Dragon.

We should start with looking at the wild diet of a Bearded Dragon where they will eat mostly small insects such a spiders, termites and crickets.  They will also forage for flowers and leafy greens if they can find them but their wild diet will consist mostly of insect protein.

They will eat far more insect protect in their wild diet than we will plan to feed them in our captive diet.  The reason being they will roam and be a lot more active in their wild environment than in their captive environment and this activity will burn more calories as a result.

If we were to feed as much protein to them as part of their captive fed diet then our Bearded Dragons would become obese and suffer with health problems.

So now we know about their wild diet lets use it as our basis and construct their ideal captive diet.

Lets have a look at their potential menu items grouped by veggies, fruits and insects. We should mention right away that not all will be suitable for baby Beardies so make sure you read the feeding section by age.

On the good to feed menu list:

Now as we are in the UK we will give you the name that we know these vegetables by so you will actually be able to find them in your store.

Vegetables:

Dandelion Greens; Turnip Tops; Artichoke Heart (uncooked); Rocket; Asparagus; Basil; Bell Peppers  (Green/Red/Yellow); Pak Choi; Red & Green Cabbage; Peeled Cucumber; Butternut Squash’ Uncooked Kale, Radish, Pumpkin, Courgette & Leeks; Okra  (also known as lady’s fingers); Parsnip; Broccoli; Green Beans; Carrots

Fruit:

Peeled apples; Blueberries; Blackberries; Strawberries; Cranberries; Figs; Green & Red Grapes; Cherries (without the pit); Honeydew & Cantaloupe & Watermelon; Apricot; Papaya; Peach; Pears; Mandarin Oranges; Mango; Plums; Banana (there is no need to peel the Banana!)

Insects:

Crickets; Dubia Roaches; Super Worms; Silk Worms; Butter worms; Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Phoenix Worms); Earthworms; Waxworms; Goliath Worms; Mealworms; Locusts; Red worms

On the DO NOT feed list

Dairy products; Avocado; Lettuce; Rhubarb; Beets tops; Spinach; Meat (red meat, poultry, etc.); Wild caught insects; Fish & Seafood; Fern; Buttercup; Daffodil; Bran & Wheat

The lists are long and varied but if you have something you are wondering can I feed my Beardie this and its not on either list then your default position is not to feed that item until you have thoroughly researched whether it will be suitable or not.

Picky feeders

So you have prepared a beautiful selection of fresh vegetables and fruit.  It  looks marvellous and you proudly offer your Beardie your culinary masterpiece  and they point blank refuse to eat their greens.  They can be picky and it will be a battle of wills to get some to eat your lovely prepared platter of veggies.   Some will just refuse what they don’t like to eat and be grumpy with it. Stick with it for their sake!  A little experimenting may be necessary on your part with the type and variety and quantity of each item when it comes to their greens.  Hold in there!

When you are transitioning them from their baby to juvenile diets and in turn  their adult diets they may sulk a bit.  Ease them into their new feeding regime and diet as they progress from one dietary stage to the next.  Patience and perseverance is the way forward for you.

Baby Bearded Dragon Diet,  up to approx 4-5 months of age

Babies need to consume a lot of food to support their rapidly developing and growing bodies and it is very important that baby Beardies receive ample nutrients and vitamins.

We are aiming for approx 80% Insect Protein and 20% Vegetable.

Let a baby eat as many crickets are they want in approximately a 10 min sitting 3-4 times a day.  So as you can see you are going to need an abundance of insect protein.

Baby Beardies have a great appetite and will attempt to eat insects that are too large. Feed them crickets that are no longer 8mm which is usually when crickets are in their  3rd instar development phase. Or to look at it another way the length of the cricket must be smaller than the distance between your Beardies eyes. Never offer baby bearded dragons prey foods that are too large as this can cause the bearded dragon serious injury and can even be fatal.

Small fruit flies and the smallest waxworms available are also suitable. Smaller insects will help to ensure the baby bearded dragon can properly chew and digest its food without any problems.

Keep live mealworms off the menu of live foods for a baby beardie, mealworms due to their tougher outer shell can be difficult for the baby to digest, and could lead in worse case scenario to paralysis.

Babies have a high metabolism and you should be feeding them smaller frequent meals.  Whatever they dont eat in each sitting remove after 30 minutes.

Offer finely chopped vegetables once per day is optimum and will help your baby acquire a taste for veggies.

Avoid overfeeding! They will eat with gusto but this could lead to obesity and longer term health issues.  Whatever they don’t eat in their sitting remove after 30 minutes.

You should ensure their lighting system is switched on at least 30 minutes before offering them their first meal meal and are left on for at least 30 minute after their last meal.  This will help with their appetite and aid digestion.

Calcium and Vitamins supplements for babies

Dust their feeders with a Calcium supplement once a day for 5 days a week. On the other 2 days a week they don’t receive this supplement dust their feeders with their multi vitamin supplement.

They should be having their live foods dusted in something once a day, every day.

Like all babies they demand and require your attention to thrive, be prepared to give it to them.

Juvenile Bearded Dragon Diet,  4/5 months to approx 18 months of age

If you have done your job a juvenile Bearded Dragon will have gained mass and some fat reserves and can be fed less frequently.

Do not try and feed a juvenile Bearded Dragon at the same rate as a baby as it could become obese and develop health issues later.

The ratio of insect proteins to vegetables will be differ to that you feed a baby.

You want to start to reduce insect protein and are aiming to achieve 50% Insect to 50% Veggie for a juvenile by the time they are around one year old. You are aiming to continue to reduce the insect content of their diet to around 20% by the time they are an adult at around 18 months old.

Don’t try and do this is one hit but gradually change the ratio over time.

Reduce the amount of insect prey to one feeding per day and you can increase the size of the feeder insect while remembering not to feed anything larger than the distance between its eyes.  Mealworms can now be added to a juveniles diet once or twice a week.

So in summary an evolution of less insect protein and more vegetables than you would feed to a baby.

Adult Bearded Dragon Diet

We consider Bearded Dragons to be adults at around 18 months of age.  This is broadly when a Beardie has reached peak sexual maturity and growth slowed/stopped.

An adult should be offered a balanced meal and diet of insects and vegetables once a day though this can be via one sitting but ideally it should be split into a meal in the morning and a meal in evening.

Provide more vegetables and fruit at this point in their life and less insect protein.  You are now aiming for around 20% Insect Protein and 80% Veggies, a complete opposite of that you were feeding a baby.

Don’t forget to ensure their lighting system is switched on at least 30 minutes before offering them their morning meal and are left on for at least 30 minute after their evening meal to help with their appetite and digestion.

Adults can be very susceptible to obesity so keep a close eye on them and adjust the amount and type of food offered accordingly.

Because your Bearded Dragon still needs a staple source of protein you will need to provide them with insect protein. However unlike youngsters they will not need nearly as much  as they are no longer growing.  The exception is when you have an underweight Beardie and you want them to gain weight, for example an animal that has been ill or not perviously cared for properly.

Calcium & Vitamins for an Adult Bearded Dragon

Once your bearded dragon is an adult you can reduce the Calcium/D3 to 2-3 times per week and adding multi vitamins to their diet once per week. Just make sure their food never gets dusted more than once per day.

Wrapping up

All fresh fruit and vegetables should be washed before being offered to your Bearded Dragon to ensure they are chemical and pesticide free.  You wouldn’t want to eat them so don’t feed them to your Beardie so source and provide safe and quality ingredients. Buy Organic if you can.

You can also feed frozen and thawed mixed vegetables and fruits and this does have the advantage that you always have access to a stock of their food in your freezer.

Remove any uneaten organic matter to avoid your Bearded Dragon eating rotting or mouldy food and to help prevent the potential for harmful bacteria building up within the vivarium.

Prepared Complete Diets and Supplementary Foods that are specifically designed for Bearded Dragons are also an ideal source of balanced nutrition. Use Complete Diets and Dietary supplements as part of a varied diet.

We are huge fans of the Arcadia EarthPro range. We have bundled together some specially priced offers of EarthPro Diets and Supplements especially for your Bearded Dragon and which offer you perfect natural quality products and great value.

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Water, Humidity and Substrates

Water

Finally an easy bit.  Bearded Dragons need fresh water.  Provide them with a water dish that is large enough for your Beardie to bathe in and provide them with fresh water daily.  Change the water daily and ensure you clean the water bowl frequently to prevent bacteria taking ahold.  Clean and fresh is the way.

Some Bearded Dragons will also drink from water droplets that have formed on the wall of your vivarium or from decor and rocks.  So a light misting with a spray bottle will accomplish this but dont overdo the misting as you do not want to create a wet and humid environment.

Humidity

Remembering that Bearded Dragons are native to Desert and Dry Savannah environments it should come as little surprise that they do not require high humidity. During the shedding process humidity should be a little higher and an occasional misting with water in a spray bottle will help keep the humidity around the right level.

Good ventilation is essential in a bearded dragon’s vivarium to ensure that humidity levels do not become too high.

Prolonged high humidity is bad!

Substrate

The subject of a suitable substate often causes arguments between Bearded Dragon owners which can sometimes get quite heated.  All kinds of justifications will be thrown around as people justify their own preferences.

We won’t dwell on any of that as in reality it’s pretty simple.You can now buy substrates specifically designed for your Beardie.

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Rescuing a Beardie?

We would like to say a few words on what we will broadly classify as ‘rescues’. Bearded Dragons are very commonly kept and while most are properly cared for sadly some are not so lucky. While we fully support the good intent of rescuing animals from inappropriate care all too often we are informed via email someone has just ‘rescued’ a Bearded Dragon and can we urgently help and advise what to do.  If you didn’t know how a Bearded Dragon should be properly cared for and you have arrived here to make sure you do and for you get it right then all credit to you.  Read the above care sheet and ask us for help on anything you are unsure about. For the sake of the animal we will always respond.  If you are however not prepared to or simply cannot provide everything that the Beardie needs then you are not rescuing it at all, you have simply moved it from one situation where it may have not been properly cared for to another, the latter now being you.  Give these creatures what they need, they deserve it.

And you are there..nearly

If you have managed to read through all of our Bearded Dragon Care Sheet then pat yourself on the back.  You are on your way to successfully caring for a Beardie.  But it shouldn’t stop here, we are all constantly learning and searching for ways to improve the life of animals our care.

So on that final note we wish you and your Bearded Dragon a long, healthy and happy future.

Rod & Kasia