Bearded DragonsREPTILES

Bearded Dragons: Care Tips for Healthy Pets

Bearded Dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles, known for their distinctive appearance and unique personalities. While they may appear intimidating with their spiky exterior, these scaly creatures are friendly and social. If you’re considering bringing home a Bearded Dragon, it’s essential to understand their care requirements to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating an ideal habitat is crucial for the health and well-being of your Bearded Dragon.
  • Bearded Dragons require a diverse diet, including insects and vegetables, to maintain optimal health.
  • Proper handling and socialization techniques can help establish trust and build a bond with your scaly friend.
  • Maintaining your Bearded Dragon’s health through regular check-ups and hygiene practices is crucial for a long and fulfilling life.
  • Enrichment activities can provide mental and physical stimulation, promoting the overall well-being and happiness of your Bearded Dragon.
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Creating the Ideal Habitat for Bearded Dragons

Providing a suitable habitat is crucial for keeping your Bearded Dragons happy and healthy. To create an ideal habitat, consider factors such as tank size, lighting, substrate, and temperature.

Tank sizeAt least a 40-gallon tank for one adult Bearded Dragon, with an additional 20 gallons for each additional dragon.
LightingFull-spectrum UVB lighting for 10-12 hours/day, with a basking spot of 95-105°F.
SubstrateDigestible substrate such as newspaper, paper towels, or reptile carpet, avoiding loose substrates that Bearded Dragons may ingest.
TemperatureA thermal gradient with a cooler area of 75-85°F and a warmer basking area of 95-105°F.

Additionally, offer hiding spots and climbing opportunities to encourage natural behaviors. Avoid placing tanks in direct sunlight or near drafts, and never place multiple Bearded Dragons in a tank unless they grew up together.

Creating an ideal habitat is the foundation for ensuring the overall well-being of your Bearded Dragons, helping them thrive in captivity.

Choosing the Right Diet for Bearded Dragons

When it comes to feeding your Bearded Dragon, a balanced diet is key to ensuring their overall health and well-being. Bearded Dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter.

While insects such as crickets, mealworms, and superworms make up a significant part of their diet, they also require a variety of leafy greens and vegetables such as collard greens, dandelion greens, and butternut squash. Fruits such as strawberries and blueberries can also be given in moderation.

It’s important to ensure your Bearded Dragon is getting enough calcium and hydration, which can be achieved through the use of calcium supplements and a shallow water dish accessible at all times. Avoid feeding them fatty or sugary foods, as they can lead to health issues like obesity.

Establishing a Feeding Schedule

Establishing a feeding schedule is crucial to help your Bearded Dragon maintain a healthy diet. It’s recommended that juvenile Bearded Dragons be fed daily, while adults can be fed every other day. A good rule of thumb is to feed them as much as they can eat within 10-15 minutes.

When feeding insects, it’s important to feed them gut-loaded insects, meaning insects that are fed a nutritious diet themselves. This ensures your Bearded Dragon is getting the necessary nutrients from their food.

Foods to Feed Your Bearded Dragon

CricketsCollard greensStrawberries
MealwormsDandelion greensBlueberries
SuperwormsButternut squash

Remember, providing a diverse and balanced diet is crucial to keeping your Bearded Dragon healthy and happy. By following these guidelines, you can ensure they get all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Handling and Socializing Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons are social creatures and can develop trusting bonds with their owners. Handling and socializing them helps establish a connection and keeps them comfortable in your presence. Here are a few best practices to ensure their safety and comfort:

  1. Start slow: Start with short handling sessions and gradually increase the duration as your Bearded Dragon becomes more comfortable.
  2. Support: Always support your Bearded Dragon’s body weight when handling them, so they feel secure and comfortable.
  3. Wash your hands: Always wash your hands before and after handling your Bearded Dragon to prevent the spread of germs.

Establishing trust

Bearded Dragons are naturally wary of humans, so it’s essential to establish trust to prevent any problems. Here are a few tips to establish trust:

  • Offer food by hand: Offer small pieces of food by hand to encourage your Bearded Dragon to approach and take food from you.
  • Avoid sudden movements: Move slowly and calmly around your Bearded Dragon so as not to startle or frighten them.
  • Be patient: It takes time to establish trust. Consistent, gentle handling and socializing will help build a strong bond with your Bearded Dragon.

Remember to always prioritize your Bearded Dragon’s safety and comfort during handling and socializing.

Maintaining the Health of Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons are generally hardy creatures, but like any living being, they can experience health issues. Here are some common health concerns to look out for:

Health IssueSymptomsTreatment
Digestive problemsBloating, constipation, diarrhea, lack of appetiteProper diet, warm baths, medication if necessary
Metabolic bone diseaseSoft or crooked bones, difficulty movingCalcium and vitamin D supplements, proper lighting and heat
Respiratory infectionsCoughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathingAntibiotics, proper housing and hygiene

To maintain the health of your Bearded Dragons, it’s important to schedule regular check-ups with a qualified reptile veterinarian. Additionally, following proper hygiene practices and keeping their habitat clean can prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. Providing ample opportunities for exercise and enrichment activities can also help keep your Bearded Dragons healthy and happy.

Remember to always keep an eye out for any changes in your Bearded Dragon’s behavior or physical condition and seek professional help if necessary.

Bearded Dragons: Behavior and Enrichment

Understanding the behavior of Bearded Dragons is crucial for providing them with the proper care and enrichment they need to thrive. These creatures are diurnal, meaning that they are most active during the day and seek warmth to regulate their body temperature. When you understand these natural instincts, you can ensure their overall well-being and happiness.

Typical Behavior of Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons are known for their curious and adventurous nature. Here are some behaviors you may observe in your scaly friends:

  • Head-bobbing: This is a common form of communication among Bearded Dragons, often used to show dominance or to attract a mate.
  • Arm-waving: This behavior is used to warn off potential threats or predators.
  • Tail-wagging: Similar to arm-waving, this behavior is a defense mechanism used to distract predators and lure them away from the rest of the body.
  • Burrowing: Bearded Dragons love to dig and burrow in their substrate. This behavior is natural and important for their mental and physical stimulation.

When observing these behaviors, it’s essential to understand that they are all normal and crucial for your Bearded Dragon’s well-being.

Providing Enrichment for Bearded Dragons

Enrichment activities are crucial for keeping your Bearded Dragons mentally stimulated and happy. Here are some fun and simple ways to provide enrichment for your scaly friends:

  1. Hide food in their enclosure: By hiding food, you can encourage your Bearded Dragon to use their natural digging and foraging behaviors.
  2. Provide different substrate textures: By offering varying textures, such as sand and soil, you can stimulate your Bearded Dragon’s senses and encourage natural behavior.
  3. Offer climbing structures: Bearded Dragons love to climb, and providing different textures and levels can help them stay active and engaged.
  4. Rearrange their enclosure: By changing the layout and adding new structures, you can create a new and exciting environment for your Bearded Dragon.

Bearded Dragon Breeding and Eggs

If you’re interested in breeding Bearded Dragons, it’s essential to understand the process of mating and egg-laying. Breeding the right dragons can ensure the offspring have desirable traits. Here’s a breakdown of the breeding process:


Bearded Dragons reach sexual maturity between 8-18 months of age, depending on their size. Males will exhibit head bobbing and arm waving behavior to signal readiness to mate. When the female is receptive, she will tilt her body and lift her tail. Mating typically lasts for a few minutes.


Female Bearded Dragons will lay eggs approximately 4-6 weeks after mating. They will need a suitable nesting site, such as a container filled with moist sand, soil, or a mix of the two. The female will then dig a hole and lay the eggs. It’s crucial to provide a suitable substrate for egg-laying, and to avoid disturbing the female during this process.


The ideal temperature for incubating Bearded Dragon eggs is between 82-88℉ and a humidity level of 60-80%. Many breeders use an incubator to maintain temperature and humidity levels. Incubation lasts approximately 60-70 days before the eggs hatch. Once the babies hatch, they will require special care to ensure their survival.

Incubation Tips:Things to Avoid:
Use a reptile incubator or a sealed container with ventilation.Avoid opening the container during incubation to maintain temperature and humidity levels.
Ensure substrate is slightly damp.Avoid handling the eggs during incubation.
Use a separate container for hatching.Avoid placing the incubator or container in direct sunlight.

Successful breeding requires careful consideration of genetics and proper care during the mating, egg-laying, and incubation phases. Be sure to research extensively before attempting to breed your Bearded Dragons.

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Bearded Dragons: Lifespan and Longevity

Bearded Dragons are known for their long lifespan compared to other reptiles. On average, they can live for 10-15 years with proper care, but some have been known to live up to 20 years!

The lifespan of Bearded Dragons can be affected by a multitude of factors such as genetics, diet, environment, and general health. Providing them with a suitable habitat, proper nutrition, and regular vet check-ups can help ensure a longer, healthier life for your scaly friends.

It’s also important to note that the lifespan of male and female Bearded Dragons may differ. Females tend to live longer due to their slower metabolism and less aggressive behavior.

By promoting a natural and healthy lifestyle for your Bearded Dragons, you can help them reach their full longevity potential and enjoy many years of companionship.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bearded Dragons

As a Bearded Dragon owner, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about the care and well-being of your scaly friend. Here are some commonly asked questions that may assist you:

What should I do if my Bearded Dragon is not eating?

If your Bearded Dragon is not eating, it could be due to several reasons, including stress, illness, or improper lighting and temperature. Schedule a checkup with a veterinarian who specializes in reptile health to ensure your Bearded Dragon is healthy. Also, review the diet, habitat, and overall care of your pet to ensure these elements meet their needs.

How often should I feed my Bearded Dragon?

Bearded Dragons require a varied diet that includes live insects, leafy greens, and vegetables. Young Bearded Dragons may need to be fed several times per day, while adults may require food every other day. However, the feeding schedule may vary based on the age, size, and activity level of your Bearded Dragon.

When should I bathe my Bearded Dragon?

Bathing your Bearded Dragon once or twice per week can help maintain cleanliness and hydration. Use warm water and ensure the depth does not exceed the height of the shoulders. Never leave your Bearded Dragon unattended during bath time, and always dry them thoroughly afterward.

How can I tell if my Bearded Dragon is shedding?

Bearded Dragons shed their skin regularly and may become irritable or lethargic during the process. Signs of shedding include dull skin color, dryness, and flaking skin. Increase humidity in the habitat during shedding to make the process more comfortable for your Bearded Dragon.

What should I do if my Bearded Dragon is aggressive?

Bearded Dragons can become aggressive if they feel threatened or stressed. Ensure the habitat is suitable for their needs and provide proper hiding places and enrichment activities. Spend time bonding with your Bearded Dragon through gentle handling techniques and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may cause stress.

Are Bearded Dragons legal to own as pets?

While Bearded Dragons are legal to own as pets in many states, check with your local authorities to ensure ownership is permitted in your area. Some states may require permits or have restrictions on the sale or ownership of Bearded Dragons.

We hope these frequently asked questions have been helpful in providing insight into the care and well-being of your Bearded Dragon. Remember that each Bearded Dragon is unique and may require specific care and attention. Consult with a veterinarian and research reputable sources for additional information to ensure you provide the best care for your scaly friend.

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Can Bearded Dragons live together?

Bearded Dragons are typically solitary creatures and may become aggressive if housed together. It is recommended to keep them separate to avoid potential conflicts and stress.

What do Bearded Dragons eat?

Bearded Dragons have a varied diet that includes insects, vegetables, and fruits. Some common food items include crickets, mealworms, leafy greens, and bell peppers.

How often should I feed my Bearded Dragon?

Baby Bearded Dragons require daily feedings, while adults can be fed every other day. It’s important to provide the appropriate portion sizes and ensure a balanced diet.

How can I tell if my Bearded Dragon is sick?

Signs of illness in Bearded Dragons may include loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, swollen eyes, or changes in behavior. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a veterinarian.

How long do Bearded Dragons live?

Bearded Dragons have an average lifespan of 10-15 years in captivity, but with proper care, they can live up to 20 years or more.

How often do Bearded Dragons shed their skin?

Bearded Dragons shed their skin every few weeks to months as they grow. This process is normal and helps them maintain healthy skin and scales.

Can I handle my Bearded Dragon?

Bearded Dragons can be handled and enjoy gentle interaction. However, it’s important to approach them calmly and support their bodies to prevent injury or stress.

Are Bearded Dragons legal to own as pets?

Bearded Dragons are legal to own as pets in most places, but it’s always important to check local regulations and requirements before getting one.

How do I tame a Bearded Dragon?

Taming a Bearded Dragon requires patience and gentle handling. Start by offering treats and gradually increase the duration and frequency of handling sessions.


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